Hate speech more dangerous than weapon- German Ambassador
Marina Modi, Director of defyhatenow, German Amb. Van Thiel (centre) hold the social media hate speech mitigation handbook (photo by Kidega Livingstone):
By Kidega Livingstone
The German ambassador to South Sudan has warned that hate speech is more dangerous than weapon in escalation of conflict.
Speaking during the launch of the social media hate speech mitigation field guide by defyhatenow Organization, the German Ambassador to South Sudan Van Thiel said that it was the responsibility of South Sudan to fight against hate speech in order to bring peace and harmony among the people because hate speech is dangerous than weapon.
He described hate speech as “deadly as AK47 and poison” if people have been incited to hate each other.
“This weapon (hate speech) should be taken away from those who abuse speech because it can be something that is infested culture it cannot go away like AK47, I can take from a person but hate speech is more dangerous than the weapon, the hate is planted in the heart, it goes on for years and that’s why it’s important to defy it now,” ambassador Jan Hendrik Van Thiel said.
He emphasized that it was very important to fight hate speech early because all South Sudanese are sharing the same culture and interest.
He appealed to those campaigning against hate speech to continue with their campaign message in order to reach people at the grassroots.
“You should go deep down there to reach the community because those who are in Juba, the message has reached them already,” he said.
Ms. Marina Modi Director of Defyhatenow said that the organization and its partners were committed to making sure that the issue of hate speech was addressed countrywide.
“We came to realized that spreading hate speech online has jumped up to offline and we are trying to educate people at the grassroots about the negative impacts of hate speech in the conflict situation,” Ms Modi said.