European Action Week Against Racism and Discrimination

Posted on 26 March 2014

5 rules for preventing and responding to racism online

In 2012, Liam Stacey, a 21 year old student, was jailed for 56 days and suspended from university after tweeting racist abuse about footballer Fabrice Muamba. In response to his sentence, Stacey told the BBC he did not know why he made the remarks on Twitter, adding that it was a "stupid, massive, massive mistake and I've paid a big price for it".

What Stacey’s story highlights is that young people, whether targets or agents, can be affected by racism and discrimination online.  From racial slurs and targeted bullying, to memes that stereotype people based on race, a report published by think tank Demos in February found that 10,000 racist messages were posted every day on Twitter.  Although the majority were not intended to be derogatory, around 3,000 tweets a day did indicate genuine racial or ethnic prejudice.

European Action Week Against Racism and Discrimination (21 – 28 March) aims to combat this racism and discrimination online.  Part of the No Hate Speech Movement’s campaign to combat hate speech online, European Action Week Against Racism and Discrimination is a chance to help prevent and respond to racism.  In support of the campaign we’re sharing 5 rules for preventing and responding to racism online:

  • Say no to racism – racism is not okay, online or offline, and that includes jokes that stereotype people based on race or ethnicity
  • Know the law – posting something racist online is against the law and you can get arrested for it
  • Protect your reputation – one stupid tweet now can affect your reputation forever
  • Think before you post – while you may not mean something to be offensive, you can really upset others
  • Report it – make sure you report anything racist online, and if you see a friend posting something racist you could explain why it’s not okay.

To find out more about European Action Week Against Racism and Discrimination (21 – 28 March) visit: http://www.nohatespeechmovement.org/

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