On February 23, 24 and 25 the Sofia Development Association held three interactive trainings under the title „Digital Gardening – Implementing Strategies to Counter Hate Speech Online“.
The workshops were intended for teachers, trainers, civic activists, specialists in working with children and also journalists.
The participants got acquainted with the general parameters of the LEAD - Online project, within which the training were held, as well as the different definitions of hate speech and specifically that in the online space.
These were followed by exercises on recognizing hate speech in various simulated situations drawn from real-life cases, and a discussion on the different possible reactions and when they are needed.
The final panel of each of the trainings was devoted to debating different scenarios and ideas for HateOut! - an online game that is being created within the framework of LEAD - Online and aims to help reach messages about countering hate speech online among students and young people.
Since a large part of the participants were professionals who on a daily basis have direct contact with children and teenagers, they were able to contribute to the process with objective and useful feedback on what has been built so far and to give interesting and practical ideas for the necessary corrections and additions to the game.
Finalizing HateOut! and publishing it is close, so the process of promoting and reaching as many young people as possible is not far away as well.
The project is funded by the EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme. SDA is the lead partner and coordinator of the project with Asociatia Divers, Forma.Azione, Future Needs Management Consulting LTD, Hellenic Open University, ZARA - Zivilcourage und Anti-Rassismus Arbeit and Udruge Centar za Mir, Nenasilje i Ljudska Prava as partners.