Prejudice and hate speech have been observed throughout history and their dynamics and consequences have been scientifically researched, described and explained for decades before the digital era. Hostile portrayals and stereotyping of groups and minorities as „other, „different“ or dangerous can lead to dehumanization. This effect can escalate rapidly when hostile rhetoric reaches a large audience by means of broadcast, print or digital media and lead to real-life violent hate crimes, including genocide.
The primary purpose of this report is to summarize the current state of scientific knowledge that might help inform strategies to more effectively counter instances of hate speech online and make democratic message more visible. The focus of the present report is therefore to compare dynamics of hate speech and of counter-speech, which refers to any response to hateful content aiming to defy it.