A mobile app to help prevent hate-related violence

Published : February 01, 2019 14:13 IST

On January 30, which was the 71st death anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) led by the rights activist Teesta Setalvad launched a revolutionary mobile application called Hate Hatao. Literally meaning remove hate, the app, which is currently ready for android phones, will help track the spread of hate in speeches, actions, writings and so on.

In a press release, the CJP says the intention is to spread understanding and awareness of the differences and nuances between free speech and hate speech. Additionally, the app will track the escalation of hate crimes and help the CJP understand how hate builds, says Teesta Setalvad, who is the secretary of the CJP.

She believes that using technology effectively is one way of combating today’s climate of intolerance. She told Frontline: “Can technology be a tool to further social harmony, deepen democracy and prevent the escalation and breakout of violence? Hate Hatao comes from building on our three-decades-long hand-on experience in tacking communal violence. It is a step in building a community of activists committed to Constitution-building and the pervasiveness of hate.”

The CJP said: “In a growing atmosphere of communal hatred, bigotry and violence, Hate Hatao will enable you to report to us instances of hate speeches, threats and hate crimes with appropriate evidence such as a screenshot, video or a picture.”

The app has also made a provision to report harassment, discrimination and bigotry. Once they have substantial evidence, the CJP will take up cases to the National Human Rights Commission, the Press Council of India, the National Broadcasters Association and law enforcement agencies. The CJP will lodge First Information Reports and pursue these cases in court. The app user will receive real time updates on the status of the FIRs. Furthermore, the CJP plans to use social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to spread the information.

The CJP is a voluntary organisation that has worked relentlessly on communal violence issues in the hope of maintaining peace and ensuring justice. They say this effort “is the beginning of what we believe could become a unique attempt to garner technology to prevent the outbreak of violence. (Our Peace Map concept won the NASSCOM award for Innovation in 2015). The Hate Hatao app is a step towards the putting in place of a full-fledged Peace Mapping initiative.”

“Our vision and mission is to create a committed band of peace volunteers on the ground to prevent hate-related violence,” said Setalvad, while launching the app.

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