New platform helps youth push back when they see hate online

·3 min read

OTTAWA, ON, May 18, 2022 /CNW/ - MediaSmarts announces today the release of My Voice is Louder Than Hate, a new resource that uses digital storytelling and meme-making tools to encourage youth to push back when they encounter hate online.

My Voice is Louder Than Hate - a new multimedia platform From MediaSmarts to help young people learn how to push back against prejudice online. (CNW Group/MediaSmarts/HabiloMedias)
My Voice is Louder Than Hate - a new multimedia platform From MediaSmarts to help young people learn how to push back against prejudice online. (CNW Group/MediaSmarts/HabiloMedias)

It's essential to teach youth to respond when they see any type of online hate because even so-called "casual prejudice" (such as racist memes that aren't aimed at a specific person) can help hate movements grow.

Recent research from MediaSmarts found that while the majority of youth feel it is important to speak up when they see hate online, many are reluctant to because they don't know how to respond; and they don't feel the adults in their lives are able to help them.

Youth also shared that they aren't sure what to do about the more subtle forms of casual prejudice they encounter on a regular basis:

"I wish we learned more about casual prejudice in school... I don't think most teenagers know they are being prejudiced with the things they say online." —Respondent, Young Canadians Pushing Back Against Hate Online

My Voice is Louder Than Hate is a multimedia platform that helps Grade 9 to 12 students explore ways to respond to prejudice online. They will learn about how others have pushed back against hate online; learn and practice how to respond in different situations; and share their own thoughts and experiences.

The platform features a digital storytelling tool that has students combine images, text, music and narration to make digital stories and a meme-maker that shows students how to use humour, when appropriate, to respond to prejudice.

"As digital citizens, we all have a role to play in shaping the norms of our online spaces, and that includes pushing back when we see hate and prejudice," said Kathryn Ann Hill, Executive Director of MediaSmarts. "We want to help youth feel empowered online and give educators the tools to help students learn how to respond when they see people or groups being targeted in this way."

Funded by Public Safety Canada's Community Resilience Fund, the online multimedia platform is accompanied by two lesson plans as well as a training workshop and guide to prepare teachers to deliver these lessons and deal with any difficult conversations that arise.

"In this digital age, it is imperative that we provide our young Canadians with the tools and language needed to stand up against any form of hatred online. Public Safety Canada is pleased to invest in a project that will provide our educators with the appropriate and effective training materials and classroom resources to equip our youth with the tools they need to keep their online community safe."
- The Honourable Marco Mendicino, Minister of Public Safety

About MediaSmarts

MediaSmarts is the national, bilingual, not-for-profit centre for digital and media literacy. For over 27 years, MediaSmarts has advanced digital and media literacy in Canadian schools, homes and communities, delivered high-quality digital and media literacy programs and resources, and conducted vital research that contributes to the development of informed public policy on issues related to media. www.mediasmarts.ca

SOURCE MediaSmarts/HabiloMedias

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