Organising Ourselves against Online Hatred


Kübra Gümüsay

Flood the web with love – that is blogger Kübra Gümüşay's appeal to her audience. In her emotional lecture "Organised Love", in the scope of the re:publica TEN #Hatespeech focus, she calls on everyone to celebrate positivity in the comments sections, forums and on Twitter.

"This here is an appeal" Gümüşay begins her presentation with this statement. Tears begin to roll down her cheeks. Her voice breaks, this is obviously a topic that is very close to her heart. The journalist, blogger and activist said that she wants to spur people to flood the web with love. This is because hatred has organised itself online, Gümüşay want to counter this with organised love: on forums, blogs, and other social media tools.

Throughout her entire talk, Gümüşay fights to hold back tears. "I feel uncomfortable in this country" she said. She keeps trying to cover up the feeling, but she can't take it anymore. "I don't want to have to put on a strong face anymore." She doesn't want to have to defend her right to exist, every day, against people who continuously question it. She doesn't want to have to be the "nation's cleaning lady" anymore, clearing out the "intellectual trash" of extreme right-wingers. "Virtual hate is real" the blogger stated. Society has ignored it for far too long. She warned that: "The hatred online isn't just a mirror of society, but also a harbinger of what awaits us in reality."

A change is now going to be ushered in – through information, education and empathy. But why should one have to organise love against racist hatred on the web anyway? "Because silence is consent" Gümüşay stressed. Her appeal: "We have to learn to celebrate positivity on the web. We have to flood the comments sections, demonstrate our values and what we stand for. Tweet, share." At the end of her talk, Gümüşay receives a standing ovation.

Photo credit: re:publica/Gregor Fischer (CC BY 2.0)