Growing polarization and intolerance are fuelling a rise in hate speech worldwide, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said on Thursday, in remarks to the opening of an online forum to counter this “global firestorm” through the power of education

The online forum event brings together teachers, youth, civil society organizations, human rights experts, tech and social media companies, and government representatives.

Mobilizing against hatred

“Across the globe, public discourse is being coarsened, democratic values threatened, and social cohesion undermined,” the UN chief said.

While social media is contributing to hate speech being disseminated more quickly than previously imaginable.

This is especially alarming when we consider that mass violence never arises in the absence of hate speech. 

It is the fuel that allows the fire to ignite, and it is a direct threat our common cause of peace, stability, sustainable development and human dignity.”

The UN Secretary-General pointed to the UN Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech, which addresses the issue holistically, including root causes, drivers and the impact on victims and societies, according UN News.

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