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Charities call for united front on hate speech

This news post is about 2 years old

The majority of charity beneficiaries have experienced online hate speech

Leading charities have called for an united front against online hate speech.

A survey conducted by Charities Against Hate has revealed that of the 224 charity beneficiaries who responded to its survey, 81% had experienced hate online themselves or witnessed others being targeted.

Three quarters (77%) of charity staff said they had not received any training to support them in dealing with online hate and beneficiaries said that their experiences of online hate made them feel angry (61%), frustrated (51%) and upset (47%). Almost half of those who have experienced online hate reported that it had a lasting impact on them. 

Charities Against Hate, a diverse collective of UK charities, has launched a A Guide to Best Practice in Ethical Digital Marketing and 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.

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."

To raise awareness of the issue on social media, Charities Against Hate is launching a storytelling week of action starting today (Monday 7 December) and is encouraging people to share their story using the hashtag #ShareYourStory.

More information, full survey results and the Guide to Best Practice are available online.



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