A word to fight against racist sentences, xenophobic discourses and any kind of discrimination. More than a word, a hashtag. This is the idea which inspired the international campaign I don’t #masturhate, launched before the European elections 2014. In fact, in this period as in any recent battle for votes, political communication gives way to hate speech for collecting some more votes. In Italy, as well as in the rest of Europe, the Internet is invaded by this rhetoric, by profiting from the opportunity of interacting with other people, while having an anonymous alias.
I don’t #masturhate involves five Countries of the European Union – Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary – and it has been conceived so as to fight against hate speech. This is turned in to a tool for the political propaganda. In order to better plan the communication strategy, partner organizations have met in Bratislava on April 15th and 16th . The organizations, participating in the project, are Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci (Italy), la Open Society Foundation Bratislava (Slovakia), Romea (Czech Republic), Prospect Műhely Alapítvány (Hungary) e la M-Media (Austria).
During the meeting participants discussed about how to disseminate the campaign message, using irony and the chances of going viral on social networks. They will then try to collect all the users’ reactions and opinions through the hashtag #masturhate, which stigmatizes the use of the so called “hate speech”. The campaign will be spread, thanks to an appropriate website, and it will reach its peak during the European elections. Testimonial will be used and events to raise awareness will be organized, in order to foster dissemination on the Internet. So that, as soon as somebody incite to hate, public opinion will react immediately: I dont’ #masturhate.