The hate speech barometer
A game in which participants stand on a line between two corners of the room to signify how likely they think it is that a hate speech statement will lead to acts of discrimination, hostility or violence.
About the exercise
- Plenary exercise
- Time required : 65 minutes
- Themes : Freedom of religion or belief (FORB), freedom of expression, hate speech, Rabat plan of action.
- Target audience : Suitable for any audience for whom an understanding of the legal framework for hate speech is important. Requires a willingness to participate in participatory ‘game’ style learning. Assumes a basic understanding of FORB and of freedom of expression among participants.
To help participants understand when freedom of expression crosses the line into unlawful hate speech/dangerous speech, using the threshold test of the Rabat Plan of Action as a tool.
A game in which participants stand on a line between two corners of the room to signify how likely they think it is that a hate speech statement will lead to acts of discrimination, hostility or violence. The game illustrates the difficulty of defining hate speech and helps participants identify the factors that contribute to determining whether a statement constitutes illegal hate speech (as opposed to unethical but legal speech). The game concludes with a short knowledge input in which participants learn about the Rabat plan’s threshold test for determining this.
Source: Katherine Cash, FORB Learning Platform. Inspired by and adapted from Minority Rights Group, ‘The Hate Speech Crisis: Ways to start fixing it – A toolkit for civil society organisations and activists’ 2022.