Module 3. The importance of Local Communities in Resisting External Trends of Violent Extremism
Sometimes it is very difficult to determine the line where freedom of speech ends and hate speech or violent extremism begins in the digital space. This is why it is necessary to take the context, intention and potential damage but also the influence of the source of the information and messages into account in order to accurately define this difference. This is one of the conclusions reached by the young Academy participants during the third educational module. In addition to its advantages, the digitisation of the public space also brings negative phenomena. One of them is the speed of the spread of hate speech and violent extremism through digital platforms, online media and social networks.
The project ‘Young bh. Digital Monitors’ HUB for Safety – recognising and reporting violent extremism’ focuses precisely on this problem. Through various activities, young people are educated and encouraged to transfer the knowledge they acquired to their community and thus contribute to the prevention of violent extremism on social networks.
Academy participant, Neira Velić, emphasised “The importance of this issue has a number of reasons. Among other things, that not only isolated people are possible targets of violent extremists. That is, those who recruit them, but also educated young people involved in social trends who live in city centres and the like. Radical groups or individuals use all available means to reach their goal and social networks are an ideal tool. In today’s module I realised that there are different triggers why people are ready for radical undertakings.”
Saša Kecman, an expert in violent extremism, shared his experience with the young participants. He approached the topic through practical examples that included hate speech, violent extremism and other forms of unacceptable behaviour on social networks.
Under the guidance of their mentors, through exercises and examples from practice, the participants had the opportunity to demonstrate the knowledge they had acquired through the previous modules.
The mentor, Mihajlo Pašić, stated “It was a pleasure to work with young people who are aware of the importance of the emergence of violent extremism in the digital space. Through the third module of the Academy we commented on specific examples and gave an overview of the wide range of this phenomenon in our society. I hope that the young monitors will successfully continue their work and master all the techniques that were presented to them.”
Work in groups
All information about the project ‘Young bh. Digital Monitors’ HUB for Safety – recognising and reporting violent extremism’ can be found on the website and social networks of the Organisation JabihEU www.jabiheu.ba and on the platform www.prepoznaj.ba