Updated: May 9, 2020
Interview of Lithuanian Group after the Training Course in Berlin "Staying safe online, youth workers and digital security" in 2020
According to your opinion, what drives online hate speech?
There are a lot of factors, which drive online hate speech. The most improtant in our opinion are these: anonimity, lack of responsibility, willing to be “better” than the others. Let's find out, how these factors interfere with hate speech.
Anonymity. Internet gives us a possibility to stay incognito. Thus we can judge the others and not be revealed. When we are incognito, we cannot see a “victim”, who stays on the other side of screen. Probably we will never see that person in reality. It stimulates us to be more courage, because we will not be founded or punished.
Lack of responsibility. We perceive in most cases violence as a physical activity (slap, kick, beat etc.). Often we underestimate verbal violence power. Lithuanians even has a phrase “it's just empty words” to describe it. Unfortunately most of us don't understand that words can hurt you even more than a sword.
Willing to be “better” than the others. Some of people have low self-esteem. To compensate it they begin to humiliate the others for some reasons (sometimes even without it!). By doing it, they feel “stronger” (compared with humiliated ones).
So, these three factors can make a lethal cocktail, which consequences can be dangerous…
What is the role of youth organizations/NGOs in the prevention of "online violence"?
We think that the main thing what can NGOs do is people education. First of all we mean youth. Young people are most active in virtual space, their personalities are still not mature (it means they take risks more often and have lack of responsibility, youngsters are more spontaneaus as well as). Adults have also be educated, how to cope with online violence (everyone can be victim).
What can we do to ensure digital security of young people? What are your tips for staying safe online?
The main thing is youth education. Nowadays influence of virtual technologies increase everyday even more. Some people even say, that even babies born with a smartphones. That is why it is needed to teach young people some digital security basics, such as: what is a good password, why it is not allowed to reveal your data to a random person etc. Our advices, how to stay safe in online space:
Create a strong password.
Don't go to some websites, where you can get viruses.
If you want to publish something online, please think about the consequences before.