The SEL activities in this theme provide learners with an opportunity to understand how they can influence the outcome of a situation and who the main players are in a given group situation. There are opportunities to understand why it’s important to consider your actions and how you can exit a situation if things get out of hand.
The Media analysis unit provides opportunities to examine examples of online hate with the objective of making timely and decisive positive decisions based on the evidence at hand and the individual’s prevailing emotions.
These questions are provided as examples to initiate and guide discussions around the topic in this focus area.
- Can you think of a situation where you or your friends cracked a joke that defused a tense situation?
- Has anyone made you laugh when you were feeling really angry or tense?
The SELMA project short definition of hate speech is:
“Any online content targeting someone based on protected characteristics with the intent or likely effect of inciting, spreading or promoting hatred or other forms of discrimination.”
If possible and relevant, revisit the strategies for tackling online hate from the SEL main activity. Explain that there are many ways to tackle online hate speech.
Explain to learners that they are going to explore how to tackle online hate speech by using humour to help defuse the situation.
Share the Honey Maid video from YouTube - explore how this takes negative comments and repurposes them for something positive and inclusive.
Using the slides, ask learners to define a meme - an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users, often with slight variations.
Explore memes with the learners (you will need to pre-select these as some of these use inappropriate images or words) from the internet.
Explain the you’re going to provide some scenarios for the learners to write their own memes about. They are free to choose as many or as few as they like, but they should only pick scenarios that they are able to write a meme about.
- A gaming group picking on a player based on their perceived sexuality.
- A friend posts “So my lab results with KT are a mess. Dumb blonde. Don’t girls know they suck at science?”.
- School website/hashtag/insta account used to say hateful things about learners.
- A provocative speaker is booked to present at the school and says some hateful things about some of the learners.
- Some learners write offensive message on t-shirts, images of which end up being posted online leading to the college attracting negative press attention.
- Your friend posts a derogatory meme online.
- A news presenter repeatedly ridicules an interviewee’s responses, highlighting a protected characteristic as they do so. People are tweeting about this.
Then provide time for the learners to generate appropriate memes. Please note that many meme generators online many include inappropriate content in the form of images and words. The provided set of meme generators have been checked by the SELMA team and, at the time of creation, did not appear to contain inappropriate content.
Another good way of generating memes is to use a photo editor, examples of which are provided.
You should use your professional judgement in selecting a service to recommend to the learners in your group.
Creatively respond to a hate speech situation. Understand the use of humour in defusing a situation.