I ended 2021 celebrating some of the brightest communications stars in our sector and I’m determined to start the new year with hope in my heart and confidence that charity communicators will find multiple ways to engage people in their work.
You might wonder why I’ve chosen to look at the very dark topic of online hate – but even here there is hope.
Over the past year, the campaign group Charities Against Hate has worked with charities, partners and politicians to provide support and give a voice to those affected by online hate.
In November, Charities Against Hate Live provided a platform for deeply moving testimonies about the impact on mental and physical wellbeing and livelihoods.
Afzal Khan, the Labour MP for Manchester Gorton, was one of the first MPs to engage with the campaign and during the event he shared his own experiences and the impact on his family and his constituents.
He called for cross-party collaboration and consensus politics to tackle this issue that affects us all.
The testimony of victims must not only be heard but acted on. The government’s online harms bill will be a legal landmark and could set the course for the regulation of social media across the world.
It needs to hold social media companies to account, tip the balance in favour of the victims and ensure robust independent regulation.
There is still much to do to improve the bill but by working together towards a common goal we can make social media platforms more inclusive and places for connecting and debate, rather than places for hate. And charities can continue to use tech for good.
Find out more about how to get involved with Charities Against Hate here.
Adeela Warley is chief executive of CharityComms