BRYCA: Building Resistance in Youth in Central Asia to the influence of illegal hate speech and misinformation online and on social media – THE GAME
The overall goal
The project promotes critical thinking and aims to strengthen the resilience of youth to misinformation and hate speech online as part of the global objective to promote support to civil society in protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms worldwide.
In the targeted Central Asia countries, except for Kyrgyzstan, authorities often use national security as an excuse for cracking down on free speech and independent journalism, maintaining these countries near the bottom of the press freedom tables. In parallel, levels of media literacy are universally low, with the public having little awareness of the role or responsibilities of the media in a democratic society. As elsewhere in the world, youth in Central Asia mainly and increasingly rely on online media and social media for their information. Traditional media, increasingly not accessed, also do not provide an effective counter to the messages of hate and misinformation found online. The result is a population increasingly vulnerable to misinformation and hate speech. In this context, the project appropriately responds to the needs of vulnerable youth to increase critical thinking, media literacy skills and resistance to the influence of illegal hate speech and misinformation, particularly on social media. Teachers, educators, youth leaders and community workers, as influential actors, will also be supported in order to improve their ability to engage with youth on these issues. Specifically, the project will strengthen the capacity of the beneficiaries by giving remote and marginalised youth the skills and methods needed to identify and resist misinformation and hate speech, and by giving educators, social workers and community workers resources to better engage with remote and marginalised youth.
The specific objectives and expected results of the project:
Objective 1 – To incentivise vulnerable youth in remote areas of Central Asia to participate in online and mobile educational games that build their critical thinking and counter disinformation and illegal hate speech.
- Monitoring of hate speech and disinformation program rolled out in each project country
- Development of games software and the platform
- Ongoing implementation of games and awarding of prizes: Each country will manage content production and delivery of prizes for the games, as well as collection of data on users, development of questionnaires as needed, and marketing for the games.
- Civic Actions for Youth: vulnerable youth will be invited to implement civic actions which will give them the opportunity to progress in the educational game
Objective 2 – To expand access to online information and educational tools that counter disinformation and illegal hate speech, promote critical thinking and the use of reliable independent sources across Central Asia.
The activities build on work done by IREX Europe, MSCF and MediaNet over the past two years during which the online media literacy tool Media Sabak was launched and a number of Media literacy curricula developed, with corresponding training of trainers and training of teachers, university lecturers and librarians. In particular, this project aims to harmonize the partners media literacy approach and training in the 4 countries, expand and build on Media Sabak platform, an online media literacy resource for Central Asia which is a fully accessible and open source resource in MIL for use by students, youth, teachers, librarians, university professors, community centre/youth workers and the public in general. In addition, the project envisages media literacy capacity building for educators/youth leaders/community workers and local media literacy training for marginalised youth.
Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
Project Dates: January 2020 – December 2022
Countries: Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan
Media Support Center Foundation (Kyrgyzstan)
MediaNet International Centre for Journalism (Kazakhstan)
Modern journalism development center (Uzbekistan)
Public Organization “Gurdofarid” (Tajikistan)
Project’s donor: European Commission