We look at how Charities Against Hate continues to support organisations dealing with online hate in 2021
In December 2020, anti-hatred coalition Charities Against Hate (CAH) revealed that more than 80% of charity beneficiaries had experienced online abuse. Yet, concerningly, more than three quarters of charity staff had not received any training on how to support them in dealing with it.
This is the very issue that CAH was created to tackle. Bringing together 37 organisations across the sector, the group launched in July 2020 with the aim of making social media a more inclusive place for all. To do so, CAH planned to recommend key changes for platforms so they would better support the people and communities that use them.
One year on, and 16 recommendations later, CAH has done exactly that. It has worked with MPs, politicians, and governments to address the issue, produced resources to support charity staff and beneficiaries , and provided toolkits on how to deal with trolls and end online abuse for good.
The task, CAH knows, is no easy fix, but with these guides, the group hopes to provide charities with a starting point, understanding that the first step to tackling any problem is often the hardest.
Perhaps the coalition’s biggest success has been its #ShareYourStory initiative. Under that hashtag, CAH has created a space for people in the sector to share their experiences of online hate safely, hoping to raise awareness of the impact hateful words can have.
There is now a guide, developed by the coalition, to help people share their story in the most comfortable way for them, giving tips on how to write it down or speak it aloud on video. Those who wish to stay anonymous can email their story to the coalition directly, allowing it to speak up on their behalf.
Giving people this platform to share their stories, and bringing them together to eradicate online hate, has been one of the most appreciated aspects of membership, according to a recent survey by the group.
One said: “[The best thing about CAH is] being able to connect with other organisations and champion the involvement of the people we serve in decision-making aspects of the project.” Another added: “I like that the idea that we can work together to make a change.”
Indeed, the group has empowered charities to tackle a problem that, as one member said, isn’t going away anytime soon. More than four in five charities within the collective say they have used the group’s resources to inform their work, while three quarters have shared them with colleagues. The coalition hopes to bring change about sooner rather than later. But, despite the significant inroads it has already made, the group acknowledges that there is still a long way to go before the problem of online hate is resolved.
As it begins its second year, CAH remains focused in its mission and promises to continually ensure its combined efforts will have an impact for the staff and the communities it supports.