18 Apr 2018, 4:30 p.m.
Out of a fear that the 2015 general elections were going to be violent, several initiatives were rolled out by organisations to avert such possibility. One such initiative was the monitoring and countering of hate speech online. Building on the experience of iHub Kenya’s Umati project, CITAD mounted a modified version to monitor and counter hate speech during the electioneering campaign in 2015 and later added additional features to monitor the post-election period. More recently, functionality was added to deal with the propagation of fake images in the context of new conflicts which have implications for the 2019 general elections.
This presentation first illustrates the link between events offline and hate speech online, allowing triggers of hate speech to be identified. Secondly, it reports on analysis of the data fed into a data-driven advocacy that has led to greater engagement of stakeholders with efforts to curb hate speech in the Nigerian media space. Thirdly, technology allowed not only monitoring of the flow of hate speech, but also a better understanding of the people engaged in it, the language deployed, the gender of both perpetrators and victims, the channels used in propagating it and a growing lexicon, all of which provide critical information for designing appropriate responses to countering as well as articulating strategies for curbing hate speech in the country.
Finally, simple tools such as Google image search were used to counter the propagation of misinformation-based images and graphics that were used to generate a growth dynamic of hate speech in the country.
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