Survey shows that nine percent of the teens (aged 13-17yrs) use social media platforms. The other 71% report having at least one active social media profile and the 51% report visiting a social media site at least on a daily basis. Two-thirds of the teens also have their own mobile devices with internet connectivity.
This means that many young people are connected online more than ever before.
And while this comes with huge benefits such as linking them with friends, loved ones, communities, and getting access to knowledge, it can as well be problematic.
It may be difficult to filter and navigate hate speech when they come across it online.
Also Read: What is hate speech?
We provide advice on how you can deal with hate speech on social media.
1. Delete and Block
Just three words. As simple as that. When you come across any hate speech on social media like Facebook and the person spreading the message is your friend, the best you can do is block the person.
If you’re an administrator of a group where hate speech is taking place, you can as well moderate the posts or remove any person being bizarre.
This will promote respectful communication among people in the group
2. Respond with Love and Positivity
Hate Speech always makes people focus on the bad side of things. In case you come across hate speech and you want to respond to it, always respond with love and positivity.
It will create an environment that is neutral and people will realize their mistakes.
Responding to hate speech with negative comments or statements will only fuel the wrath people have about the subject matter.
3. Hide and ignore comments
Many people tend to release their stress and depression in the comments section whenever they come across hate speech online.
In such a situation, the best you can do is ignore any comments that are not appropriate and also hide negative comments in case you’re a moderator.
4. Respond to hate speech with facts
Hate speech requires you to respond in a sincere way with facts backing you up. This will mute people spreading false information and encourage constructive conversation.
When you’re honest with your response, many people will learn and get to believe you.
5. Remember they are behind their screens
Often time, people responding on social media are behind their mobile, tablet, or computer screens. The kind of conversation between you and them is mostly passive.
The fact that they cannot come face to face and assert their assumptions makes them cowards.
Hate speech is mostly spread by cloned accounts or hacked accounts impersonating people.
6. Don’t take their load
Hate Speech spread on social media may lead to anxiety and stress. The best you can do is ignore whatever is being said online and focus on productive or constructive discussion elsewhere.
When you focus on hate speech, you may realize that you’re the only one carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.
7. Report any hate speech you come across online
Platforms like Facebook always have policy guidelines against hate speech. So in case you come across hate speech online, the best remedy is to immediately report it and wait for the action to be taken.
In case your issue is not addressed, you may as well directly contact them and have your issue addressed.
The real-world impact of online hate speech is very serious on young people today. It directly affects their self-esteem and self-worth. If not quickly addressed, it can affect their mental well-being leading to anxiety and depression. Share with us in the comments how we can deal with hate speech online and on social media.