Social Media and Conflict in Yemen: A Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms.

News reports about Yemen emphasize the conflict and humanitarian crisis rocking the country, as sectarian violence makes living conditions some of the worst in the world. And yet amidst this devastation, an estimated 90 percent of Yemenis are still accessing the internet through their mobile phones, 93 percent are on Facebook, and 92 percent are using WhatsApp. These numbers are significant, because as we’ve seen from our work in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and South Sudan, the promise of peacetech lies in widespread access to technologies that can serve as powerful tools for creating social and political change in some of the most challenging places on earth.

Which is why we partnered with Peace Track Initiative and Development Transformations to produce Yemen: A Lexicon of Hate Speech Terms, a tool that peacebuilders, civil society members, and tech and social media companies can use to identify and curb the use of specific hate speech terms on Yemen’s social media platforms to help bring an end to violence. This lexicon also alerts individual social media users to specific words or phrases that unknowingly have the potential to ignite violence.