- Target Audience
- Online communityYouth/pupils/students
- key themes association
- Alternative and counter narrativesInternet and radicalisation
- Peer Reviewed practice
Violence Prevention Network e.V.
For several years, the Violence Prevention Network, a non-profit NGO, has been engaged successfully in anti-violence work and the prevention of extremism, as well as the deradicalisation of extremist-motivated criminals. Since 2001, the Violence Prevention Network team has been reducing serious religion- and ideology-related crime and extreme acts of violence committed by young people.
By way of its work with right-wing extremist young people and those endangered by Islamist extremism, the Violence Prevention Network team's expertise in the field of working with ideologically motivated criminal offenders is recognised throughout the country. Using the method of Verantwortungspädagogik® (education of responsibility), the Violence Prevention Network has identified a way to address people affiliated with anti-democratic structures without shaming them, thus facilitating their reintegration into the democratic community.
Type of Organisation: NGO
The 'Online and offline deradicalisation interventions through social media' (On/Off Derad) model project aimed to reach those individuals at risk of (right-wing or Islamist extremist) radicalisation as well as those who had already been radicalised. It initially offered individuals the chance to engage in dialogue online, eventually leading to direct contact offline.
The resulting working relationship was set up in order to promote critical engagement with extremism and extremist ideology, and ultimately, to initiate steps for exiting radicalisation processes. This intervention was intended to be carried out before radical ideologies were entrenched so deeply that they had resulted in social isolation.
The On/Off Derad project was funded by various bodies: the European Commission’s Internal Security Fund (ISF); the Berlin State Commission against Violence as part of the Berlin State Programme for the Prevention of Radicalisation; the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and Sport; and the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth as part of the federal programme 'Demokratie leben!'.
The project set up two organisation accounts on Facebook: one for young people at risk of right-wing extremism ('Jugend fragt'), and one for young people at risk of Islamist radicalisation ('Islam-ist'). The posts were targeted using advertisement tools from Facebook, based on messages intended for juvenile users within these target groups. With the support of the Facebook Ads Manager, messages were displayed directly on users’ newsfeeds, in order to elicit a reaction from the target group.
The target group was predefined using a range of characteristics such as location, device used and demographic data. Messages invited users to interact with their sender — in this case, the Facebook profiles created for this specific purpose. The contact established via online chat led to further dialogue, which was eventually transferred to an offline context, in order to initiate a long-term deradicalisation process.
The project's target group comprised teenagers and young adults who had become radicalised, were at risk of radicalisation, or were at the onset of radicalisation, specifically those sharing/liking extremist content on social media or spending time in relevant forums and chat rooms of extremist groups.
Target-group-specific content was shared on the Facebook account created for young people attracted to Islamist-inspired radicalisation ('Islam-ist').
The content, designed to initiate a communication process, had previously been created in the course of another project (Islam-ist.de | Tränen-der-Dawa.de, funded by the Senate Department of the Interior in Berlin and the Hessian Ministry of the Interior and Sport).
The former website contains deliverables such as videos, a glossary and FAQ.