New Racist Codewords Emerge Online: How to Stay Vigilant

Internet slang and codewords morph almost constantly. That’s why it’s important that we stay as up to date as possible with changes.

Knowledge of popular platforms and apps helps us stay connected with our children in a positive way. But it also enables us to monitor what they’re up to online and be vigilant against worrying behaviour.

Many national publications recently reported a growing trend in online communities developing a new code for racial, homophobic, and bigoted slurs in an attempt to avoid censorship.

The code uses terms like “Google,” “Skittle,” and “Yahoo” as substitutes for offensive words describing black people, Muslims, and Mexicans. It is being used on Twitter and other social media platforms.

The words have been deliberately chosen as big brand names – many of them internet giants – to bypass filters designed to censor this kind of content. It’s easier for Google to filter out obviously racist language, for instance, than to identify and erase offensive posts that use its own brand name as a derogatory term.

We are concerned that Islamist extremists such as Daesh are adopting this language to reach young people who are ‘in-the-know’ about these codewords. The use of these words also helps online extremists evade capture and continue peddling their hateful ideology to our children.

Our Web Guardians© programme is designed to equip Muslim mothers with the essential skills to tackle dangerous influencers online. We make sure mothers have the necessary knowledge to enter the online world with confidence, so they support their children at home and, ultimately, protect them. Our training is not simply focused upon technology, but extends to social and cultural tactics used to radicalise and recruit, such as language.

To find out more about Web Guardians©, visit our website or send us an email to info@jantrust.org. If you’re an organisation that is interested in partnering with us, please fill in our partnership form.

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About JAN Trust

JAN Trust (www.jantrust.org) is a multi award winning not for profit organisation formed in the late 1980′s. We are based in London and cater for women and youth from disadvantaged and marginalised communities. Our work and services are delivered locally, nationally and internationally. Our aim is to create positive and active citizens of society by educating, empowering and encouraging women and youth. We are dedicated to the cause of combating poverty, discrimination, abuse and social exclusion among Black, Asian, minority ethnic, refugee and asylum seeking (BAMER) women. JAN Trust is making a real difference in improving the lives of communities; promoting human and women's rights as well as community cohesion. We provide a range of services and our work has been recognised by a variety of dignitaries. Check out our website for statements from some of our supporters: http://www.jantrust.org/what-people-say
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