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Charities urge united front against hate speech

Leading charities have backed a united front to combat hate speech online after a survey conducted by Charities Against Hate, revealed that over four-fifths of charity beneficiaries have experienced online hate.

Respondents claimed that almost 42% have experienced it personally, with over 46% seeing other people being affected.

Beneficiaries reported seeing a range of online hate, including content about race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability and religion.

In addition,  77% of charity staff have not received any training to support them in dealing with online hate.

To help address the problem, Charities Against Hate has launched a A Guide for Best Practice in Ethical Digital Marketing & Comms Practices, which outlines recommendations  and support for those working in digital marketing and communications in the charity sector. 

Recommendations include:

  • Visibly engage with hate speech on social media channels, where appropriate.
  • Promote positive, diverse and inclusive content on charity-owned channels that represents the charity’s audiences.
  • Ensure adequate wellbeing support is in place for charity social media moderators.

Afzal Khan, MP for Manchester Gorton, commented: 

Not enough is being done to stop posts which incite hate and violence being made visible. No one should have to see these messages in their day to day lives, and especially not when trying to access ongoing information and support.  

I commend all the organisations involved in Charities Against Hate for taking this vital first step to ending hate speech online.

Simon Francis, Founder Member of Campaign Collective and chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity Group, commented:

While the increased use of technology to keep us connected during the pandemic has been a positive step, we have also seen a drastic increase in hate speech online. This hate speech affects almost every group of society – no matter what cause you are fighting for, it is a sad reality that putting your head above the parapet can be met with abuse.

Today’s research reveals the extent of the problem and enough is enough. The first step is for charities and their supporters themselves to take action. The recommendations published today will help the sector do more to address hate speech online and in the new year Charities Against Hate will be making recommendations for media owners to follow.”

The Rooftop News CIC supports the Charities Against Hate campaign and will be implementing the best practice guide over the coming weeks and months. More information and the Best Practice Guide are available online at https://charitiesagainsthate.com/