Statistics Canada recently reported a 72 per cent increase in hate crimes over the past two years. Hate threatens the health and wellbeing of everyone in our community—not only those who are directly affected.
Online spaces, and pandemic social isolation, helped hate movements targeting racial minorities, religious groups, the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and others, make their way into political platforms, mainstream media, and interpersonal interactions. Online hate reproduces quickly, lasts for a long time, and is difficult for law enforcement to engage with due to a lack of regulations.
Online hate has the potential to inspire violent acts, like the Islamophobic attack on a Muslim family in London, Ontario or the misogynist terrorist attack with a van in Toronto – incidents that sow division, prevent people from reaching their full potential, and shatter community safety.
Every one of us has a role to play in confronting online hate, but many people don’t know how to intervene effectively.