Good digital citizenship is in your hands.
The "Break the Hate" documentary details the beginnings and vision of the Don't Click Initiative.
In 2020, 16-year old Henry Kerr wanted to learn more about the problem of online hate and extremism. With OPV’s help, he crafted a survey and shared with youth across his city.
The survey reached over 850 students and found that some 70% of youth are seeing violent and hateful content on their social media platforms. It showed that online hate is a significant problem for many young people, who often don’t know what to do about it.
Wanting to take action, Henry and some of the survey respondents formed a small group. Don’t Click is a youth online hate and extremism prevention initiative. Since 2021, they have worked to give youth the tools they need to handle negativity online – both for themselves and as bystanders.
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Henry’s research inspired the formation of the Don’t Click! Youth Group, which is using the survey results and other research to develop youth-led prevention projects. The group has created three presentations for junior high students to teach about online hate and extremism prevention, and to provide practical strategies for addressing these issues.
Supported by the Organization for the Prevention of Violence (OPV), REACH Edmonton, and other school leadership programs and city agencies, the ‘Don’t Click’ youth group has many more presentations planned. This is just the beginning.
Each presentation addresses a different theme:
Teaches about how youth can act ethically online and think critically about sources.
Addresses how empathy is related to online hate and teaches active listening skills to help students engage with others in a productive & supportive manner.
Suggests ways students can support friends who have encountered hateful content.
During the development of their workshops, Don’t Click members connected with experts and community leaders to learn more about online hate and extremism prevention. These interviews explore the prevalence and cause of online hate and how to combat it. Importantly, they asked the experts about the role youth can play in creating safe spaces online and supporting victims of online hate.
Student Leadership Department Head at W.P. Wagner High School
Edmonton Police Service Hate Crimes and Violent Extremism Unit
Student Leadership Department Head at J. Percy Page School
Executive Director of REACH Edmonton
Executive Director of the Organization for the Prevention of Violence
Community Social Worker with the City of Edmonton
The Don’t Click! Youth Group is supported by The Resiliency Project, a collaboration between four partners: REACH Edmonton, City of Edmonton, the Edmonton Police Service, and the Organization for the Prevention of Violence. The project’s aim is to work with the public to prevent and counter hate-motivated violence through awareness, education, research, and online and offline intervention.