Over Zero Founder and Executive Director Rachel Brown discusses hate and dangerous speech in the U.S. on CBS “Beyond Tolerance” special.
“Speech becomes dangerous when it influences people, when it changes how they act - how they see themselves, how they understand the world. So we can’t always control what someone said or what gets reported in the media, but what we can push back on is how do people respond to it.”
Over Zero’s Founder and Executive Director explains the importance of using communication to incite peace rather than violence, and the value of using an interdisciplinary approach to do so.
“The current knowledge is a helpful start, but it’s really not enough. We need a new approach to solve this problem…The idea here is to figure out what will work. To use an integrated, rigorous, scientific approach that is interdisciplinary so we can bring all the knowledge and skills to bear to figure out what will work - because we know that communication is powerful. We see it used to incite violence. We need to be better and more strategic at using communication to prevent violence, discrimination, and hatred and to use communication to create an active peace and come together to solve our most critical challenges.”
Over Zero Founder and Executive Director Rachel Brown speaks at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Global Issues Forum
“We’ve talked a lot about extremism on this panel and throughout this day, and I think it’s important to remember that genocide, atrocities happen not just because of a small group of people who have been moved all the way to the extreme. They happen because others support them; they happen because others create an environment in which that type of behavior is approved, and also because so many people stay silent. “
In a Toda Peace Institute Policy Brief, Over Zero provides readers with approaches to counteract hateful and dangerous speech online and a deeper understanding of this speech and the factors that enable it to resonate, spread, and drive offline action.
“Throughout history, as new channels for communication have emerged, they have tapped into and interacted with the surrounding context and dynamics, at times fomenting and amplifying intergroup tensions, protest movements, and violence - even genocide. Social media, as a new communication platform, inevitably impacts the information ecosystem and broader offline context. In so doing, these platforms create both challenges and opportunities for responding to harmful communications online.”
Over Zero’s Laura Livingston and Rachel Brown propose a new approach to assessing and addressing the impact of changing technology on violence.
“This paper proposes a new approach to examining the role of ICTs [Information and Communication Technologies] in conflict, which combines interdisciplinary insights on intergroup conflict with a practical, on-the-ground perspective of communication and narrative dynamics. We hope to equip practitioners and researchers to better evaluate existing and prepare for new ICTs, to mitigate risks, and to maximize ICTs’ potential to drive peace and positive social change.”