Antivirus Program: No to Hate Speech on the Internet

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Hate speech is a violation of human rights. In cyberspace it acts like a virus, quickly spreading and mutating. It most often targets minorities. No one should remain indifferent to expressions of hate speech. Unfortunately, every day the overwhelming reaction is passivism. How can we change this and mobilize young people to act? 

The Foundation Humanity in Action Poland has created a project called "The Antivirus Program: No to Hate Speech on the Internet!," implemented within the Citizens for Democracy Program, financed by the EEA Funds.

The project is directed towards a wide audience and includes a number of initiatives:

  • The Academy of Human Rights and Civic Activism 2014 titled "Incubator of Ideas: Transformation, Democracy and Human Rights": an educational program combining theory with practice, which aims to inspire young leaders to organize socially-oriented activism in order to strengthen and promote a culture of human rights, by conducting antivirus campaigns (see meme examples here) against hate speech through social media. Campaigns were directed primarily at their age group.
  • Congress Inter@ction Zone 2014: the first national meeting of activists against hate speech. It lasted 3 days and gave young leaders the ability to broaden their knowledge, improve skills and deal with hate speech on the Internet, as well as establish new contacts with other young people involved in these issues. Over 200 young people from Poland and Europe attended the Inter@ction Zone.

  • Competition "Image and Word against Hate": was aimed at seeking outstanding responses to hate speech on the Internet. The competition task was to create, with the help of any form of expression—graphic, image, visualization or original mottos, slogans, tweets—an interesting and original response to hate speech on the Internet or inspiration to act against it. Young people from across Poland entered the competition. The winning works can be seen here.
  • Socially-engaged calendar "NO to Hate Speech" - contains 12 selected works, which creatively respond to hate and at the same time act as a kind of visual and verbal antidote to the problem of hate in both the on- and offline worlds. Authors of these works are young activists from Europe and the United States who participated in the educational program "Incubator of Ideas" and the competition "Image and Word against Hate."
  • E-learning course "PULL THE BRAKE ON HATE'': is an online course designed for people who are interested in action against hate speech and promotion of human rights culture. The course does not require earlier preparation in the field of hate speech theory and its prevention, and  consists of eight thematic modules. Note: Completion of only five modules is required to receive a course completion certificate.
  • Website Preempt Prejudice: this website is, first of all, a collection of experiences and knowledge gathered while implementing projects to advance human rights and related issues, in particular those involving challenges of hate speech. Second of all, it promotes good practices concerning preventing, counteracting and combating hate speech. And thirdly, the website is also a space for interaction, inspiration and collaboration for activists and people who want to get involved in anti-hate activism.

For more information about the project, which is available in Polish, please go here.

The project was implemented, as part of the Citizens for Democracy program, which is financed from the EEA Funds.