These are confronting questions, but it’s important that we ask them. So YouTube has joined up with Vice and the Foundation for Young Australians to launch sharesomegood.org, a campaign aimed at helping people to understand what hate speech is, to know what to do when they see it, and how to counter it with positive messages.
Our first task was to understand what people think, and so Vice traveled around Australia asking young people whether they think Australia is inclusive.
Not everyone uses the internet with positive intent. And with Australians spending more time using the Internet to connect, communicate and consume content, there is greater potential for negative messages to spread quickly.
Such online threats, degrading comments, and digital harassment — when based on a person’s race, nationality, sexual orientation/gender identity, gender, or religion — are forms of hate speech, and are unfortunately becoming a large part of our online experience.
There is no universally accepted definition of hate speech. It can differ by country, online platform or organisation with some applying a broad catch-all definition, while others apply a narrower definition; here’s how YouTube defines it.
It’s easy to spread hate speech online because people don’t have to reveal their true identity. But even out in the open some people see the internet as a place where usual social norms no longer apply - a place where insulting and offensive comments can go unchecked and do no harm in the real world.
But those messages are harmful, and they hurt real people.
So, what can you do? Plenty! Go to sharesomegood.org to learn how to drown out the hate by amplifying your voice and create videos and stories that show what you are for, not what you are against.
Share stories that promote and celebrate diversity and inclusion, educate people about minority groups or hate speech targets, and present minority groups in a positive way and challenge stereotypes. Start by using the resources available to educate yourself, think of a creative way of telling your story and then get producing! There’s a useful toolkit that will help you along the way.
Good luck creating your videos, telling your positive stories sharing some good - and don’t forget to use the hashtag #ShareSomeGood on YouTube so we can see and celebrate your great work!