Title LEAD-Online: Learn, Engage, Act: Digital Tools to Prevent and Counter Hate Speech Online
Project Number 101049379
Start – End Date 01/03/2022 – 28/02/2024
Duration 24 months
Funding Agency European Commission
Total Project Funding 592.454,72 €
Project Homepage n/a
The project LEAD-Online addresses the need to strengthen critical thinking and digital & media literacy skills in young people, as causally linked to the low levels of reporting and the “normalization” of hate speech online (HSO). The project will empower youth, teachers, media and social media activists in 7 countries (AT, BG, CY, HR, IT, EL, RO) to become agents of change by:
- training them to recognize hateful discourses and underlying forms of intolerance, prejudices and discrimination, using a rights-based approach;
- providing them with innovative digital tools to classify, decode and counter HSO, and
- opening up spaces for discussion of HSO, promoting attitudes and behaviour that respect human rights and values.
The project includes empirical research, co-creation of online tools, in-person and online training, and outreach activities. Target groups are young people aged 14-19, educators, journalists, social media activists, b/vloggers; civil society, Internet service providers. Through online self-assessment tools the will produce hate speech ontologies, which will be used to develop and test an interactive online game, Hate Out! with resources in 7 languages to identify and counter HSO. Partners will run a series of events (LEAD-Online Talks) and online creative campaign to reinforce the awareness of the chilling effects of hate speech in society. Over 4000 young people and educators will participate in interactive learning formats on human rights-based activism against HSO. Through Hate Out! over 3500 users will learn to denounce hate messages in an online environment. Students, youth leaders, journalists, and educators will become co-creators of proactive narratives against HSO. Over 1400 participants in more than 20 public LEAD-Online Talks will gain new awareness of the wide implications of HSO and will get access to international networks and resources for countering hate speech. More than 35,000 people will be reached through online information.
“LEAD-Online aims to reduce the normalization of hate speech by improving the understanding of HSO nature as violating human rights. Activities have the potential to create a tangible change, in terms of improvement of competences, active participation and cooperation of different agents, esp. young people. The activities are experiential in nature and adapted to the profiles of the participants, which promotes effects at the behavioral level. In line with the project specific objectives, the following short, mid- and long-term changes are expected.
- Through self-assessment, target groups will be prompted to reflect on their views, experiences and attitudes to HSO, and understand better their decisions to report/not report HSO.
- LEAD-Online will improve the capacity of target groups to use a human rights and values framework and media literacy skills to recognize, prevent and react to HSO, and thus reduce young people’s “epistemological vulnerability”.
- Introducing innovative online learning resources on HSO. By combining modern digital technology, user interaction, and a learning-by-doing approach, the capacity of target groups and final beneficiaries to recognize HSO is increased.
- Improved multi-stakeholder cooperation to counter HSO, including for reporting instances; new mechanisms to engage expert networks in local and national activities to counter HSO will be established; inspirational examples and strategies on tackling hatred will be shared among countries.
- Increased public awareness of the polarizing effects of HSO and informed, proactive counteraction of HSO promoted. Through the LEAD-Online Talks, the public in each country will be engaged in brave conversations, prompting public figures, politicians, influencers, media to commit to measures against HS proliferation off and online.
Target groups and stakeholders in education, civic sector, media sector in partner countries benefit from new multiple open-access learning resources and sustainable, scalable, interactive digital instruments for countering HSO. Policy-makers in partner countries will be provided with recommendations to support formal educational activities for media literacy.
- Assotsiatsia Za Razvitie Na Sofia, Bulgaria
- Forma Azione SRL, Italy
- Udruge Centar Za Mir, Nenasilje I Ljudska Prava – Osijek, Croatia
- Asociatia Divers, Romania
- Future Needs Management Consulting LTD, Cyprus
- Hellenic Open University, Greece and its DAISSy Research Group
- Zara – Zivilcourage Und Anti-rassismus Arbeit, Austria
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