PeaceTech Lab Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms & Countering Hate Speech
Since the outbreak of violence in December 2013, South Sudanese have called attention to how hate speech has inflamed further violent conflict. But what’s the connection between online hate narratives and violence on the ground in South Sudan? How do we begin to understand those connections?
To address these questions, PeaceTech Lab has developed a Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms, combining cutting-edge social media analysis with in-country expertise to identify both the terms likely to incite violence and their social and political context. The Lexicon also identifies alternative language that would mitigate the impact of this speech via an online portal for countering hate speech.
“Countries with rapidly expanding Internet access, such as South Sudan, are also experiencing the spread of online rumors, misinformation, and targeted attacks to exploit political or ethnic differences,” says Theo Dolan, Director of PeaceTech Lab Africa.
Dolan says that raising awareness among social media users around the world is urgently needed to shed light on the dangers of hate speech, particularly related to South Sudan. Online hate speech can spread through personal and family networks, and it spreads fast – information can flow very quickly from a diaspora community in Australia to the US and back to South Sudan.
The goal of the lexicon is to inform organizations and individuals combating hate speech and building peace in South Sudan, as well as to raise awareness among social media users on the dangers of specific inflammatory language.
The research is incredibly important because South Sudan has been in conflict for so long. People are already traumatized and online hate speech can reinforce this trauma. With more contexts around why these terms are inflammatory, people will have a better idea of how to combat the problem” says PeaceTech Lab Director Theo Dolan.
Access a summary of the project, live visualizations from the social media analysis of hate speech, news articles, and resources for organizations countering hate speech through the South Sudan Hate Speech Data Portal, located in the PeaceTech Lab’s Open Situation Room Exchange (OSRx).