How to deal with hate speech and fake news? Virulent communication phenomena online and factors of individual intervention 

Jun.-Prof. Dr. Pablo Porten-Cheé, Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies, Heidelberg University, Germany
Jun.-Prof. Dr. Alejandro Ecker, Heidelberg Center for Ibero-American Studies, Heidelberg University, Germany 

This course is structured in four parts. It first introduces to virulent communication phenomena that endanger our today’s societies and discourses, foremostly, hate speech, and fake news online. The second part consists in an interaction where we jointly collect, systematize, and discuss respective individual experiences. The third and main part of the course discusses theoretical advancements in how citizens respond to virulent communication phenomena from a communication perspective. Therefore, communication action repertoires are conceptualized as online civic intervention, mainly consisting in counter speech, flagging, or verifying content. The course ends with discussing some factors and conditions that may promote online civic intervention of individuals in Europe and Latin America.  

Upon finalization of this academic seminar, students will be able to differentiate different forms of virulent communication phenomena online, to reflect their own communication behavior concerning such phenomena, and link back this behavior to state of the art concepts in communication science.