COMMunIcation campaign against exTremism and radicalisation

COMMIT aims at preventing and dissuading vulnerable young people (13-25 years old) from extremism, violent radicalisation and terrorism.

Grant Agreement Number: 867019

Funded by: ISFP-AG        Duration: 01/2020-12/2021   


Challenge

During the past years, Europe has been facing alarming tendencies towards extremism, radical and terrorist propaganda. Extremists use widely online means to spread hate, encourage violence, radicalise and recruit followers, prepare and incite attacks. The online attacks are highly concentrated on social media. According to Europol, over 150 social media platforms are used by terrorists for propaganda.

However, it is not only terrorists who promote violence and push audience towards violent radicalisation. Many European extreme right/left-wing groups are mobilising their followers, communicating about Islamic brutalities as justification for their own extreme response.

Taking these into consideration, there is an urgent need to address all forms of extremism and violent radicalisation leading to extremist online content, whether inspired by terrorist propaganda, right/left-wing extremism or populist movements.

Innovation

The European initiative COMMIT aims at preventing and dissuading vulnerable young people (13-25 years old) from extremism, violent radicalisation and terrorism, providing them with skills needed to co-develop alternative narratives that promote democratic values, tolerance and cooperation, and equipping them with competences needed to identify and fight online content of intolerance and violence (hate speech, fake news & populist propaganda that can act as a stepping stone to violent radicalisation).

For this purpose, COMMIT will adopt a trans-medial approach combining online campaigns addressing fake news, hate speech, populistic propaganda, right-/left-wing extremism, Islamic extremism and terrorism, as well as face-to-face activities such as workshops, contest and events.

Action

COMMIT will analyse the content of populist, right/left-wing extremist and terrorist propaganda and gain deep understanding of push and pull factors and root causes of violent radicalisation. Various online spaces where the target audiences consume and share information will be analysed (e.g. Facebook). In order to define the profile of groups and individuals vulnerable and/or close to populist, right/left-wing extremist, Islamic extremist and terrorist propaganda, Focus Group and interviews will be conducted in all partner countries.

The Capacity Building Programme will consist of 10 face-to-face meetings with university students and representatives of civil society organisations and other local partners and stakeholders, aiming to address the competences and tools needed to understand, analyse and counteract radical and extremist content online, deconstruct and prevent its harmful impacts on youth.

The participants of the Capacity Building Programme will co-create multimedia content for the online campaign in the form of pictures, short posts, texts and videos, which will be shared online.

Training Topics such as:

  • Introduction to the topic of extremist content and violent radicalisation online, related risk and how to face them, non-formal team building activities
  • Hate-speech and populism in European society and online (root causes, characteristics of the vulnerable groups)
  • Right-/left-wing extremism in European society and online, Islamic radicalism and terrorism (root causes, push & pull factor, vulnerable groups)
  • Analysis of violent extremist content online – technology-supported online content analysis
  • Analysis of extremist content online – technology-supported online content analysis
  • Alternative & counter narrative methodology, monitoring and reporting of hate-speech and extremist propaganda
  • Use of alternative & counter narrative on social media targeting the vulnerable audience
  • Video making of alternative and counter narratives
  • Co-creation of the online content of the COMMIT campaign by small working groups
  • Development of the COMMIT Declaration

The participants will develop the “Commit” Declaration, including a memorandum of understanding and bottom-up recommendations on how to combat extremist content online, prevent violent radicalisation and promote the European democratic values.

To equip groups and individuals vulnerable to unsafe & susceptible online content promoting animosity and violence through false information, hate speech and populism with skills needed to face the propaganda – critical thinking, media literacy and digital skills – and support their resilience to it.

Training Topics:

– Introduction to the topic: the threats of the online environment, hate speech, fake news, populism propaganda online

– Critical thinking: how to identify and avoid suspicious content

– Media literacy and digital skills: how to behave safely online

– Alternative narratives and digital story telling: democratic values as a better alternative

– Co-development of the online content in small working groups & preparation for the COMMIT storytelling contest

To address young people profiled through the research (WP2) susceptible of sympathizing with or being close right-/ left-wing extremism including those radicalised.

  • Campaign service line will target the audience of young people susceptible and/or sympathising with right-/left-wing extremism and/or involved in online activities promoting such extremist ideas, sharing & producing extreme content and encouraging intolerance and violence.

To address young people vulnerable and/or susceptible of sympathizing with or being affected by Islamic extremism including those radicalised.

  • Face-to-face session programme

The training programme & contents’ objective is to make young people aware of the importance and benefits of tolerance and collaboration across nations, religions & races, giving them an opportunity to reach for a help if they have become close to Islamic extremism/terrorism including their recruitment efforts.

  • Intervention service offering via dedicated online channels an individual and anonymous support to people affected by/close to Islamic terrorist groups and their recruitment efforts.

The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents, which reflect the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Project Partners

KMOP – Social Action and Innovation Centre
Centro per lo Sviluppo Creativo Danilo Dolci (Italy) (Project Coordinator)
RLB – Radio La Benevolencija (The Netherlands)
Universita degli Studi di Palermo (Italy)
Die Berater (Austria)
Textgain BVBA (Belgium)

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