Happening on Campus

National Hate Crime Week: Online Discrimination

As National Hate Crime Awareness Week draws to a close, it is important to look at how people use technology to interact, and also how people interact online.

The Internet, and technology as a whole are resources that are used primarily for good. However, sometimes, they can also be used for bad – particularly online discrimination.

“2% of all reported hate crimes had an online element, with 63% of all online hate crime being racially motivated”

A Home Office study conducted in 2017 on Hate Crime in England and Wales showed that there were a total of 1067 online hate crimes reported in 2016/2017. It was also found that 2% of all reported hate crimes had an online element, with 63% of all online hate crime being racially motivated.

This week, such an incident was brought to light. Evidence surfaced on social media of a Queen Mary’s London University society WhatsApp chat, containing discriminatory, racist and hateful language. A similar occurrence happened earlier in the year at Exeter University, and video footage appeared on social media of racial slurs used in Nottingham Trent halls.

“this is a step in the right direction, however, we must widen our focus beyond hate crime in universities”

UON BME Officer Malak Mayet highlighted the great significance of UON SU Community Officer, Jacob Collier’s work on making UON a hate crime reporting centre this week, “this is a step in the right direction, however, we must widen our focus beyond hate crime in universities and admit that, as a community, we are complicit in most other forms of racism. One of my objectives for the coming year is to highlight the many ways in which insidious racism manifests in higher education, and I hope the university will take my insight on board.”

If you are a victim of hate crime at this university, you can contact the Students’ Union Advice for help on how to report the incident to the police, as well as further support from the University.

Brianna Patrice

Follow UON SU Advice on Facebook for more information.

Follow Malak on Facebook to keep up to date with the work that the BME Network have planned for the academic year.

Images courtesy of Impact Images.

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