Charities coalition ramps up campaign to combat hate online

A coalition of more than 40 charities has stepped up its campaign to tackle online hate.

The Charities Against Hate (CAH) group, which includes Barnardo’s, Mind and Help for Heroes, has issued a raft of recommendations to combat hate online and support victims.

Parkinson’s UK, Stonewall and Youth Women’s Trust are among other charities involved.

Action is being called for by charities, after it emerged that the majority of voluntary sector staff and beneficiaries have witnessed online hate.

Being called for is swifter access to support, with victims of harassment and discrimination being given direct access to help from a social media platform employee.

Stricter penalities and life times bans for hate online also need to be considered at an early stage.

“Social media plays an increasingly important and often positive role in our lives,” said Aisling Green, the digital marketing strategy manager at Parkinson’s UK who leads the CAH’s product recommendations group.

“But platforms are miles behind other companies in supporting people who are harmed or put in danger in the course of using a company’s products - instead, victims find it hard to know how to report harassment, and are likely to be met with silence or a painfully slow response.”

Further recommendations are for charities to provide mental health support and resources to social media staff that are affected by moderating hate and harmful content.

Young Women’s Trust participation manager, who leads CAH’s lived experience group, added: “It has been awful to hear just how much people’s mental health, wellbeing, and confidence has been impacted by being subjected to hate online, and seeing hate being directed at others.

“We’ve also found that people often don’t report it, because they don’t have any confidence that they would be taken seriously or that they’d receive any support. If the sort of hate we see on social platforms were happening on the street, it would be unacceptable, so why do we let it happen through some of the world’s biggest companies?”

CAH was formed last year and has also developed a toolkit to help victims of online hate to lobby MPs.

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