RVI counters dangerous messages that include terrorist propaganda, hate speech, disinformation, harassment, and intimidation. Online amplification and distribution tools has made targeting vulnerable audiences with manipulated and weaponised information possible at an unprecedented scale, increasing the risk of harm to individuals and communities, especially in post-conflict societies. The aim of the RVI is to empower a diverse group of civil society actors – activists, journalists, bloggers, educators, and other online (and offline) influencers – to strategically engage in online and offline communication campaigns, utilising technology, together with a deep understanding of their communities, to produce compelling content that effectively pushes back against polarising, inflammatory, and radicalising discourse.
From 2018, the Resonant Voices Initiative will expand its focus to the Western Balkan diaspora communities living in the EU.
European Union, Internal Security Fund – Police
The project’s general objective is to strengthen the influence of credible voices that challenge extremist propaganda by targeting audiences vulnerable to radicalisation within the Western Balkans diaspora in the EU.
– To reach vulnerable segments of the Western Balkan diaspora living in the EU through a comprehensive and previously tested approach – a strategic communications model in response to radicalising influences leading to violent extremism, based on research, multi-stakeholder consultations, collaborative prototyping, and rigorous audience assessment and impact testing.
– To provide credible, alternative, and positive narratives exposing and challenging online and offline extremist messaging and targeting of the Western Balkan diaspora.
– To explore, address, and reduce the influence of push-and-pull factors of online extremist content among the Western Balkan diaspora.
– To promote tolerance and the EU’s fundamental values among the targeted audience.
– An in-depth audience research will be conducted with the aim to better understand the motivations, circumstances, and context that drives recruitment to violent extremism among the target audience. The research will also aim to identify gaps, shortcomings, and good practices in addressing extremist content, in the countering of extremist propaganda. Data will be collected to map online content and online behaviours of the target audience and their exposure to different types of narratives and problematic content, as well as existing or emerging counter-speech efforts.
– The Resonant Voices Fellowship will create a pool of investigative journalists and reporters who will be able to competently and sensitively report on subject matters relating to extremist radicalisation and violence, as well as explore and investigate issues and influences driving online extremist propaganda and other information manipulation efforts.
– An online communication campaign to provide an alternative or counter narrative for a well-defined target audience that is vulnerable to radicalisation. This will be combined, where appropriate, with off-line activities, which will be designed and implemented. The project will strive to develop the capacities of local beneficiaries to meaningfully challenge extremist narratives by creating and distributing compelling content, using various creative communication techniques.
– Based on the research, investigative reports, practical testing, and fieldwork conducted as part of this project, recommendations and other relevant findings will be compiled and further disseminated and used as guides in future Europe-wide efforts to counter violent extremism. These will be particularly for experts and practitioners engaged through initiatives of the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) and the Civil Society Empowerment Programme (CSEP).
Audiences vulnerable to radicalisation and recruitment within the Western Balkans diaspora in the EU.
Stichting Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) – Netherlands.
Foundation Propulsion Fund – Serbia
Balkan Investigative Reporting Regional Network (BIRN Hub) – Bosnia and Herzegovina