Game of Trolls Reaches 3 Million Social Media Users

Published: 20 July 2018

Region: Europe

By Amna Nasir

GTTO_Campaign_July_2018“All Muslims may not be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” How would you respond to this claim often seen on various social media platforms? Will you ignore it or will you try to respond? What if there is statistical data to consolidate the claim?

Get the Trolls Out (GTTO), a project by the Media Diversity institute (MDI), initiated a campaign called Game of Trolls. The campaign is a result of joint efforts made by GTTO and Facebook initiative “Create against Hate” gathering civil society activists and creative industry professionals to come up with innovative solutions to deal with online hate speech and extremism.

The aim of the Game of Trolls campaign is to engage and to teach how to constructively respond to hate speech online. GTTO team joined hands with creative industry and developed short videos to instruct people how they can respond to trolls. GTTO social media campaigner, Nika Jelendorf believes that it is important for organisations like MDI to do media monitoring: “However, the problem of hate speech or inflammatory speech is a societal problem and not necessarily a menace attached with media and technology”.

We tried to create a campaign that will teach people how to respond when they witness hate speech on social media platforms,” says Jelendorf.

GTTO_Campaign_2018The GTTO campaign creatives have three basic tips: to not be abusive, to respond promptly and to involve a community for help. With the help of the agency POKE London, MDI designed short videos in the form of guidelines to teach people how to respond when they come across inflammatory speech online.

“The campaign had a lot of responses”, claims Jelendorf, “we have seen a lot of engagements; a lot of people opening up conversations, including some really difficult ones like integration, migration, hate speech, censorship as a result of this campaign. We are pretty satisfied with the overall result – it reached three million people and had around a million and a half engagements within the UK. This campaign has certainly started a conversation, she adds.

Lydia El Khouri, GTTO project manager project believes that this campaign was an excellent opportunity for MDI and other organisations to reach out to young people in the UK through Facebook and Instagram which can bring out the best and the worst of social media.

“The creatives were stimulating and were the source of much discussion and debate, she said, “seeing organic responses coming from participants shows that there are many people out there who are not afraid to counter hate.”

According to GTTO, it is crucial to engage with trolls in a constructive manner and to expose people to examples of how to react to things like hate speech and how their reactions should be constructed in order to effectively bring a change to the current environment of hate mongery. Though this is not the only step that needs to be taken in order to eradicate online hate speech, it is definitely one step closer to achieving that.