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Call for participants: RAN Communications and Narratives meeting on ‘The Impact of Conspiracy Theories on Violent RWE and LWE Narratives and how to counter them’

This is an online meeting that will take place in the afternoon of 24 November and morning of 25 November 2020

For the RAN C&N Working Group meeting on ‘The Impact of Conspiracy Theories on Violent RWE and LWE Narratives and how to counter them’ we are looking for first-line practitioners dealing with conspiracy theories or left- and right-wing extremist narratives. This includes communication officers, counter- and alternative narrative experts, content moderators, social workers, psychologists, exit workers, academics and law enforcement officers.

Topic of meeting

RAN has organised several meetings on the topic of extremist narratives. At the end of 2017, the C&N working group held a meeting on both left- and right-wing audiences, where target audiences were identified as well as the different audiences’ narratives and messaging strategies. During this meeting, lessons learned to promote counter- and alternative narratives were identified and shared. In 2019, RAN C&N worked together with RAN POL (Police and Law Enforcement Group) to further identify current and future narratives and strategies used by violent Islamist extremist and RWE groups.

The 2019 factbook on Far-Right Extremism also included information related to narratives, symbolism and strategies used. In 2020, there has been a more extensive focus on conspiracy narratives, with a small-scale expert meeting focused on the role of conspiracy theories in processes of radicalisation, and a RAN Y&E meeting dedicated on to (post) COVID-19 stories that polarise.

Building on the outcomes of previous RAN meetings as well as current developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the QAnon movement, this meeting will identify the 2-3 most pressing conspiracy narratives that prevail in VRWE and VLWE narratives and work towards concrete elements of strategies on how to counter these narratives, including but not limited to the use of counter- and alternative narratives.

Call for participants

In order to find the best suited participants, we would like to ask you if you could answer the following questions when sharing your interest to participate:

  • What is the most prevalent conspiracy theories within (please indicate one per bullet):
    • VRWE narratives;
    • VLWE narratives;
    • commonalities in narratives of VRWE and VLWE?
  • What is the impact of new conspiracy theories on LWE and RWE narratives?
  • Have you seen a change in conspiracy theories used within violent LWE / RWE circles since the COVID-19 crisis?
  • What strategies can be used by first-line practitioners to counter these specific conspiracy narratives? What is effective?
  • Do you know any other relevant communications experts, and/or first-line practitioners that we should invite?


If you are interested in participating at this meeting, could you please elaborate on these questions before 04 November by sending your answers to l [dot] wouterseatradaradvies [dot] nl (Lieke Wouterse) and m [dot] verdegaalatradaradvies [dot] nl (Merle Verdegaal)? We will invite participants on the basis of this information.

Please keep in mind that we can only invite a limited amount of participants to this meeting to ensure valuable exchange and interaction, so participation is not guaranteed.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to contact us.