#defyhatenow Media Mentions

Cameroon Tribune online: Social Media Hate Speech Mitigation Handbook

The updated field manual by Defyhatenow is being presented to stakeholders in Yaounde from July 22-23, 2022.

“The objective of “Field Guide on Social Media Hate Speech Mitigation in Cameroon” is to help community leaders, civil society organisations and people working on the ground to understand and define hate speech concepts, and plan and organise sensitisation events,” explained Ngala Desmond Ngala. Defyhatenow’s Country Project Manager for West and Central Africa spoke in Yaounde, Cameroon on July 22, 2022 at the start of a two-day seminar to present Defyhatenow’s social media conflict mitigation handbook.
Understanding Hate Speech
The gathering seeks to enable stakeholders to understand hate speech and how to counter it; appreciate misinformation and disinformation and how to tackle them, as well as how to combat hate speech at minimal level. Defyhatenow hopes to see the manual used in schools, communities with difficult access to information, by government, and the National Commission for Bilingualism and Multiculturalism.
Seeking Partnerships
“We hope to work with the Ministries of Secondary and Basic Education, and Higher Education for the handbook to be incorporated in their curricula. Citizenship is currently taught in secondary schools, but some of the textbooks are not condensed to local reality. This is why some schools were invited to the launch of the manual. Apart from its importance, we look forward to seeing the handbook used in promoting peace,” Ngala Desmond stressed.
Harmful Words, Expressions
“We assembled examples of hate words and expressions commonly used in Cameroon to draw attention to the harm they cause. In their place, we proposed expressions that promote harmonious coexistence,” explained Marie Noel Guichi, a journalist and communication consultant who worked on the document. According to
her, the field guide is meant for the general public because hate speech is employed by all age groups. “Hate speech has been aggravated by the advent of social media. We often share posts for fun without realising the harm they cause,” said Guichi. The handbook is accompanied by fliers and posters promoting peace. It also recaps Cameroon and internal statutes on hate speech.
Hate Speech Drivers
“Though hate speech has been around in Cameroon for some time, it was amplified by the 2018 presidential election,” recalled Dr Nkou Atangana Jean-Pierre Loic, a participant at the launch and Coordinator of the Pan-African Youth Network for Culture and Peace. “Promoting peace, social cohesin and harmonious coexistence is a major step towards addressing hate speech. If we cannot live together peacefully, hate speech
will continue to spread,” Dr Nkou Atangana warned.
Government Support
“A team of consultants and Defyhatenow staff wrote the manual. This is a revised version – the first was published in 2020. The Ministry of Youth and Civic Education acquired 200 copies of the pioneer edition for distribution to …

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