Hate speech is all over the internet. Fueled by trolls, extremists, false information, and a group mentality, this kind of cruelty against a religion, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender, race — or anything, really — has reached a fever pitch. And while some kids will be attacked, and some may be swept up in the powerful rhetoric, the vast majority of kids will be victims of everyday, casual exposure.
Practical ways to manage hate speech
- Report it. Hate speech violates most sites’ terms of service. You can report people without their knowing that you’re the one who turned them in.
- Block it. You can block people who use hate speech, but this can be tricky socially for some kids.
- Don’t share it. Forwarding any form of hate speech is wrong — but it can also get you into trouble because it can be traced back to you.
- Call it out.If your kids feel confident enough to confront the hate speech poster without fear of attack, then they should do it.
- Fight it. Nurture the values of empathy and compassion in your kids. Challenge them to consider how other people feel and how they would want to be treated.
- Read age-appropriate news from reputable sources. Try these best news sources for kids.
- Learn more. Hate often stems from ignorance. Media designed for your kids’ ages can help them learn about history and people’s struggles in terms that they can understand and relate to.
-Caroline Knorr, Common Sense Media
Read more: Where Kids Find Hate Online
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