Schools invited to enter competition to tackle Online Hate

13 Sep 2018 Becca Cawthorne

With online hate speech a growing problem and abusive comments from peers one of the key causes of upset online for young people, schools across Europe are being invited to take part in a competition aimed at tackling the issue.

SWGfL, a partner in the UK Safer Internet Centre, is helping to deliver SELMA (Social and Emotional Learning for Mutual Awareness), a two year project along with four other partners: European SchoolnetFor Adolescent HealthThe Diana AwardLMK and Centre for Digital Youth Care. Co-funded by the European Commission SELMA aims to tackle the problem of online hate speech by promoting mutual awareness, tolerance, and respect.

SWGfL are looking for teams of young people, aged 15-18, in the UK to submit their best ideas about how to tackle online hate speech. The best entries will be shortlisted, and the winners will be invited to take part in a Hackathon event – with students from across Europe.


The winning six teams from across Europe to come up with the best ideas will be invited to take part in the Hacking Hate Hackathon at the Facebook Digital Learning Centre in Berlin on 5th and 6th December, with all travel costs and accommodation paid for by the SELMA partners!

The hackathon offers a fantastic opportunity for young people from across Europe to meet, learn new skills and share ideas on how to tackle online hate speech.

How to enter

To enter, please submit your idea via the online submission survey by 4th October 2018.

Ideas will be evaluated in the first half of October 2018 based on their creativity, innovativeness, feasiblity, and level of maturity. Six teams will be invited to participate in the hackathon shortly after.

Competition guidelines

  • Ideas (c. 500 words) should be submitted by teams of young people (15 – 18 years old), including one accompanying adult (teacher, youth worker, parent, etc.).
  • Each team should be composed of up to five people, including the accompanying adult, ideally with an equal gender distribution.
  • Participation is possible for teams from all EU member states, plus Norway and Iceland, but particularly from the countries in which SELMA partners are most active (Denmark, Germany, Greece, UK).
  • In your submission, you will need to clearly identify an online hate speech “problem”, while indicating how your idea will help to “hack” or “resolve” it in an innovative manner.
  • Ideas can range from concrete technological solutions (a platform, a mobile app or a new type of design standards), to better counselling and reporting mechanisms, education programmes, awareness campaigns, or any other ground-breaking strategy
  • Each team needs to nominate a team leader, who will be in charge of submitting the application on behalf of the whole team. The team leader does not need to be the accompanying adult, although this is possible as well.

Get Involved

For more information on SELMA, the hackathon and how to take part, visit the SELMA “Hacking Hate” hackathon page and keep track on Twitter using the hashtags #hackinghate and #SELMA_eu.

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