Questions for “How to fight online hate before it leads to violence”

a photo of many of the people who participated in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021

Members of white-supremacist hate groups have been linked to the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. FBI investigators found social media posts had helped draw people to coalesce as a mob with a call to “war.”

Samuel Corum/Stringer/Getty Images News

To accompany featureHow to fight online hate before it leads to violence


Before Reading:

1. Do you think saying something online can have an effect on people (even strangers) in the real world? Why or why not?

2. Have you encountered offensive or hateful language online? Where did you see it? How did it make you feel?

During Reading:

1.  What role did anti-protest online posts play in what happened in Kenosha, Wis., on August 25, 2020?

2.  What are some strategies scientists are using to study online hate?

3.  According to Neil Johnson, what makes online hate on social media resilient and hard to ban?

4.  What roles can bots play in spreading hateful speech online?

5.  What difference did Brandie Nonnecke find in the tweets of pro-life and pro-choice bots?

6.  How can artificial intelligence help people study online hate?

7.  Describe three challenges with using artificial intelligence to identify or classify hate speech.

8.  What is counter-speech?

9.  What relationship did Mirta Galesic find between hate speech and counter-speech in her study of political conversations on Twitter?

10. In a MediaSmarts survey of adolescents in Canada, what was the most common reason given for why the teens did not take action against online hate?

After Reading:

1.  If you encounter hateful posts online, what are three actions you can take?

2.  The article describes several examples in which online hate speech led to real-world violence. Come up with two situations in which online counter speech might reduce real-world harm.