Radical messages are rapidly spreading through the Internet targeting vulnerable groups, particularly young people aged 16 to 25, posing security threats across the EU. Counter@ct’s core objective is to promote behavioural change, dissuading such groups from adhering to radicalising/terrorist content online and/or using violence, by providing them with counter-narratives. These narratives will use successful stories of disengagement by vulnerable groups from radical ideas. We expect to provide tools to address these groups via an online counter-narrative campaign and its impact assessment.

Four work packages were set, as well as a management concept stemming from complementary levels of expertise/roles. It will start by studying how these vulnerable groups interact online, including motivation rationales, triggers and key-influencers. The desk research allows for the definition of an effective communication strategy that will be the basis of a counter-narrative online campaign and a set of indicators to outline the impact assessment plan.

There will be 6 awareness-raising sessions (240 participants), targeting youngsters within vulnerable groups and two training courses (40 participants) to campaign managers, in PT and ES. A Practical Guide to Prevent and Combat Online Radicalisation and Extremism will be created (in PT/EN/ES) with chapters on: how to implement an online counter-narrative campaign and its underlying communication strategy; how to develop indicators and an impact assessment methodology; how can campaign managers deal with its impacts; how to develop awareness-raising and training session; how to improve multi-stakeholder cooperation to prevent and combat online radicalisation. A final conference, gathering multi-stakeholder experts will be held in Portugal to present the deliverables and results of the project, as well as to promote a public debate on preventing and fighting radicalisation/terrorism, strengthening long-lasting cooperation.

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