New platform to help youth respond to online hate

News Release - HabiloMedia announces the launch of My Voice is Louder than Hate, a new resource that uses digital storytelling and meme creation tools to encourage youth to take action against online hate.

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Press release - HabiloMédias launches My voice is stronger than hatea new resource that uses digital storytelling and meme creation tools to encourage youth to take action against online hate.

Teaching youth to respond to any type of online hate is essential because even so-called "casual bias" (such as racist memes that are not directed at a specific person) can contribute to the spread of hate movements.

According to one recent study conducted by HabiloMedia, while the majority of youth feel it is important to intervene when they witness online hate, many are reluctant to do so because they don't know how to respond and believe that the adults in their lives can't help them.

Youth also reported that they did not know what to do about the more subtle forms of incidental bias that they regularly encountered.

"I wish I had learned more about incidental bias in school. I don't think most teens know that they are being prejudiced because of what they say online. [Respondent, Young Canadians Online: Pushing Back Against Hate

My voice is stronger than hate is a multimedia platform that helps students in grades 9e at the 12e year to explore different ways to respond to online bias. They will learn how others have struggled with online hate, learn how to respond in different situations and practice, and share their thoughts and experiences.

The platform offers a digital storytelling tool that allows students to combine images, text, music, and narration to create digital stories, as well as a meme creator that shows them how to use humor, when appropriate, to respond to prejudice.

"As online citizens, we all have a role to play in shaping the norms of our online spaces, and that includes intervening when we see hate and prejudice, " said Kathryn Ann Hill, Executive Director of HabiloMedia.

"We want to empower young people as they navigate online and give educators the tools they need to help students learn how to respond when they see individuals or groups being targeted in this way."

The program was made possible through financial contributions from Public Safety Canada's Community Resiliency Fund. Two lesson plans accompany the online multimedia platform, as well as a training workshop and guide to prepare teachers to deliver these lessons and manage difficult conversations that may arise.

HabiloMedia is a Canadian non-profit organization recognized for its expertise in digital literacy and media education. For 25 years, HabiloMedia has been contributing to media education and digital literacy across Canada, both in schools and at home. Visit habilomedias.ca to learn more.

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