SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.

LEAD-Online PROJECT (funded under CERV-2021-EQUAL)

Learn, Engage, Act: Digital Tools to Prevent and Counter Hate Speech Online”

The EU funded project LEAD-Online addresses the need to strengthen critical thinking and digital & media literacy skills in young people, as causally linked to the low levels of reporting and the “normalization” of hate speech online (HSO). The project started in March, the kick off meeting took place in Sofia on 7th of April 2022 and will end in February 2024.

The project will empower youth, teachers, media and social media activists in 7 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Romania) to become agents of change by training them to recognize hateful discourses and underlying forms of intolerance, prejudices and discrimination, using a rights-based approach, providing them with innovative digital tools to classify, decode and counter HSO, and opening up spaces for discussion of HSO, promoting attitudes and behaviour that respect human rights and values. The project includes empirical research, co-creation of online tools, in-person and online training, and outreach activities.

Target groups are young people aged 14-19, educators, journalists, social media activists, b/vloggers; civil society, Internet service providers. Through online self-assessment tools we will produce hate speech ontologies, which will be used to develop and test an interactive online game, Hate Out! with resources in 7 languages to identify and counter HSO.

Partners will run a series of events (LEAD-Online Talks) and an online creative campaign to reinforce the awareness of the chilling effects of hate speech in society.

Facts & figures:

  • Over 4000 young people and educators will participate in interactive learning formats on human rights-based activism against HSO.
  • Through Hate Out! over 3500 users will learn to denounce hate messages in an online environment. Students, youth leaders, journalists, and educators will become co-creators of proactive narratives against HSO.
  • Over 1400 participants in more than 20 public LEAD-Online Talks will gain new awareness of the wide implications of HSO and will get access to international networks and resources for countering hate speech.
  • More than 35,000 people will be reached through online information.

LEAD-Online Partners are:

ASSOTSIATSIA ZA RAZVITIE NA SOFIA | Bulgaria

FORMA.AZIONE SRL | Italy

UDRUGE CENTAR ZA MIR, NENASILJE I LJUDSKA PRAVA - OSIJEK | Croatia

Asociatia Divers | Romania

FUTURE NEEDS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING LTD | Cyprus

HELLENIC OPEN UNIVERSITY | Greece

ZARA - ZIVILCOURAGE UND ANTI-RASSISMUS ARBEIT | Austria

 

Facebook   @LEADOnlineEU

Instagram   leadonline_eu

Twitter   @LEADOnlineEU

 

The project is funded by the EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme.

     

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