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Tackling Online Hate Speech in South Sudan

There is growing interest and awareness around the role technology plays in conflict, in peacebuilding and in conflict management/transformation. Especially the role of social media.

A significant body of work has been carried out trying to understand and respond to online hate speech in South Sudan. Most especially the relationship between online hate narratives and physical acts of violence on the ground.

#DefyHateNow is a community peacebuilding, training and conflict reconciliation project aimed to strengthen the voices and support the actions of emergent youth oriented civil society organizations in South Sudan. The project is initiated by Berlin-based r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, in collaboration with multiple local partners.

#DefyHateNow aims to raise awareness of and develop means to counter social media based hate speech, conflict rhetoric and directed online incitement to violence. The project responds to South Sudan's ongoing civil crisis by addressing the roles played by a wide range of social media users in either exacerbating or helping to mitigate these issues, particularly since the eruption of conflict on December 15, 2013 and since July 2016.

The images above are a series of visual training aids I produced for the DefyHateNow project. The materials are designed to be used by NGOs, schools, universities, journalists and community groups to create awareness, discussion and understanding around social media basedhate speech, the impact of this on the ground and ways social media can be used to mitigate violence.

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