An opportunity to promote kindness and respect online – and encourage everyone to take action if they witness online hate.
As we approach the end of National Hate Crime Awareness Week, we are inspired by the range of actions carried out by various groups and individuals all committed to ending hate crime. In the wake of Home Office statistics which revealed a 41% increase in hate crime since June, it is clear that tackling this issue is more pertinent than ever.
For us at Childnet and the UK Safer Internet Centre, we know that young people want to and can achieve change. Over the last year 2.1 million young people took positive online action to show their support for targeted groups.
One in four young people have been targeted with online hate
Earlier this year, for Safer Internet Day, we conducted research into young people’s experiences of online hate. In particular, the study explored young people’s exposure and attitudes to the topic of online hate targeted at people or communities because of their gender, transgender identity, sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity, nationality or religion. We found that one in four young people had been targeted with online hate, while 82% said they had witnessed it, with nearly three quarters (74%) saying that online hate made them more careful about what they share online.
Positive role of the internet in celebrating difference
It’s clear that online hate has real implications for young people. Yet they also recognised and celebrated the positive role that the internet could play in enabling self-expression, developing understanding, bringing people together and respecting and celebrating differences, with the majority (75%) of young people saying they believed that the internet could be a positive place that respects and celebrates our differences.
Educating and equipping young people with practical skills is key in order for them to feel empowered to deal with online hate crime, and be part of creating a kinder and inclusive internet. Safer Internet Day reached 2 in 5 children in the UK and 87% said that as a result of the day they felt more confident about what to do if they were concerned about something online. We know that the internet can be an incredibly powerful and creative space for young people; we want to ensure that it is a safe place too.
What you can do if you see online hate
Reporting any online hate you see is important and effective as it can lead to the offensive material being taken down.
Remember, if you think someone might be in immediate danger then phone 999.
Use our resources to find out more about online hate and how to respond:
- Watch our series of videos
- Use our educational resources for primary and secondary schools
Together we can help to create a better internet for all! #NHCAW