What are our choices when we encounter mean-spirited and hate-laden comments in response to news articles online? It’s a question we’ve been debating at the water cooler here at The Working Group, and one that’s been on my mind a lot lately as I scour the web daily for news of hate crime hot spots and stories of resistance. We wanted to open up the conversation to the NIOT community. Do we urge our newspapers to adopt more stringent comment policies? Should we join the conversation or ignore it, and if we ignore it, what message are we sending? Sadly, the examples of offensive speech and bigotry I’ve been encountering online are ample.
March 25, 2009 - 9:00pm
March 24, 2009 - 9:00pm
After a Palo Alto middle school student was the target of a student-led “I Hate [Student's Name]” Facebook group, some Silicon Valley parents are calling for a community dialogue about cyberbullying. According to the Silicon Valley Moms blog, over 100 young people participated in the online group. Many of the public Facebook posts “ranged from insulting, rude comments to actual threats of violence” against the bullied student. Although school district officials took measures to remove the Facebook group, some concerned residents are calling for a meeting about the harmful effects of intolerance and hate speech, and what the community can do to get to the root of the problem. Parent Roxane Dover encourages Silicon Valley to stand together against cyberbullying in Cyberbullying: whose responsibility is it?:
March 18, 2009 - 9:00pm
“[…] This could very well be our campus. Allowing these kinds of acts to go on without taking a stand against them is really just like saying it is okay. It is saying these acts normal. It is saying these acts are permissible. The perpetrators who committed this act and the victims should know that it is not. We say NO!
February 19, 2009 - 9:00pm
Not In Our Town is one of three films highlighted in Social Issue Documentary: The Evolution of Public Engagement, a recent Center for Social Media report by Barbara Abrash, Director of Public Policy Programs at the Center for Media, Culture, and History at New York University. Abrash uses the Not In Our Town films and campaign to show how innovative approaches in community outreach, social networking, multimedia, and civic engagement are breaking new ground in the realm of public media. Here are a few excerpts from Abrash’s report: “The evolution of [Not In Our Town] demonstrates how a documentary about the experience of one small city inspired cities and towns across the U.S. to adapt the NIOT model to local circumstances, and led to a loosely-structured alliance slated to become a sustainable virtual community.” [...]
February 19, 2009 - 9:00pm
Hundreds of Brockton residents gathered together at a local synagogue for a vigil held after a horrific hate crime hit the town last month. “Silence is death. And we can’t be silent any longer…we have to raise our voices as one strong voice,” said Rabbi Joshua Cohen at a rally held in Brockton, MA after a horrific hate crime last month left two people dead and one hospitalized. 22-year-old Keith Luke allegedly killed a 20-year-old woman and a 72-year-old man. Luke also allegedly raped and shot the 22-year-old sister of the woman who died. He was finally brought down by police after he crashed into two vehicles while trying to evade the cops in his van.