In August four volunteers took part in a workshop lead by Paulina Drzal in I.B. Polska office. The aim is to upgrade the original “Anti-Discrimination Pack“ by ICUD to raise awareness about discrimination online.
We distinguish between digital and online discrimination. On the one hand technologies could be used to ‘digitally redline’ unwanted groups, either as customers, employees or others. On the other hand is the internet a platform to spread discrimination and hate anonymous.
We researched examples for hate speech but also for love speech online. We found out that it is much easier to find hate speech than love speech on social media and online platforms. Love speech often is only an attempt to counter hate speech.
We watched a short documentary about Marshall Rosenberg`s (American psychologist, 1934 – 2015)
Non-Violent Communication concept, wich is also know as “compassionate“ or “collaborative“ communication. He explained that our way of education gives two possible ways to choose as a response, either submission or rebellion. It would be better to use a request than a demand because it gives more freedom to the person who receives it. Now, that person can decide to fulfill or deny because a request is not forcing any actions. Before posing a request we must explain our feelings about that particular situation to the other person. We brainstormed about how to promote Non-Violent Communication and love speech online. We wrote the keywords love, respect and tolerance. But those are very general ideas. In my opinion there are two major results of the workshop. Firstly, all volunteers agreed that it is difficult to abandon hate speech completely because the internet is not the reason of it. It only makes it more easy to spread negative thoughts of negative people. To reduce hate speech online, contents must be deleted immedately but that also means control and censorship. Another way is to change minds. I guess this famous quote by Mahatma Gandhi fits in this context, because “thoughts become words (and) words become your actions (…)“. In the end thoughts must be change offline to change online enviornment. Rosenberg said that choise was internal.
Secondly, a result of the workshop also is summed up by a quote by Rosenberg, who said that “the most direct path to peace is through self-connection“.
photgraphy by Paulina Drzal
article by Katharina Becker