Charities urged to do more to protect beneficiaries from online hate

Eight out of ten charity beneficiaries experience hate online or have witnessed others be targeted, a survey has revealed.

Of those surveyed 81% said they had experienced or witness online abuse or bullying. This made 61% feel anger, more than half (51%) feel frustrated and a similar proportion (47%) feel upset.

Around half of those who had experienced online hate said it had a lasting effect on them.

The survey has been carried out by voluntary sector coalition, Charities Against Hate, which questioned 224 charity beneficiaries.

Their survey also found that more than three quarters (77%) of charity staff have not received training to support beneficiaries deal with online hate.

The findings have been released to promote the publication of the coalition’s Guide to Best Practice in Ethical Digital Marketing and Comms Practices.

Recommendations for charities to visibly address hate speech on social media where appropriate as well as promote positive, diverse and inclusive content on their channels.

In addition, wellbeing support is needed for charity’s social media moderators.

To raise further awareness of positive messaging on social media Charities Against Hate is running a social media campaign using #ShareYourStory.

"While the increased use of technology to keep us connected during the pandemic has been a positive step, we have also seen a drastic increase in hate speech online,” said Simon Francis, chair of the Public Relations & Communications Association Charity Group.

“This hate speech affects almost every group of society - no matter what cause you are fighting for, it is a sad reality that putting your head above the parapet can be met with abuse.

"Today's research reveals the extent of the problem and enough is enough. The first step is for charities and their supporters themselves to take action.

"The recommendations published today will help the sector do more to address hate speech online and in the new year Charities Against Hate will be making recommendations for media owners to follow."

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