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Home » Projects » Hate Free Culture, Choose Your Information, Encyclopaedia Tackling Migration — Czech Republic

Hate Free Culture, Choose Your Information, Encyclopaedia Tackling Migration — Czech Republic

 

In the CEE region, several campaigns were launched in 2015 and 2016 as a reaction to the amount of hoaxes and hate speech abounding in social media.

The first, biggest and most successful campaign tackling hate speech in the Czech Republic is Hate Free Culture. Unlike other government projects, even in its early stages, it has gained many sympathisers, followers and replicators and it has changed the online behavior of social media users in a positive way. The campaign combined elements of counter narratives (deconstructing hoaxes), as well as alternative narratives (putting forward positive stories), accompanied by offline events such as ‘Open breakfasts’, inviting locals and foreigners to network, or panel discussions, conferences, workshops etc. The campaign is very popular also due to its art of using humour and non-violent language.

In January 2017, an exhaustive Migration Encyclopaedia tackling migration appeared online. It was initiated by the Student Movement for Solidarity in collaboration with 5 Prague universities. The encyclopaedia provides rigorous analyses of migration to European countries, exploring this phenomenon in all its complexity from political, historical, sociocultural and legal perspectives. Narratives of migrants are also employed to sensibilise the public with real lives and real people. The biggest contribution of this project is perhaps providing migration experts the space in which to explain the entire context and historical-political background of the ‘migration crisis’, which the media have failed to present to the wider public. Another asset is perhaps a very clear differentiation between facts, definitions, analysis, interpretation, assessment and subjective comments and the usage of simple and concise language.

Universities from other cities have started to be active in the matter as well. In 2016 the Faculty of Art at Masaryk University launched the campaign ‘Migration, minorities and intercultural dialogue’, bringing the idea of migration as a frequent phenomenon in the history of human evolution and the image of Islam in all its complexity and variety of forms, practices and interpretations. In addition to seminars and workshops on Islam and migration, the campaign offers pro bono services such as translation and interpretation provided by graduates of foreign languages or Czech language lessons for foreigners.
The same year, 9 students from the Faculty of Social Studies from the same university launched the campaign ‘Choose your information’, aiming to improve the media literacy of high school students by using a short and simple ‘surfing guide’. They visit high schools and debate with students on the topics of conspiracy theories, hoaxes, and hate speech in media. They explain how facts can be differentiated from fake news. http://www.hatefree.cz/ http://encyklopedie.org/ http://migrace.phil.muni.cz/ http://zvolsi.info/


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