In EU Member States, continued and renewed physical or verbal attacks against minority groups, Muslims, immigrants and other vulnerable targets are increasing. Hate messages and discrimination dynamics find on the Internet a fertile ground and the main way for their large and rapid diffusion.
REACT Project aims at countering hate speech, hate crimes and other forms of intolerance through the improvement of media literacy among educators and young people and the development of a counter narrative campaign.
The campaign will be the result of a deep systematic quantitative and qualitative monitoring of a selection of media, social accounts and websites in 5 different countries (Italy, France, Spain, UK, Germany).
Involving national and European key stakeholders, the project will moreover increase the pressure on decision makers and politicians for the transposition of the EU policies in the area of preventing and combating racism, xenophobia and other forms of intolerance.
In order to contribute to monitoring and counter online hate speech based on (and determining) anti-Muslim intolerance and hatred, the proposed project will aim at a) collecting qualitative and quantitative evidences of online hate speech and of counter narratives effective examples; b) Identify positive actions to foster tolerance, counter hate speech, facilitate reporting and enhance transparency of counter-speech and share it among key actors; c) promoting media literacy and spreading counter-narrative among youngsters.
The strategy outlined to reach the above mentioned objectives is based on a horizontal and multidisciplinary approach and on target groups active participation. It will be implemented through the following steps:
- systematic quantitative and qualitative monitoring of hate speech and recording of counter narratives effective examples throughout a selection of online media, including social media, in Italy, UK, France, Germany and Spain: recording through an ad hoc ICT tool, qualitative analysis and reporting;
- mutual learning and exchange of best practices among key actors – teachers, youth operators, representatives of the targeted communities, researchers, policy-makers, social media platforms representatives, online press representatives and CSOs – on positive actions to foster tolerance, counter hate speech and on means and mechanisms to facilitate reporting and enhancing transparency of counter-speech;
- capacity building and training activities focusing on media literacy both addressed to teachers and youth workers and directly to young people. Particular attention will be given in addressing the capacity building and training activities to different categories of youngsters, including with minority background. Workshops will adopt a highly participatory approach; in particular youngsters will be actively involved in the construction of a solid counter-narrative. The communication tools elaborated by the youngsters will be then spread;
- dissemination and awareness raising campaign based on the use of the tools realised by the youngsters that will be presented at local level and spread thoroughly on social media and the Internet.
Type and number of persons benefiting from the project
- policy makers of the countries involved, the researchers’ community engaged in studying hate speech and finding efficient solution against it, Muslims and in general minority communities as well as CSOs engaged in defending their rights and promoting a world based on tolerance will benefit from the project as a whole, as it will provide with solid data on the phenomenon and a concrete tool for redressing it. We can estimate that approximately 250 people per partner country will access to project outcomes and benefit from its results;
- through seminars approximately 125 people among relevant policy makers of the partner countries, teachers, youth operators, representatives of the targeted communities, researchers, social media platforms representatives, online press representatives and CSOs will be directly involved;
- during the training activities 35 educators and youth workers and 374 youngsters will be directly involved;
- approx. 40.000 persons per country, 200.000 in total, will be reached by the awareness raising campaign.
- qualitative and quantitative evidences of online hate speech and of counter narratives effective examples are available to be use as a basis to identify positive actions to foster tolerance, counter hate speech, facilitate reporting and enhance transparency of counter-speech;
- identified positive actions are shared among key actors and widely disseminated;
- media literacy is increased among youngsters and educators and counter-narrative becomes a spread practice.