With people spending a great deal of time online, the ideal integral approach in the prevention and countering of violent extremism (P/CVE), on the local level, is no longer based solely on face-to-face contact and interventions. It also comprises online components and interventions that allow local coordinators and first-line practitioners to signal signs of radicalisation and to intervene through digital communication channels. This paper is based on the insights from the RAN LOCAL meeting on 27–28 May 2021. It presents practitioners’ views on what is needed for smart and more effective solutions to address the digital or online space and what tools, knowledge and means they need to achieve this.
The participants identified the following needs:
- Intensify the online presence of first-line practitioners on the online platforms and apps where polarising and extremist content is shared and to create online safe spaces to actively reach out and engage with relevant target groups.
- Work towards a clear legal structure and framework that includes juridical and ethical boundaries of online P/CVE work and the roles and responsibilities of actors involved.
- Use artificial intelligence and monitoring software to detect (local) extremist content and patterns using machine learning algorithms.
- Raise public awareness about the risks of being online, and who and where to turn to in case of any problems.
The needs and challenges are identified first, followed by practical tips and insights on how to use online actions impactful on the local level for local coordinators and first-line practitioners. Read more