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Social media companies are keenly focused on ridding their platforms of hateful speech and harassment. But content moderation can only capture a small fraction of it, and automatic filters can risk censoring ordinary users. Another approach is to counter these messages with opposing points. IPL researchers tested various kinds of counterspeech on Twitter, and they found that messages invoking empathy worked better than any other—they led authors of hate speech to discontinue their posts and even delete old ones.
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Plenty of media coverage and policymaking in the West has focused on African migration to Europe, fueling a widespread perception that Europe is the destination of choice for Africans seeking economic opportunity. But the reality differs widely from this narrative, according to an IPL analysis of data collected at transit hubs across West and Central Africa. Only a small share of migrants surveyed want to reach Europe, and their motivations are complex.
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In the Middle East, countries that host large numbers of Syrian refugees now are taking active steps to encourage their return. Meanwhile, NGOs have started to consider steps to aid refugees in going home. Do refugees want to go back to Syria? And if so, when and how? IPL researchers surveyed Syrians in Lebanon to find out. The results can help inform the humanitarian and policy response to future refugee crises.
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With branches at Stanford University and ETH Zurich, IPL is an international community of scholars dedicated to innovation in immigration policy.
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