Why prevent hate speech?
Because communication dynamics affect the way we relate to each other: the words we use can hurt us.
To prevent hate speech we promote a specific approach in our interventions, it is the Anti-rumours strategy promoted by the Council of Europe.
First of all, promoting this approach means not criminalizing or judging those who use potentially offensive forms of communication, because we ALL carry rumours and because stereotypes and prejudices influence the lives of every one of us. At the same time, we can all be victims of it.
Especially in this historical moment where violent, offensive and unscrupulous language is often “normalized” even in the public sphere, we believe that it’s important to reflect on stereotypes, prejudices and on their consequences. Have you ever wonder how do they influence our relationship with each other?
The Anti-rumours approach aims at intervening at the base of the pyramid of hate, where false myths, gossip and rumours lurk. They may seem almost harmless, but they are not at all, because they are the antechamber of prejudice and can alter our perception of the world, risking to perpetuate discriminatory situations.