Are there ways we can fight back against the growing problem of online hate speech on social media? If we bring together a diverse range of people including activists, experts, victims and past perpetrators, can we develop some early concepts in the space of a few days?

Yes!


These past few days it was a real privilege to work with a group of diverse and talented people on solutions for combating the problem of online hate speech. We got our solutions on at the Australia 2.0 hackathon produced by Lighthouse Strategy at Curtin University in Perth. The hackathon was one of a number of events making up the annual West Tech Fest and OzApps Awards, which is well worth visiting Perth to attend.

Congratulations to all the participants and especially the wonderful winning team ‘Mum’. I loved the team’s concept of a AI-supplemented-by-volunteers content bot which could chime in to gradually discourage hate speech posted to social media platforms by responding to it the same way your mum would — by letting you know she’s disappointed in you, that she has higher expectations of you, nudging you towards better behaviour.

What I love most about this idea is the universality — across all cultures, mothers play a critical role in guiding our behaviour through the judicious application of guilt, love and expectations.

Organiser Abdullahi Alim is a young leader of rare talent and potential. I bet his mum can take most of the credit!

I’ve already heard from two of the teams who’ve decided to take their ideas forward after the hackathon and I’m looking forward to advising them on some of the decisions facing them in the future.

Thanks for the opportunity to be involved.

Hackathon participants, organisers and interim US Ambassador James Carouso

Filed under:   community   hackathon   perth   social issues   WA