Countering hate speech: possible scenarios for educating on the right to choose

The glut of information triggered by the network’s devices (intentional or not) risks limiting or preventing the rational procedures that allow their reliability to be verified. We are witnessing a crisis of critical-reflexive skills (Davies, 2019) whose history would be too challenging to reconstruct, a history that today leads us to consider how: “there are no facts, only tendencies and emotions” (p. 272) that, almost inevitably, leads to the “triumph of indignation, [to] the atrophy of rational discussion. The result is a highly polarised culture that promotes tribalism and self-segregation” (p. 7). The priority task of pedagogy becomes, therefore, to promote an increasing awareness of the dangers of miscommunication and online hatred, designing paths that have as their main objective the education of users capable of surfing through the pitfalls of false information, hate speech, conspiracies (Santerini, 2020). In the training of men and women it is, therefore, necessary to cultivate specific skills in reading, producing and managing information, enabling them to operate as active interpreters of counter-narratives with respect to those promoted by those who only appeal to the most primitive cognitive and emotional functions (defence, fear, anger, revenge) (Pasta, 2018).