Online Love SpeechIt is the first campaign in the MENA region to raise awareness and to mobilize a network of influential and activists in order to spread Online Love Speech in the region.
Why?Online hate speech is an old worldwide phenomenon that is getting worse every day with the growing number of social media platforms and the growing number of social media users (SMU) What created this phenomenon of online hate speech is that some of the SMU believe that they have the ultimate freedom to post on their walls, to tweet, to share, to comment whatever they like and in many times the generated content might be dehumanising, insulting, harsh and racist. Making comments “routinely” and without taking the time to think about the content being posted and shared online is becoming problematic phenomena of negative consequences of the hate initiated online.
This issue might sound trivial for some people but in reality, it can impose a severe negative impact on the people who are affected by this hate-speech. Claiming that, “it is my wall on Facebook” and I can write whatever I like or on Twitter, I can mention you, accuse you, attack you because “I can do that” and if you do not like it “Do not read it” is a form of “Online Hate Speech” which is considered a crime by 29 countries globally including Jordan. The invisible fine line between “freedom of expression versus causing online hate speech” is a tricky issue add to that, that most of the SMU who are causing online hate speech, is doing that unintentionally and this lack of awareness is also aggravating this problem. Right now, we are in a place where we need to have continuous awareness about themes of online hate speech, where it exists, what it means, and how we can prevent it from occurring in the first place. In addition, there is a need to have alternative positive narratives that are contributing more to the positive content that is aspired for online.
Any hate speech that starts with a few words online is transformed into the local community brutally. This campaign is about the danger of keeping having this phenomenon (online hate speech) without realizing that it is a “problem” and “it is not okay” and it is a serious one. We are not talking about violent extremism online, we are talking about – what it might seem to be- a simpler and non-serious form of violent extremism where it is the opposite! go examine any timeline online over a period of two weeks and you will be able to see the intensity of racism, cyber-bullying, insulting, lack of dialogue, lack of self-respect, and respect towards the other… and with this comes the “attitude” now to “dehumanize and to reject the other”; rejections are often associated with violent acts whether verbal or physical… “because they do not share my own opinions, my own lifestyle”…
What happens to the freedom of expression and privacy for others – this is an important question?In comparison, how many times you encountered rational dialogue on social media platforms? Where is SMU actually having a “communication” and trying to understand the other point-of-view without actually judging or labeling? Are we creating “enough” positive alternative narratives? Online Love Speech is about spreading online love speech… it is about creating an alternative content online that is more “loving, accepting, respecting and informative. Join our campaign… spread the word… raise awareness.