(This episodes is the first of two-parts)
Almost everyone has a bias, a way of thinking, an opinion, it’s pretty much human nature. Journalists, when I went to journalism school, were only supposed to report on facts and not opinion. That has drastically changed. And in an age where many of us spend lots of time on online social platforms, the bias continues to be confirmed by where we choose to click and view and modern day algorithms. That in turn fills our social feeds with more information that continues to confirm what we already believe to be true. Confirmation bias is not new, but social platforms have certainly made it easier, and faster, and it’s created a broader reach for spreading mis or dis information.
In the next two episodes, we explore how bias, hate and extremism has been spreading in Canada, specifically in rural Canada.
Joining in this fascinating conversation for this episode are Dr. Barbara Perry, Director at the Centre on Hate, Bias and Extremism at the Ontario Tech Universityand Etienne Quintal, Manager of the Online Hate Research and Education Project with the Toronto Holocaust Education Centre.
Etienne provided some resources folks can look into:
The Toronto Holocaust Education Centre is developing its own educational portal. Right now, it contains Canada's Hate Symbols List, which currently has 90 symbols listed and they’re working towards around 250. They will soon be uploading reports, educational resources, and translating the Symbols list into French in the coming months. It's similar to the ADL's symbol list.
Canadian Anti-Hate Network's Educational Toolkit, which is a Government of Canada-funded resource aims to give teachers and students the tools to address displays of hate on campus.
Be sure to tune in to part two of Bias, Hate and Extremism in rural Canada when I speak with Kurt Phillips, who started doing anonymous online research into hate groups in Canada, but he was doxxed in recent years, losing his anonymity. He’s a board member of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network and also a high school teacher in rural Alberta.