Jan is young, creative, homosexual and has dark skin. At least two of these characteristics mean that he is repeatedly confronted with discrimination and hate on the Internet. Even in his own community. In the new episode of the Digital Crime Podcast, he describes how it feels to have nowhere to feel safe.
"Black and gay, a disgrace in two ways." Jan doesn't just have to listen to this sentence in real life. From his point of view, it also describes well how many people look at him. The young casting director and model gets to the heart of what experts call intersectionality: The overlapping and simultaneity of different forms of discrimination such as racism, anti-Semitism, sexism or homophobia. It is more than just the sum of hostilities, it is a form of discrimination in its own right.
If several of these supposed "characteristics" apply to one person, the hatred against him or her is particularly intense. Especially online. Jan also gets to feel this. Insults, verbal abuse and humiliation are hurled at him even from within his own group. There is no safe space where he can feel secure.
They pick out what bothers them the most
Haters pick out what alienates them the most or what they are most afraid of. For Jan's environment, his appearance and his homosexuality are reason enough to insult and threaten him in the worst way. Tahera Ameer from the Amadeu Antonio Stiftung, which works to strengthen democratic civil society, knows why what is happening to the 23-year-old is not an isolated case. In the podcast, we talk to her about how group-based misanthropy arises online and why devaluing others leads to greater personal security. We also explore the question of whether people who have experienced discrimination themselves have a duty to stand by others in solidarity. Find out what Tahera Ameer has to say about it in the podcast.
Jan experiences hostility over many years, but does not inform the police. Although it is often a matter of clear threats and sheer hatred, only a fraction of the acts on the Internet are actually reported to the police and prosecuted. Holger Edmaier, managing director of the project 100% Mensch, which fights for the full legal and social equality of all people - regardless of their sexual orientation and gender - knows this. What can those affected do? How can they achieve more visibility in society? For Holger Edmaier and his team, the motto is clear: file a complaint and thus make crimes visible. In the podcast, he introduces us to the campaign "Zeig sie an!" (English: Show them up!), with which they focus primarily on information and education.
Digital Crime - Real Stories from the Digital World
Curious now? Then listen in to the current episode "Digital Crime: Jan - a disgrace in two ways" (available in German language). If you want to learn more about hatespeech and hate against women, in gaming and in customer service, we recommend our previous episodes of the season. In each one, we look at the topic of "hate on the Internet" from a different perspective. The next one is about hostility in local politics – do not miss it!