#defyhatenow Press Release
Juba, 6th April 2018: #ThinkB4UClick (Think Before You Click) is an awareness campaign that aims at pointing out the dangers of misinformation, fake news and hate speech with a focus on South Sudan. Over a period of one month, we aim to discuss with the public the consequences of hate speech and how it can be mitigated through individual actions that aim at creating safe spaces online and offline for citizens to interact with each other and discuss matters in a fruitful and informed manner.
Next Monday on April 9, 2018, we will release an education music video by Ugandan R&B artists Freeboy Adams the African Boy & Sherry Zania as well as a series of sound clips on the topic of hate speech mitigation and responsible use of social media.
The campaign has four sub-themes segmented into weekly messages:
1) In week one we will be focusing on checking and verifying the sources of information. Unlike information found in newspapers or television broadcasts, information available on the internet is not regulated for quality or accuracy; therefore, the responsibility of verification falls on the reader as anyone can publish anything.
2) For week two we will be passing a message about how fast lies travel and how hard it is to retract an untrue statement once it is out there which is concerning, considering how social media has become a dominant force for news distribution.
3) During the third week we will be breaking down the importance of context and why people should read information in its entirety before responding, this is because out of context information has the ability to mislead people.
4) Our final week will focus on how small steps matter and how we can have a positive impact. We need to have more conversations on these issues at home, at school and in the workplace. Each person has an obligation to use Social Media responsibly and utilize the online mechanisms for reporting hate speech and misinformation online. Let us work to have a #HateFreeSouthSudan
How to be part of the campaign
- Share your experience and what you think about fake news and misinformation in South Sudan or elsewhere on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter using the hashtags #ThinkB4UClick #DefyHateNow and #HateFreeSouthSudan
- Add the #ThinkB4UClick Facebook frame to your profile,
- Attend one of our events in South Sudan, Uganda, kenya or Germany
- Use our #defyhatenow online resources to start a conversation in your workplace, home or school
- Listen to our audio discussions and engage on Facebook at Discuss #defyhatenow
For Media houses in South Sudan
#defyhatenow has produced a theme song, a short radio drama and soundbites to be aired on local radio stations in South Sudan. Radio stations can download the information on the link below, you will be prompted to login using a gmail account and request access. Our team will get back to you with the info before Monday 9th April 2018.
South Sudan context
The people of South Sudan share the rest of the world’s interest in social media, but with one difference: some South Sudanese within the country and in the diaspora have directed digital tools to incite violence along ethnic lines in the nation’s three-and-a-half-year-old civil war by posting hate speech that may have in one way or another fueled the conflict.
#defyhatenow responds to create awareness of the impact of hate speech in fueling conflict and how social media can be used in a constructive and peace-building manner.
Supported by the German zivik programme of ifa (Institute for Foreign Cultural Relations, Federal Foreign Ministry) and managed by the Berlin-based r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, #defyhatenow is an urgent community peace-building initiative aimed at combating online hate speech and mitigating incitement to offline violence in South Sudan.
Since the inauguration of the initiative in 2015, the #defyhatenow staff has provided extensive training, workshops, sports events and music concerts to raise awareness on the impact of hate speech online and offline, thereby bringing together grassroots organizations and youth groups in South Sudan and the diaspora.
Parach Mach, Public Relations Manager