PETALING JAYA: Four NGOs have developed an app that will allow people to report incidents of hate speech by scanning a QR code.
The initiative called Speak Out, Stop Hate is the result of a two-year collaboration involving Alternative Asean Network on Burma, Asia Pacific Partnership for Atrocity Prevention, Beyond Borders and Pluralistic Society.
“We continue to see the stigmatisation and discrimination against migrants, refugees and the LGBT community in Malaysia,” Beyond Borders founder and activist Mahi Ramakrishnan told FMT.
“Conflating information about these marginalised groups of people has also led to violence. We saw death threats against refugees and migrants at the height of the pandemic in 2020. In fact, even activists who worked with them were targeted”, she said.
Those who come across incidents of hate speech only need to scan a QR code which will take the user to a webpage where a report can be lodged. From there, the user can choose to forward the report to the authorities.
“If the person is uncomfortable lodging a police report, we will identify the affected parties, the instigator of the hate speech, and other details and look at mitigation strategies.
“If the person wants to talk to us, we will have someone from our partner organisations call them.”
She said there were plans to put up posters with the QR codes in public spaces, especially where people from marginalised communities lived.
“We need to stand up to hate speech before it spirals into violence. And this application is one way of doing that.”