Pro Dialogue – Combating hate speech and fake news through the intercultural dialogue of citizens
01.09.2019 – 31.08.2021
According to the Eurobarometer, 83 per cent of the Europeans think that fake news threaten democracy; 73 per cent of Internet users are concerned that fake news in the internet have a negative influence on the elections of the European Parliament. However, in the age of digitalisation hate speech and fake news can strongly influence the public opinion if they are regularly published. Then, if the same content is coming from different sources, the risk, that it is considered as true or that a great mass of Internet users accepts them silently, gets higher. In all partner countries the amount of hate speech and disinformation – spread in the Internet – is increasing, with an upward trend. Unfortunately, particularly disadvantaged groups of persons, such as refugees, Roma, members of national minorities, Jews, Muslims or Homosexuals, are mainly targeted.
As a consequence, social exclusion and discrimination are prevalent; self-confidence of the concerned people gets lower, their fear grows; the number of verbal and physical attacks rises; prejudices and stereotypes increase. Finally, this leads to the fact that the right of free development is more and more limited for those target groups. Without a doubt, the initiatives that have been started by the EU and the laws that were enforced by several partner countries are a step in the right direction and have a corresponding impact in practice. But they help the concerned people only in a limited way because they are only applied when the damage is already done.
Therefore, the project „Pro Dialogue” aims at initiating a social dialogue at local/regional level of the partner countries that combats the reasons for hate speech and fake news. On one hand, it shall be based on verified information and facts, be led rather rationally than emotionally and exclude abuses and insults. On the other hand, it shall bring concerned and involved people together and ensure that they do not speak about each other but with each other. Therefore, emphasis is given on the daily life that has a direct impact on the local community.
For this reason, the project partners from Bulgaria (Association International Initiatives for Cooperation), Germany (Kontake für Europa e.V. & Jugend- & Kulturprojekt e.V.), Greece (Biopolitics International Organisation), Hungary (Humán Eröforrásért Egyesület Dél-Alföldi Régió), North Macedonia (Association for Sustainable Development – SFERA), Romania (Inspectoratul Scolar Judetean Buzau) and Serbia (Romag) are going to develop together:
1. A Curriculum for the education of Dialogators including training material
2. A Toolkit for Dialogators that supports their practical work
3. A pilot Training of the Dialogators
4. Training 70 multipiers that are going to promote the project
5. A Practice test (dialogue activities) and optimisation of the Curriculum and the toolkit
6. A Blended Learning Course for educating the Dialogators
7. A Concept for Mobility projects for the education of Dialogators
8. Dissemination and exploitation of the projects’ results
The project is co-financed by the European Commission through the Erasmus+ Programme