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CCMN Web Influencers Commissioned to Promote Values, Symbols and Denounce Hate Speech

The last few years have seen an upsurge of hate speech in Cameroon against a backdrop of conflict, hate, discrimination, and violence. Even though individual, civil society organizations and networks like the Cameroon Community Media Network CCMN have been working tirelessly to end hate speech, the socio-political crisis in the two English-speaking regions of Cameroon has further made it worse.

In this light, the Civil Peace Service, CPS network in Cameroon at the end of its 2022 annual workshop deems it relevant and necessary to develop a joint advocacy project for the development of citizens' consciousness in diversity based on common history and values/symbols of national unity.

This was in a workshop attended by 20 CCMN influencers represented across the national territory. The session which took place on December 10th, 2022 in Yaounde was an avenue for these members to share the reality on the ground while developing new strategies to help counter hate speech in the online media space.
According to the Civil Peace Service National Coordinator, CCMN web influencers were chosen based on how they drive conversations in the online space, their expertise, and their impacts on the social media space which could go a long way to counteract hate speech and promote national unity.

The training session which was divided into three modules was facilitated by Dr. Sakah Bernard Nsaidzedze, lecturer and very renowned Hatespeech researcher and key actor.

While walking the participants through the first and second modules which targeted Hate Speech as a tool of division in Cameroon and Tools and Tips of Detecting Hate Speech Online, the facilitator noted that to fight hate speech, it is important that everyone agrees on a definition and also know the different tools one can use to detect hate speech in a twinkle of an eye. These participants while reflecting on the different techniques used to detect and counter hate speech, also developed new strategies that can be used to combat such poisonous discourse in the online space.
Hate speech continues to promote division in Cameroon due to some differences, and discrimination, as such the need for web influencers to shift the narratives around values and symbols for a hate-free Cameroon.

According to the facilitator, reminding Cameroonians of their values and symbols which bond them together online could go a long way to promote peace and unity.

At the end of the training session, these web influencers were divided into groups to develop a plan of action that will go a long way to facilitate their work in the fight against hate speech and the promotion of values and symbols in the online space.

By Pechuqui Laurata / Tantan Patience

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