Social media like Facebook and YouTube have emerged as an effective alternative to build positive public opinions and mobilize social action. Many social media pages/channels have strong audience bases and can create positive understanding and foster greater awareness on social issues among online communities. Online activists create content on a wide range of issues; however, there is almost no content available across social media pages that are targeted to prevent violent extremism and effort to promote peace and tolerance.
The pilot project addressed capacity and promotional issues of youths (project branded them as citizen journalists) who run social media platforms in Dhaka and Rajshahi. The youths produced and posted quality social media contents addressing violence extremism and related issues. As of 31 December 2019, contents were reached to over 267,000 online users.
- Citizen journalists are trained on preventing violent extremism issues
- Citizen journalists produced quality contents for social media on preventing violent extremism
- Research: assess training needs which included desk study, two focus group discussions, and depth interviews.
- Course development: based on research findings, a training module was developed for a three-day training course.
- Providing training: after identifying and selecting the potential online activists/citizen journalists, two training were delivered in Dhaka and Rajshahi for 48 youths.
- Post-training activity: provided guidance to the trainees during their content development, posting and promotion. Implemented collaborative reporting.
- Analysis and monitoring: gathered data from social media insights and analyzed them. Content analysis was also done.
- Award: best social media reports developed by the trainees were awarded.