OWO, an awareness-raising platform to prevent hate speech and hate crimes

Although it may seem to us that we have a lot of information and sensitized spaces to promote a society free of prejudice, hate speech and hate crimes, unfortunately, are still frequent. Many people continue to be disrespected because of their origin, ethnicity, sexual identity, ideology, etc., which makes it necessary to continue developing awareness actions in all contexts.

With this objective in mind, OWO was created, a project led by the Andalucía Acoge Federation that is being developed in Andalusia, Ceuta and Melilla. This initiative aims to prevent hate speech and hate crimes, as well as to assist possible victims.

How does OWO work?

The project develops three main actions, firstly, the awareness and prevention of hate speech and hate crimes through information sessions. These are aimed at professionals from different fields so that they can work with the latest information available and contribute to preventing and reducing hate speech in their areas of activity.

The second action is to guide and inform victims or potential victims through training sessions and direct attention or through various audiovisual resources on networks, which help them to know how to proceed in the face of a hate attack. This includes social, legal and administrative information.

On many occasions, out of fear, people decide not to take action in the face of a discriminatory aggression. If they have the necessary information and the appropriate networks and instances to resolve it, they can begin to exercise that right and make the problems visible.

Thirdly, the project has implemented mechanisms for preventive, effective and immediate identification of the appearance of racist, xenophobic, misogynist and other types of discourse, behavior and messages. To this end, they analyze and monitor content that fosters hatred on social networks and the Internet in order to make cases visible and encourage the population to defend coexistence.

OWO has a very complete information content platform (in Spanish) with free access, many prepared for social networks, spaces in which it is very common to find messages that feed hate speech, but they are also the perfect scenario to combat these messages. Of its communicative resources, we highlight the following:

An outstanding quality of this project is that the population is the protagonist, becoming active agents in their environment and that, when faced with a situation of discrimination, they act. This is something that we also strongly encourage through DPC’s awareness-raising actions; we encourage the transformation of the information we are given into concrete actions to counteract discrimination. 

Positive communication on migration begins by recognizing those messages that misinform on the subject. We must have the tools to identify them, since many of the negative stereotypes are often normalized. What sometimes appears to be “not very offensive” may be fueling a prejudice that greatly harms people.

OWO seems to us to be a good platform for information and awareness to prevent hate speech and hate crimes. And we can all be agents of change and defend the spaces of coexistence!

You can access the resources of the OWO platform from the following link: acoge.org/recursos-y-descargas/