Coalition of Positive Messengers to Counter Online Hate Speech

The Project Coalition of Positive Messengers to Counter Online Hate Speech, co-funded by the RIGHTS, EQUALITY AND CITIZENSHIP PROGRAMME of the European Commission, started on 1 October 2016 and will end on 30 September 2018.

It is implemented by a consortium of 8 organizations from 7 countries: Sofia Development Association (Bulgaria) – lead partner, Libera Università di Lingue e Comunicazione IULM (Italy), the Languages Company (United Kingdom), Center for Peace (Croatia), People in Need (Czech Republic), Asociația Divers (Romania), Associazione FORMA.Azione (Italy), and Municipality of Agii Anargiri-Kamatero (Greece).

This project tackles the issue of hate speech - online hate speech in particular, targeted against migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in the 7 EU countries. It addresses the need for more effective civil society response to online hate speech through sharing and disseminating best practices. The main project objective is to strengthen the response of civil society at the national and EU level to online hate speech through active engagement of local communities in creating and sharing powerful counter-narratives against xenophobic discourse. The project focuses on 1) building multi-stakeholder coalitions for developing counter-narratives to denounce hate speech and negative representations of migrants and refugees, and 2) disseminating the positive messages through media literacy and a public awareness campaign.

The project also aims:

  • to compile and share best practices for countering the spread of online hate speech against migrants, refugees and minorities through awareness-raising campaigns;
  • to provide new data on the nature, scope and impact of online hate speech targeting migrants and refugees, in order to aid national and EU authorities to develop more effective integration and anti-discrimination policies;
  • to foster shared understanding and communication between the communities most vulnerable to hate speech and mainstream society in Europe;

  • to educate and train the target groups about hate speech, media literacy, creation and dissemination of web content.

The main project activities include:

1. Conducting country assessments and cross-country comparison of practices to counter online hate speech;
2. Conducting media content analysis in each country and cross-country comparison to analyze the spread of online hate speech against migrants and refugees;
3. Creating national coalitions from state and non-state actors to counter online hate speech;
4. Developing training modules and sharing of practices among partners and training events with target groups;
5. National public campaigns for positive messages and awareness raising on hate speech in each country;
6. Creating a website and interactive platform with resources on hate speech;
7. Final international conference.