What is hate speech, exactly?
However one may feel about the tension between free speech and language as a weapon, there is little doubt that various forms of extremist behavior and the intentionally offensive content that comes with them have grown more visible online in recent years. Some point to social media as the primary culprit.
In order to combat that perception and help some individuals find their way back from the extremes, Facebook has partnered with ad agency Grey New York and Small Steps, an organization seeking to help counter far-right extremism in the U.K., for a new campaign.
The work centers on this profile of a now-former member of a white supremacist group. He is one of a group of Small Steps trainers and supporters who are covering their old racist tattoos.
The project also includes a series of Instagram videos in which graffiti artists explain—and proceed to cover up—symbols popular among white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.
It’s part of a Facebook initiative called Create Against Hate, which brings disparate young creators together and “aims to eradicate and make a stance against hate, discrimination, and extremism on our platforms by establishing a movement within the creative industry and with partners like Small Steps,” according to a spokesperson for the social network.
“Having joined the Far Right as a teenager, I know young people in particular are at risk of being groomed into the movement,” said Small Steps founder Nigel Bromage. “That’s why we need to be talking to them directly: online, and in a way that they can relate to.”
This is not the only recent creative project to target extremism. Multicultural agency Alma recently worked with the ex-neo-Nazi behind Free Radicals on a campaign to help counter internet search queries that often facilitate extremist ideologies.
Agency: Grey New York
Media Partner: Facebook
Client: Small Steps Ltd.
Campaign: “Love, brought to you by hate.”
Global Chief Creative Officer: John Patroulis
Deputy Chief Creative Officers: Jeff Stamp & Rob Lenois
Creative Directors: Jackie Blaze & Katherine O’Brien
Art Directors: Megan Curry & Will Malone
Copywriters: Anne Lacy & Charlie Quiroz
Strategist: Joseph Day
VP, Account Director: Greg Sacharoff
Project Manager: Arie Andrews
Executive Production: Townhouse
Head of Integrated Production: James McPherson
SVP Associate Head of Integrated Production: Tania Salter
Integrated Producer: Amanda Pilnik
Lead Creative Content Architect: Stephen Samelko
Production Company: Town London
Head of Production: Jacqueline Dobrin
Head of Broadcast: Callum Johnston
Head of Production Affairs: Sarah Brown
Director: Coral Amy Brown
Producer: Rosa Junkovic
Director of Photography: Diana Olifirova
Camera Assistant: Nacho Muñez De León
Sound Recordist: Nina Rice
Talent: Nigel Bromage
Tattoo Artist: Delphine Noitztoy, The Lacemakers Sweatshop
Editorial : Bandit
Post Production: Method Studios
Music and Sound: Human
Editor: Chris Kursel
Assistant Editor: Evan Johnston
Executive Producer: Laura Relovsky
Post Production: Method Studios
Managing Director: Stuart Robinson
Executive Producer: Angela Lupo
Senior Supervising Producer: Tsiliana Jolson
VFX Production Coordinator: Kristin Engdahl
Flame Supervisor: Tom McCullough
Flame Artist: Stephen Morris
Flame Artist: Mark Woit
Color Correct: Company3
Colorist: Sofie Borup
Producer: Alexandra Lubrano
Audio Post by Post: Human
Executive Producer: James Dean Wells
Creative Lead: Mike Jurasits
Composer(s): Craig DeLeon & Daryl Pinsdorf
Sound Design: Daryl Pinsdorf
Post Producer: Craig Caniglia
Mix Engineer: TJ Dumser
Audio Assistant: Robert Suchecki
Historical Footage: Getty Images
Key Account Executive: Lori Levine