That’s why it’s important to talk to kids about casual prejudice which is the use of words or phrases that are negative towards a particular group - and help them learn how to push back in situations where they’re not sure if the person meant to be hurtful.
Here are some tips on how to help your kids respond to casual prejudice online:
One of the barriers to youth pushing back against prejudice is not wanting to over-react, particularly if they feel their peers were just ‘joking around.’ Humour, however, can often be a cover for intentional bullying and prejudice. In this lesson, students analyze media representations of relational aggression, such as sarcasm and put-down humour, then consider the ways in which digital communication may make it harder to recognize irony or satire and easier to hurt someone’s feelings without knowing it. Students then consider how humour may be used to excuse prejudice and discuss ways of responding to it.
Youth are often reluctant to “call out” their friends or peers who say or do prejudiced things online because they’re afraid that others might get mad at them or because they’re not sure if the person intended to be prejudiced. Putting someone on the spot for something they’ve said or done is more likely to make them feel guilty or angry and not likely to change their mind around the impact of their actions, and it can also make the situation about the person who’s “calling out” instead of what the other person said or did.
This lesson introduces students to the idea of “calling in” – reaching out to someone privately with the assumption that they didn’t mean to do any harm – and explores how this idea can be applied both to casual prejudice online and when responding to stereotyping and other negative representations in media. Finally, students explore the different benefits of “calling out” and “calling in”, and consider when the two strategies would be most appropriate.
This lesson plan explores the relationship between technology and the law by examining how the criminal law responds to technologically facilitated violence (TFV). Not only will it enhance students’ understanding of the legal meaning of key terms such as “violence”, it will also engage them in dialogue about the surrounding social and legal issues and the ways in which new and emerging technologies are affecting the relationship between the law and technology. Through the exploration of Canadian case studies, and subsequent discussion, students will develop their knowledge on legal implications of various forms of TFV such as harassing communications, criminal harassment, unauthorized use of computer systems, non-consensual disclosure of intimate images (sometimes referred to as “revenge porn”), and hate propaganda. Students will use materials from The eQuality Project’s “Technology-Facilitated Violence: Criminal Case Law” database to research recent Canadian case law involving TFV, better understand the concept of “violence” and the wide range of acts that fall within TFV, as well as the available criminal legal resources and potential outcomes for those affected.
In its early days, the internet was often spoken of as a free marketplace of ideas, where everyone’s views and thoughts could be shared and compete on an equal footing. Today it’s an essential tool for accessing information and services, but its value as a vehicle of civic engagement and debate has in many ways declined.
Most kids see hate and prejudice online, and most of them say it’s important to do something about it. But whether you’ve seen a video that’s full of racist conspiracy theories or have just seen a friend share an offensive meme, it can be hard to know what to do about it.
A Guide for Trusted Adults is based on YWCA’s consultation with Canadian girls and young women about their concerns and the issues they face online and on social media platforms and the ways they want the adults in their lives to support them.
Along with images of natural disasters and violence, one all-too-common news item that can be distressing to kids is reports of hate crimes. Seeing or hearing about hate-motivated assaults and vandalism of homes, cemeteries and places of worship in media, can lead to fear and anxiety in young people, especially if they belong to a vulnerable group. In many cases, the effect will be worse because news isn’t the only place Canadian kids see hate and racism: almost half see hateful content online at least once a month, and one in six sees it every day.
The last few weeks have shed an unprecedented light on the use of digital media to spread and inspire hatred. Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the perpetrator in the attacks on Canada’s National War Memorial and Parliament buildings, appears to have been motivated in part by exposure to online postings by a self-described member of the Islamic state, and the Federal government has already stated that it intends to create tools to remove online content that promotes the “proliferation of terrorism.”