Breaking Down the Social Media Divides

A Guide for Individuals and Communities to Address Hate Online

What can be done to address the presence of hate on the internet and in social media, and its increasing volume and reach? This new report and resource kit from WACC Europe, the European region of the World Association for Christian Communication, offers case studies, tips and strategies, as well as resources for further action and specific examples of how people have responded to hateful online content.

Download the full report (PDF, 6MB)

It is also possible to download the individual sections of the report

Understanding Hate Speech

What is hate speech?
Why do we hate online?
Hate speech and hate crimes
Fake news and disinformation campaigns

Responding to Hateful Content Online

Codes of Conduct
Education and Media Literacy
Guides for actions as individuals and organisations



Explaining hate speech
Guides for counter-speech
Working with young people
Information for journalists

From Hate Speech to Hope Speech

The Protestant Academy of Berlin developed workshops on responding to hate speech from a Christian perspective, targeted at multipliers who can replicate the workshops in their own settings. More information about the project and how the workshops can be adapted for groups of all sizes is available here:

From Hate Speech to Hope Speech:
Timo Versemann, the project coordinator, explains how the workshops work (pdf)
“Hope not Hate” workshops:
Ideas for a workshop outline (pdf)
More information about the “Hope not Hate” project:

More information about the WACC Europe report

The report and resource kit come out of a one-year project to identify and promote strategies to counter online hate speech particularly focused on refugees and migrants, supported by the Otto per Mille Fund of the Waldensian Church in Italy.

The purpose was to identify social media methodologies and campaigns that effectively bridge attitudinal divides on migration and other divisive issues in European society, to promote the voices of refugees and migrants and other marginalised people through social media platforms, and inspire multi-organizational campaigns that support tolerance and inclusion.

The focus on social media comes out of previous media monitoring conducted in seven European countries by WACC Europe and the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe. The results of this project, Changing the Narrative: Media Representation of refugees and Migrants in Europe – revealed general patterns of invisibility and misrepresentation and highlighted the need for direct inclusion of the voices and opinions of refugees and migrants in stories about them.

Research consultant: Francesca Pierigh.

Project Steering Committee: Stephen Brown (WACC Europe President), Ralf Peter Reimann (WACC Europe Vice-President, Evangelical Church in Rhineland), Torsten Moritz, (General Secretary, Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe), Timo Versemann (Protestant Academy of Berlin), Agnieszka Godfrejów-Tarnogórska (Evangelical-Augsburg Church in Poland), Sara Speicher (WACC Global regional liaison for Europe). Netzteufel summary translations from German and workshop outline by Jane Stranz.

This project was made possible with financial support from the Otto per Mille fund (OPM) of the Waldensian Church in Italy.