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Removing hate from the debate

Do you know what to do when confronted with hate speech online? A new campaign empowering young people with positive tools and techniques when they encounter hate speech was launched earlier this month.

The Remove Hate from the Debate campaign assists young people to identify online hate speech and understand how to best respond. The NSW Government developed the campaign as a response to the concerning rise of hate speech online.

The launch followed the release of new data by the eSafety Commissioner this month, revealing an overwhelming proportion of young people are now exposed to hateful and racist comments online.

According to the data, more than one in two young people aged between 12 and 17 have witnessed or heard racist or hateful comments about cultural or religious groups online.

The research, based on responses from almost 2,500 young people across Australia, also noted young people from diverse cultural or linguistic backgrounds were more likely to be targets of online hate.

The campaign showcases key advice for young people including top ten tips when confronted with hate speech online. The tips range from advice on how to stay safe and keep conversations respectful, even when disagreeing with others online.

"I decided to become a Remove Hate from the Debate Ambassador because I recognise how important it is to address hate speech online. We need to find ways to combat it in a way that moves us forward together as a community."

– L-FRESH the Lion

Remove Hate from the Debate launched with the support of five Ambassadors including, south west Sydney hip hop artist L-FRESH the Lion and Sydney Siege survivor Jarrod Morton Hoffman.

Jarrod Morton-Hoffman said the campaign was about challenging the increase of hate speech online with positive action.

“When people are faced with racism, hostility, or hateful thinking, they are likely to react with a hateful response,” Mr Morton-Hoffman told The Point magazine.

“If you take stock and respond with compassion or empathy, you are more likely to change the dynamic in a positive way and break the cycle of hate.”

L-FRESH the Lion said the campaign was an important step in recognising how damaging hate speech is for young people and how to move forward.

“I decided to become a Remove Hate from the Debate Ambassador because I recognise how important it is to address hate speech online. We need to find ways to combat it in a way that moves us forward together as a community.”

L-FRESH the Lion released his latest music video in New York City promoting positive messaging to tackle xenophobia and racism, developed as part of a YouTube Creators for Change initiative that promotes tolerance and empathy on YouTube channels.

As a society, L-FRESH the Lion said we should focus our energy on positivity and embracing what connects us, instead of perpetuating fear and division. For him, music plays a huge role in overcoming hateful thinking and breaking down barriers across society. 

“I was taught love always wins because hate never lasts.”

“Hate is exhausting. It takes up so much energy. And it’s toxic.”

“Words and sounds that provide insight, inspiration, courage and hope are needed to help us touch on the issues we need to address.”

You can check out the top 10 tips to overcome hate. Join us in Removing Hate From The Debate – show your support by pledging here:

http://removehatefromthedebate.com/pledge/

The Point

The Remove Hate from the Debate campaign assists young people to identify online hate speech and understand how to best respond.

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