Report on Sensitization on Hate Speech at University of Abuja, Mini campus, Gwagwalada

The Centre for Information, Technology and Development (CITAD) with support from MacArthur Foundation conducted a sensitization workshop on Hate Speech and Fake News to the students of University of Abuja, Mini Campus, Gwagwalada with 81 students in attendance from the department of Political Science on 10th September, 2018.

The Sensitization workshop which was conducted at the University of Abuja, Mini Campus, Gwagwalada train the students on the tools on how to report hate and dangerous speech online and identifying fake pictures.

The essence of the sensitization is to shape the youth to be ambassadors of peace in their various institutions, communities and associations.

Dr. Sadeequ A. Abba gave an opening remark, which opens the mind of the students on the essence of the sensitization.

The spread of Hate Speech and Fake News have become an issue of concern in our society most especially on social media platforms. It is in this view that CITAD is implementing a project on Peace and Curbing Hate, Dangerous Speeches and Fake News both online and offline with the support of MacArthur Foundation. CITAD found it very paramount to engage students of tertiary institutions which is called the ‘Campus Series’ to sensitize them about the negative impact of spreading such kind of information in the society.

The target audiences are the youth and also the majority on Social media platforms; they are task on the role they can play in curbing this menace.

At the sensitization workshop, many of the students during the pre-sensitization have an idea about hate and dangerous speeches but they do not know or have an in-depth knowledge about it and its dangers.

A paper was presented: Understanding Hate and Dangerous Speeches and Speed geeking Sessions: Using Technology to Combat Hate Speech via Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and identifying fake pictures on Google which was facilitated by Salma Abdulwaheed and Kaltumi Abdulazeez.

The participants were given the opportunity to ask questions and comments. It was also discovered that most of the participants lack the technical knowledge on how to report Hate Speech online.

At the end of the workshop, the students pledge to use the knowledge they acquired effectively and also extend the training to their colleagues, friends and families. The sensitizations made the students aware of what dangerous speeches are which they also cite examples. They are willing to take actions against spreading hate speech by reporting such cases when they come across it

At the end of the workshop, the president of the National Association of Political Science Students (NAPSS) gave the vote of thanks. She appreciates the good work of CITAD for organizing an enlightening program and she said they have gained wealth of knowledge about hate speech. The workshop came at a time when the general election is fast approaching.