The key to ending online hate? Treat it like a virus.

It will take a crack team of scientists, programmers and philosophers to cure on the online hate pandemic.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • If online hate is a contagion, as suggested by neuroscientist Joel Finkelstein, then perhaps the most effective course of action will come from treating it as a virus: Gather an interdisciplinary team of minds to study the mechanics of the virus and treat it.
  • The internet is as big a disruption to society as the printing press was. Sarah Ruger sees the road toward social peace as one where neuroscientists, technologists, conflict resolution theorists and philosophers all work together to create a digital culture that brings out the best in humanity, not the worst.


How one black man convinced 200 KKK members to quit the Klan... by listening

Dialogue and an open mind can go a lot further than angry rhetoric.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Sarah Ruger, Director of Free Speech Initiatives at the Charles Koch Institute, tells us about Daryl Davis, a jazz and blues musician who has convinced over 200 KKK members to turn in their robes.
  • He didn't do it by by heated debate. He managed to accomplish this feat by having dialogue and listening to the other side. This way, quite simply, he was able to understand where they were coming from. That made it far easier to show them the error of their ways.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Keep reading Show less
Getty Images
Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • Human beings are psychologically hardwired to fear differences
  • Several recent studies show evidence that digital spaces exacerbate the psychology which contributes to tribalism
  • Shared experiences of awe, such as space travel, or even simple shared meals, have surprising effectives for uniting opposing groups
Keep reading Show less

Ideology drives us apart. Neuroscience can bring us back together.

A guide to making difficult conversations possible—and peaceful—in an increasingly polarized nation.

Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • How can we reach out to people on the other side of the divide? Get to know the other person as a human being before you get to know them as a set of tribal political beliefs, says Sarah Ruger. Don't launch straight into the difficult topics—connect on a more basic level first.
  • To bond, use icebreakers backed by neuroscience and psychology: Share a meal, watch some comedy, see awe-inspiring art, go on a tough hike together—sharing tribulation helps break down some of the mental barriers we have between us. Then, get down to talking, putting your humanity before your ideology.
  • The Charles Koch Foundation is committed to understanding what drives intolerance and the best ways to cure it. The foundation supports interdisciplinary research to overcome intolerance, new models for peaceful interactions, and experiments that can heal fractured communities. For more information, visit charleskochfoundation.org/courageous-collaborations