Thursday Talk – Handling Harmful Content Online

On Thursday, October 14th, Aisalkyn Botoeva, Research, Evaluation, & Learning Specialist at Search for Common Ground, led a discussion on “Handling Harmful Content Online: Cross-National Perspectives of Users Affected by Conflict.”

Harmful online content – including hate speech, false news, cyberbullying, and inflammatory rumors – can spread quickly and reach millions. Though these points are well-documented, what is less known by researchers, tech practitioners and policy makers is how individuals and groups living in conflict settings respond to harmful content online.

Search for Common Ground aimed to address this knowledge gap by exploring the experiences of social media users in seven countries, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Kenya, Tanzania, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. The study revealed a wide range of social media tactics used by individuals and groups in close proximity to violent conflict. Although responses vary, the majority of participants indicated that they want to feel a sense of ownership and agency when tackling harmful content online.

Click here to access the full report on our sister platform ConnexUs.

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