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Why should we bother reporting online hate?

[May 2020]

With our socially-distanced lives in isolation becoming the new-norm, I am sure you have found yourself online far more than you used to. From the minute I wake up to the moment I go to sleep, I find myself swimming through a sea of WhatsApp messages, texts, Zoom calls, webinars, online meetings, virtual pub quizzes, endless Facetimes with family and friends and sometimes a short break to... scroll through social media!

With our new lives online more than ever it’s really important that we are protecting the platforms that we are using to remain safe and inclusive for everyone. The online space is an environment where hateful rhetoric is rife and if left unreported can fester and spread. Hateful rhetoric repurposes itself for new audiences and new platforms. From the start of lockdown, hate crime on public transport may have reduced, but in turn has led to a spike in online incidents.

‘Zoom-bombing’ is the new phrase coined to describe security breaches on Zoom calls. An online Synagogue service was subject to antisemitic abuse in the chat section of the online call just last month. Zoom has since released new security updates in an aim to curb this discriminatory behaviour, but this has not stopped online hate crime from rearing its ugly head on other platforms. TikTok, the home of viral videos, has just this week seen a video mocking the Holocaust receive over 600,000 views. TikTok has received numerous complaints about the video but it is yet to be taken down.

So why bother? If the social media giants won’t listen then what’s the point in reporting something online? Well without public pressure these posts will never be removed. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have become increasingly more efficient and thorough in removing online hate but there is still a lot of work to do. Also, reporting is really easy- just a few clicks of a button and the post could be taken down.

We all have a social responsibility to ensure that the platforms we are using are inclusive for all those using them. Below we have created a visual guide for reporting on all different social media platforms. However, if you report a post online and it isn’t removed, you can send a screenshot to any of the below organisations who are dedicated to support specific communities.

CST: Antisemitism

Tell MAMA: Anti-Muslim Hate

Galop: for anything targeting the LGBTQ+ community

True Vision: for all forms of racism

Stand Up!’s visual guide for reporting online hate

- Talia Pins, Project Coordinator at Stand Up!




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