How do I ignore hate comments

Those who can write can defend themselves. Anyone can report comments or posts, ask haters to prove their alleged "facts" or speak out against inhuman comments in their own environment. And if you don't have the time or energy for long discussions, you can download memes, sayings and videos from us at Counter Speech.

Counter Speech helps you and others

So far, only a small fraction has responded actively to hatred on the Internet with an active counter-speech. Only 31 percent of the authors of Hate Speech had to take criticism from other internet users; 64 percent, on the other hand, felt that their statement was confirmed. It is all the more important not just to leave hatred standing, but to take a stand.

Counter Speech means that users do something with head and heart against hatred and agitation on the Internet. They say loudly and kindly that they do not simply want to accept discrimination, generalizations and degradation; they do not counter hatred with hatred, but with arguments, with humor and new perspectives.

Counter Speech shows those affected that they are not alone. It offers a different, peaceful point of view for the vast majority of the silent readers who would otherwise only be confronted with the hateful comments. Anyone who interferes and shows solidarity with those affected stands up for human rights and strengthens democracy.

The Council of Europe has published the manual "Bookmarks" (click here for the German version), which contains a lot of information, tools and workshop ideas on the subject of hate speech. Here is an overview of how the No Hate Speech teams work against online hate speech in the various countries.

Anyone who expresses their opinion loud and clear must also expect headwinds. Counter speech can briefly increase the agitation. If that is the case, however, you know that the counter-speech hit the bull's eye!

Blogger Vanessa Vu reports on how she dealt with a shit storm

And the author Sascha Lobo tells in detail in a video about his experiences and how he deals with shitstorms.

It's not all about the haters - ask those affected what they need

Counter speech often comes from those who are not affected by hate speech in the specific situation. It is easier for them to intervene because at this moment they are not discriminated against and can feel protected. If you want to support those affected, it is best to first find out what the hated ones want.

Individuals are not always attacked; Often there are large groups of people such as refugees or Jews. Then you can try to find out whether members of the group have spoken out and need support.

When an individual is attacked, it's a little easier. Show with a comment that you want to offer her support. She can decide whether she would like support at all and what it could look like. For example, does she make it clear that she would like to clarify the situation on her own? She wants support, but prefers to talk to the haters herself? Or, on the contrary, does she want a lot of visibility? Ignoring the needs of those affected can worsen the feeling of powerlessness they are experiencing. Your support is most helpful when it corresponds to what those affected want and need.

One thing is clear: everyone is responsible for the climate on their own Facebook / Instagram page or website. But when is the time to step in? Irony and swipes are not forbidden! And nobody wants to scare away their friends for no reason. It can sometimes be difficult to tell when a comment is meant to be hate speech rather than just a stupid remark. In the end, everyone has to decide for themselves what goes too far and what doesn't.

Orientation and examples for productive discussion rules can be found in many forums or online communities, for example on Pinterest.

If social media platforms don't have their own rules, you can set them up yourself. Here you will find examples of how to deal constructively with hate speech.

How can I report entries / posts?

It is no longer complicated to report content on social media or online platforms if it violates their rules or laws.

Facebook

Twitter

YouTube

Instagram

Snapchat

TikTok

You can find even more ways to report hate speech in this list of the Anti-Defamation League.

How do you file a complaint against hate speech?

You can contact the police or public prosecutor's office in the state in which you live to file a complaint. The contacts of the federal state police authorities and Internet guards are listed by federal state at www.polizei.de.

It is also possible to advertise online, but not yet in all federal states.

If you file a complaint and are not directly affected, you will usually not find out anything about the investigation if you do not follow up personally. The police are still investigating!

Sometimes the first thing you encounter is a lack of understanding or ignorance when filing a criminal complaint for hate speech. The subject of hate speech is still new territory for some police officers, but it is being discussed more and more within the police.

Hate comments are increasingly being prosecuted - but that does not automatically mean a conviction. If the accused claims, for example, that he or she “didn't mean it”, an acquittal may well result. However, this should not prevent anyone from filing a complaint: incitement to hatred, insults and threats are definitely criminal offenses in Germany - and every criminal complaint helps to raise awareness among society as a whole of the problem of hate online.

If you are unsure whether a comment falls under the Youth Protection Act, you can contact Jugendschutz.net. There you can report incidents on the subjects of political extremism, violence or cyberbullying. The team checks the content and takes further steps depending on the result. Content can also be reported and checked with the Voluntary Self-Assessment of Multimedia Service Providers (FSM).