- #TAKEPART – No hate speech: Deutsche Telekom turns the spotlight on gaming
- Company joins forces with esports player foundation and 44 other partners to stamp out online hate speech
- Offerings to promote civil courage online and counteract hate speech in gaming
In 2021, Deutsche Telekom is turning the focus of its “No hate speech” campaign onto gaming. Approximately 32 million people – that’s close to half of Germany’s population – regularly play computer games, and one in three gamers can’t imagine life without them. Although the fun of gaming must be based on fairness, a sense of community, and respect, the reality is that sexist, racist, and other abusive comments are also part and parcel of this world. That is why Deutsche Telekom is looking at the point where the fun stops. This year, the company is working with external organizations such as the esports player foundation to provide information and other offerings designed to promote democratic rules of play in gaming.
No hate speech in gaming – #TAKEPART in the fight against toxic behavior
“The internet is increasingly being misused to divide society, vilify minorities, and exclude certain people. We can’t allow the digital world – and online gaming is a part of that world – to become a place for hate, manipulation, and the spread of anti-democratic values,” says Barbara Costanzo, Vice President Group Social Engagement at Deutsche Telekom.
The company is joining forces with the esports player foundation and 44 other partners to stamp out online hate speech. Deutsche Telekom is keen to encourage parents, educational professionals, and gamers to take a stand.
“The gaming community is well aware that it has to do something. We are committed to three core values in gaming – respect, fair play, and performance. Our aim is to open peoples’ eyes to the kinds of things that are blatantly happening online. Turning a blind eye can’t be an option,” points out Jörg Adami, co-founder of the esports player foundation. Besides its primary goal of promoting talents who are at the top of their game, the foundation takes a clear line on eradicating hate in gaming.
Working together to increase awareness of hate in gaming, Deutsche Telekom and the esports player foundation will stage workshops for parents and teachers and provide teaching materials in the form of video on demand. These activities and resources will provide specific tips about what players can do to keep the fun in gaming and how to deal with each other fairly in stressful situations.
The two partners are also working on the issue of civil courage on gaming platforms. After all, approaches that work well on social media – from fact-checking to asking someone a clear question – often don’t work in the same way on gaming platforms. The pace is much faster in gaming, and communication between users often takes place verbally rather than in writing. Costanzo explains: “We need something that is really symbolic. Something that makes it clear straight away that someone has gone too far.” For example, the gamers sponsored by the esports player foundation – the role models of the digital generation – are being coached in seminars and workshops on how to send out a clear signal against hate speech and toxicity. The stars and big names of the esports and gaming community are also setting out their position in social media videos and encouraging others to tackle digital discrimination. One particular highlight of the ongoing collaboration is a GIF and meme page. Memes give players a quick and simple way to take a stand against hate speech and toxic environments when they are participating in chats and social networks.
Deutsche Telekom promotes fairness in gaming
Deutsche Telekom is also fully aware of its responsibilities as a gaming provider. That is why it has signed up to the “Hier spielt Vielfalt” (Diversity plays here) initiative run by game, the German Games Industry Association. This provides a framework for companies, other initiatives, and gamers to voice their support for a gaming world that is free from prejudice and discrimination. The aim is to ensure people treat each other with polite respect – regardless of anyone’s ethnic background, ideology, or lifestyle.
Something for every target group
As in the case of previous activities dedicated to civil courage online, all the initiatives run by Deutsche Telekom can be accessed at medienabersicher.de/en/. They all center on one focal point: “Gaming – where the fun stops”. The educational materials have been designed for all target groups aged between 9 and 99 and are available in German, simple German, and English.
Furthermore, Deutsche Telekom stages workshops and inspiring talks on the subject. The next dates are as follows:
- May 18, 2021: “Network Stories” talk with gamers and industry representatives
- June 18, 2021: Panel talk with the Digitale Helden organization about hate directed at women in gaming. Part of Digital Day, which is run by BitKom, Germany’s digital association
Taking a stand and getting active
Deutsche Telekom is carrying forward the “No hate speech” initiative it launched last year, but with a focus on gaming. As a telecommunications supplier, Deutsche Telekom wants to bring everyone into the digital society with it. Online hate and marginalization divide society, which is why Deutsche Telekom takes its responsibilities seriously and is taking a stand. It is raising awareness, opening eyes, and enabling everyone to play an active role and navigate the internet in safety and with confidence.
Further information on the Deutsche Telekom initiative “No hate speech” can be found at
Ads from the esports player foundation (in German)
“Die Gaming-Trends 2020”, BitKom (in German). A survey was carried out among 1,195 people in Germany aged 16 and over.
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