Tips for countering online social cruelty

You could call it the newest online safety tool (that works on any device!). This is students’ first solid, research-based guidance for safe, constructive – potentially powerful – counterspeech in social media.

Research shows that most students want to help when they witness harassment online and offline – they just don’t know how. Here’s help for the online part of that. The bullying prevention field talks about turning bystanders into upstanders. Here’s help for those digital bystanders. Upstanders can be counterspeakers, as well as supporters online and in person! This tool is a joint project of the Social Media HelplineHeartMobProject HEAR, and #ICANHELP, adapting the fine work of The Dangerous Speech Project and other researchers for students and others seeking to turn around online hate – and with special thanks to illustrator Kendall Simpson and our student advisers. Please share this widely!

The text-only version of this resource can be found here. You can download
the cartoon as a PDF here. Feel free to 
print it out and share it widely!


This resource has literally been in the works for years: Here’s some background on counterspeech as an online safety tool in a 2015 post at