Countering Online Hate Speech And Cyber Bullying

Social Media Matters (SMM) as part of its YOLO (Youth Online Learning Organization) initiative conducted a workshop with students of Golaghat Law College on 1st October 2020. Arnika Singh and Pratishtha Arora, Program Managers at SMM were trainers for the online session with 57 participants.

The workshop started with a round of introduction of trainers and brief about the organizations (YOLO + SMM) where the motive of the workshop was also detailed. Under the initiative of #OnlineOctober SMM + YOLO is conducting workshops with colleges and students to generate awareness about cybercrime, cyber safety, cyber etiquette and how to follow security measures in the online world. It was observed that maximum participants used Facebook and Youtube as social media platform followed by Instagram. Arnika asked “has it ever happened that you find anything suspicious on your Social Media profiles?” To bring more clear understanding about the burning issues in the online spaces the discussion flowed to activate more engagement. Students raised their queries related to hacking, abuse, trolling, harassment were addressed during the workshop.

Countering Online Hate Speech And Cyber Bullying

Moving ahead, a video on ‘Digital Transformation’ talking about online stats was played. Thereafter a video on social media communication was also played and discussed further. Arnika explained the concept through a monologue where she highlighted upon the basics of communication (tone, body language, baritone, facial expression). A Swiggy video was shown to students on how we can counter hate speech with a better speech and to support the conversation another video was played – ‘How to stop Bullying?’

The next session highlighted upon safety and privacy of Social Media platforms and how it should be used carefully to keep the accounts safe and secure. Talking about privacy, the participants were run through the safety features of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and WhatsApp. During the final round one of the participants asked, ‘Google has located my address and my contact number and I don't know how it has happened?’ All queries and doubts relating to social media security and privacy, online abuse and cyber etiquettes were amicably cleared by the trainers. After the Q & A, the workshop wrapped up with a vote of thanks.

Online Safety is definitely one of the prime concerns but this has increased manifolds during the pandemic. Since, large population is dependent upon internet today thus safety becomes comes into play. The continuous efforts by team SMM and YOLO is to sensitize more and more people about digital safety.