Beyond Blocking: 5 Tips for Disrupting Hate When Religion Shows Up Online
February 16, 2022
One of the main purposes of going online as an interfaith leader is to engage with and learn from people who are different from you. Interfaith leaders hope to model and create positive ways to be in community with others online – whether in a brief interaction or ongoing conversation.
Unfortunately, far too many people experience hate online and are targeted for their religious beliefs or identities. A recent report from the Pew Research Center suggests that as many as 4 in 10 Americans have experienced some form of online harassment, and 1 in 5 of those who have been harassed online believe they were targeted for their religious identity.
Countering Hate Online & Showing Solidarity
Each person online has an opportunity – and even an obligation – to develop strategies for identifying and disrupting online hate when we can do so in a way that does not compromise our own safety. Sometimes this is called “counter speech.”
In “5 Ways to Deal With Hate Speech Online” from Common Sense Media, they recommend these practical steps:
American Civic Life
American Civic Life
Some of the best practices for disrupting hate in both on- and offline settings is to speak directly to the person being targeted and offer support and encouragement.
Online, this could look like:
Most people experience various degrees of loneliness online, and those who are the target of hate are more likely to feel even more alone. As a digital interfaith leader, you might be just the person to show solidarity, kindness and compassion – even if you aren’t from the same background or share the same religious beliefs.
The dynamic online version of #Interfaith was created with generous support from and in partnership with ReligionAndPublicLife.org, a social learning community and mobile app designed to promote the public understanding of religion.