Tackling hate speech

⌚︎ 2 min.

Learning resource

Tackling hate speech

Tackling hate speech through theory, research activity, analysis and creativity
Proposal for use
Prevention of radicalisation
Target group
Age 15-25
Pedagogical method
Lecture and discussion
  • Understand what hate speech is, in a safe environment.
  • Develop knowledge on hate speech so that it can be detected and fought.
  • Develop critical thinking and attitudes, such as solidarity to hate speech victims.

1. An overview of hate speech by the teacher: what hate speech is, the legal framework and examples for discussion (a sample presentation is attached which can be amended to match the contextual and legal framework of each country). In the presentation, images are included for discussion as to whether something constitutes hate speech or not. 

2. An exercise through which participants peruse the online world through different platforms such as Facebook and YouTube to pick out what they consider to be hate speech. Teachers will pay a specific attention so that learners do not only choose Islamic hate speech against homosexuality, women, Christians, Jewish people or other branches of Islam. All forms of hate speech have to be considered. This will be done in groups of 3-4 persons. After they present their findings to the plenary and show and discuss what they chose and why they chose it. The teacher will facilitate discussions.

3. A reflection on the ways in which they consider that hate speech can affect individuals, groups and society more generally. The tool used is wall writing, poster or collage, to develop their creativity skills. This method facilitates communication regarding issues that students may not feel comfortable expressing in words because, for example, they have had personal experience of hate speech.

Human and material resources
  • Access to the internet.
  • At least 3 computers to look for instances of hate speech. If computers are unavailable, participants can use their phones.
  • A teacher with previous knowledge on the topic of hate speech (cf. pp 7-8, 148-154 of the Council of Europe's handbook 'Bookmarks'.
  • A presentation on hate speech (attached)
Evaluation of the learning process

Participants have an open evaluative discussion on:

  1. what is hate speech;
  2. if/how their understanding of hate speech has changed;
  3. setting out what they consider to be the three major reasons of hate speech;
  4. setting out what they consider to be the three major harms in hate speech;
  5. how they conceptualise their role in tackling hate speech.
Suggestions for follow-up

Ask learners to work for the following month on looking for examples of hate speech online but also through other media such as television, magazines and newspapers. Ask them to collect these examples and compile them into a collage as a basis for further discussion.

Awareness module
Pedagogical modalities
Discussion within classroom
Use in group
Number of participants
Aequitas Human Rights
Date of creation
Language(s) available


Portuguese, Portugal









Hate speech
Human rights
Media literacy
Critical thinking