‘Silence Hurts’: Designit joins fight against hate speech


A booklet, titled ‘Silence Hurts’, providing people in Norway with tips and practical advice on speaking out against hate speech has been created by Designit, the Wipro-owned global experience innovation company, together with Amnesty International, the Norwegian Human Rights Institution (NIM) and diversity, inclusion and mentoring experts Catalysts.

’Silence Hurts’

Distributed to public sector organisations – such as schools and local authorities – as well as the private sector, the booklets are part of the ‘Silence Hurts’ campaign in Norway.

The campaign was launched following research from Amnesty, Catalysts and NIM that showed that 56% of Norwegian citizens do not intervene when they witness incitement. Nevertheless, over 80% believe that it should be done.

The Designit-created booklet will complement existing campaign initiatives that include workshops and other educational programmes.

Loosely based on real-life situations, the booklet contains three stories, highlighting scenarios where bystanders take action against harassers in various different ways.

Designit created accessible comic strips, ensuring that a maximum number of people are consuming this important message; that everyone can take action against hate speech in a way that feels safe and appropriate for them.

Two scenarios – focusing on Islamophobia and transphobia – highlight how to take action in public spaces. A third looks at online racism and what to do about hateful comments on social media.

The booklet also contains a QR code that links to the Silence Hurts website. The campaign communicates the importance of and explains the ‘SOS method’ – Say something, Observe, Seek help.

Mimi Fuentes, service designer at Designit, said: “Our approach was to empower people by providing a simple, practical guide on how to fight hate speech. The comic strip format is accessible and the visual language can engage a wider audience than you reach with text.

“It’s a vitally important campaign for us to be part of, which also complements the Designit ethos of seeing design as a transformative power in people’s lives. Humanity and DEI are very much at the core of what we do.“

“There was a high level of trust within the partnership, giving us the creative freedom to develop this booklet that we think will be an important step in the right direction, giving people practical and concrete tools to take action against hate speech.”

Charlotte Andersen, project manager at Amnesty, said: ”Everyone has different ways of learning. We have used diverse methods to convey the SOS-method; through film, workshops, and teaching.

“The visual representation in the brochure makes an effective medium to teach people the SOS-method and ensures that more people intervene.”

Hoda Ali, program leader at Catalysts, said: “Working with the Designit team (Linn and Mimi) has been an incredibly positive experience. Their creation of an accessible and engaging zine, along with their remarkable Illustrations, has significantly enhanced our ability to address the bystander effect and the SOS-method.

“The zine has been instrumental in facilitating Catalysts workshops, particularly with youth, by effectively conveying and promoting the SOS bystander intervention strategy.

“Designit’s genuine commitment to diversity, inclusion, and belonging is evident in their work. We are excited to continue working closely with them on our upcoming project with Sparebankstiftelsen DNB.

“Together, we aim to create further online and video animations to broaden the reach of ‘Stillhet Sårer’ and reach more people on the SOS method.”

The booklet was launched in May.