Hate on the net is part of everyday life: in a Forsa study, 76 percent of internet users say they encounter hate. Not only individuals are affected. In the case of strategic hate, groups of people are deliberately excluded to drive their opinions out of the net. That makes it even more important to be armed against it. For example, with ten tips from Deutsche Telekom for digital moral courage.
1. show solidarity with those affected
Is someone being attacked or insulted? Intervene! Stand by those affected! Hate comments should be named as such. In addition, you can signal support to those affected by private messages.
2. seek help
No one must face hate alone. Involve other readers: "What do you think?", "Who knows more about this?". Groups like #I'mhere help you do this.
3. strengthen those who help
Not only those affected need solidarity, but also those who help. For example, like their posts or add to them.
4. don't let them provoke you
Sounds easier said than done. Strategic hatred is often used to draw you out. Point out discussion or group rules. Sometimes it helps to take a breath and come back in later.
5. engage constructively
When many opinions clash, discussions escalate quickly. However, diversity of opinion is an asset to any exchange. It is important to present your own point of view in a constructive, objective, and comprehensible way.
6. Do not respond to hate with hate
Hate as a reaction to hate intensifies negative effects.
7. set limits
People who do not really want to discuss things let arguments bounce off them. This can also be a test of endurance for helpers. Experts recommend answering twice and then dropping out.
8. Practice counter-speech
Do not accept border crossings in silence. Counter-speech is the tool of choice. Many organizations offer free online courses to learn counter-speech.
9. use fact-checks
Some use fake news for their hate messages. Well-researched sources can counter this. Check out platforms like correctiv.de. If you don't find any fact checks here, you can debunk fake news with counter-questions. Don't leave absurd allegations uncommented.
10. report violations
On many platforms, posts can be reported with just a few clicks. It is also possible to report the offence to the police - online or analogue. It is best to save screenshots, links, names, and date/time.