4 Practical Solutions to Protect Children from Online Racism!, Dealing with social media and offline racism has become a daily struggle for many. And we were pained even more when we discovered that it’s widespread and growing. Ever since the Coronavirus outbreak and the Covid-19 pandemic, people have used digital devices and the Internet more than ever. And as a result, online racism, a sub-category of cyberbullying, grew considerably during the pandemic. More users, more time spent online, and more cyberbullying.
Percentage of teenagers in the US targeted by types of hate speech on social media, April 2018 / Source: Statista
Solutions to Protect Children from Online Racism!
There is no excuse for racism. Racism can take many different shapes and manifest itself wherever. It involves hostility, prejudice, or discrimination aimed at someone due to their race, ethnicity, religion, or country of origin.
Racism is frequently linked to abusive or harassing behavior. But it doesn’t always mean predators must be aggressive or frightening. Consider racial nicknames and jokes. Or think about circumstances when individuals might be excluded from teams or activities due to their origins.
People’s behaviors and attitudes can both be indicators of racism. Organizations and systems may also reflect it. Sometimes, it is so lowkey that it won’t even come to attention. Racism isn’t always easy to see. For instance, a hiring manager might peruse a list of candidates and choose not to contact those with particular surnames. A similar event can happen among children as well, for example, when kids choose not to invite a classmate to their chat groups just because of their skin color or accent, etc.
Racism is directed at an individual based on their identities, such as race, gender, religion, or beliefs. Everyone has different methods to tackle racism on social media. Although some ways of responding and efforts to limit the reach of racist posts may backfire and actually amplify attacks. That is why we have gathered a list of things to do that will reduce the impact and reach of racist content.
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4 Practical Solutions to Alleviate the Effects of Online Racism:
Be Conscious About What You’re Sharing
So, you’ve decided to be an intervening bystander and condemn a racist post. Chances are, you shared it on your timeline and commented about it. This could in fact, make matters worse! You had all the good intentions, but re-sharing a hateful or racist post will expose it to a new audience. Even though people might be against racism just like you, they might feel offended and share it without making the correct comments. Instead of sharing a piece of content and criticizing it, amplify the voices of the victims.
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Address the Person Who Shared the Content
You have every right to defend yourself publicly if you feel attacked, but messaging PERSONALLY the person who has made the racist remark is usually a great way of controlling the situation. Let them explain and clarify their point of view when you talk to the person. There might be a misunderstanding.
Point Out Facts and Dismantle Inaccuracies
Instead of hitting back at them, we encourage a dialogue filled with facts that point people in the right direction and highlight inaccuracies. Don’t be afraid to point out where someone is wrong about you and your identity. By speaking up and standing for yourself, you can raise awareness and help others not feel alone.
Report if You Feel Attacked
Most people don’t report content that is not about them, leaving the victim alone. Most social media platforms can’t filter posts based on words before the contents are posted. Even if they can, racist individuals always find loopholes to deliver their attacks. What if someone asking for support quotes a racist remark said to them? Moreover, there are way too many photos that are posted every day, and keeping track of each of their contents is impossible.
Facebook claims it detects 90% of hate speech and removes them. Yet, people still demand social media act more and put pressure on platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. It is never too late to stop the harm and start mending. Be proud of yourself and your background, know that you have every right to exist, live, and be happy, and do not let anyone tell you otherwise.