Fake news and hate speech are a growing problem in social media. According to a German Forsa survey (PDF, 275 KB) (external link, opens in a new window) conducted at the end of 2018, 47% of all respondents reported being confronted with hate comments in social media, and the number jumped to 85% among those between 14 and 24 years of age. Even local politicians are increasingly being targeted by hate speech online. Against this backdrop, the Hamburg municipal libraries have teamed up with ichbinhier e.V., Germany’s largest counterspeech organisation, devoted to strengthening a culture of democratic debate and encouraging citizens to show civic courage and practise counterspeech in digital space.
To this end, local residents will be invited to their city district libraries to attend info events with representatives from the municipal administration and the justice and police departments to shed light on the issue from various perspectives, present possibilities for action, and discuss the framework conditions for a coordinated approach. Local groups, such as associations, neighbourhood assistance groups, self-help organisations and interested citizens, can also participate in so-called “boot camps”. These are simulation games developed by ichbinhier e.V. which simulate discussions on social networks and demonstrate how these debates can be managed more objectively. In some of the district libraries, the project will be accompanied by meeting places for the #youarehere community. Under the supervision of media educators, these events will make it easier to discuss fake news and hate speech in an analogue, protected space. The experiences gained from the project will be shared with other public libraries around Germany.
Project title: #dubisthier – a joint project by ichbinhier e.V. and the Hamburger Municipal Libraries Foundation to strengthen debate competence in social media
Partner: ichbinhier e.V. Hamburg
Hamburg Municipal Libraries Foundation
Hühnerposten 120097 Hamburg
E-mail to Christoph Gärtner
Website of Hamburg Libraries Foundation (external link, opens in a new window)