Countering Online Hate: Tactics and Strategies for Media Activism

Wednesday 21 June 2023, 9:30 am – 4:30 pm BST, Keele, UK


This event brings together academics and activists who are interested in countering online hate speech. We will be exploring the possibilities and limitations of online counternarratives, particularly on Twitter and other public facing platforms. As a platform, Twitter’s affordances can offer visibility to voices and ideas that are marginalised in mainstream media and mobilise solidarities. However, this potential is also limited by its political economy that monetises hate, and the speed which events turnover on the platform that can result in weak solidarities. We will explore these issues and discuss potential countermeasures and strategies for activists working in this context.

In the morning, we will be sharing findings from our AHRC project ‘Contesting Islamophobia: Representation and Appropriation in Mediated Activism’. In these talks we will demonstrate the dynamics of Islamophobic hate speech on Twitter across several trigger events: Brexit, the Christchurch terrorist attack and the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic, explore the networks through which this is expressed, and share the findings from interviews with activists who have engaged in these conversations. We will engage Muslim advocacy groups, including organisations who have informed and collaborated in the project’s research questions and design, in responding to these findings.

In the afternoon, activist and policy groups will share their insights into countering hate speech online. We will then invite you to participate in a discussion/workshop on how to effectively navigate messy digital spaces and build allies towards challenging hate.

Participants/speakers include:

Elizabeth Poole, Eva Giraud, Ed de Quincey and John E. Richardson: AHRC #Contesting Islamophobia project

Arun Kundnani: Author of ‘The Muslims are Coming’, ‘The End of Tolerance’ and ‘What is anti-racism?’

Center for Countering Digital Hate, Community Policy Forum, Demos, Get the Trolls Out, Institute of Strategic Dialogue, MEND, Muslim Council of Britain, and others.

The full programme will be released nearer the time.

The event will be held in person on the Keele University Campus, where refreshments and lunch will be provided. The free ticket relates to the face-to-face event – please only reserve a ticket if you plan to attend in person. Travel grants will also be considered for those without institutional support.

This will also be a hybrid event, facilitated via an online Teams meeting. If you would like to attend the event remotely, please e-mail John Richardson: and he will provide you with the link to the meeting.

If you have any questions, please e-mail John Richardson:


Find out more information and book your free place here:

This event will be held at Keele University, DH0.08 Dorothy Hodgkin, Keele, ST5 5BG, United Kingdom.

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