The democratic access to the Internet has changed not only our society, but also the strategies used by extremists. Currently, it is not difficult to find propaganda produced by extremists on social media, communication apps and even videogames.
Besides terrorist attacks perpetrated by groups such as Daesh, Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda, some countries have suffered attacks motivated by hate against immigrants and Muslims. As a matter of fact, many researchers have pointed out an increase in the number of Neo-Nazi groups that preach the purity of race.
The high amount of propaganda produced by both Neo-Nazi groups and Jihadist groups may be connected to the type of society that we belong: a society that seems to value more the appearance than the being itself. The post-truth society. In the digital era, where anyone can produce, edit and broadcast its own spectacle, it has become easier to persuade young people. Extremist groups have been taking advantage of that.
Words Heal the World is a non-profit organisation (limited company) that was set up to inspire students to use their skills and creativity to challenge hate on the internet. It is the only organisation in the world that puts young people as main actors in the development of messages to tackle different types of extremism.
Its work is based on a tripod, contributing with the work developed by universities, high schools, and dozens of organisations committed with peacebuilding, especially using words to tackle extremism.
Since young people are the main target of extremists, we believe they are the key to tackle extremism and radicalisation. Young people already know how to use social media platforms and they can use their creativity to develop strategies to challenge hate on the internet. Through partnerships with universities, we train students and empower them to use their skills to develop strategies to tackle extremist and help promote the work developed by 23 organisations that advocate for peace. We also bring this topic to discussion in high schools, encouraging students to find ways to challenge different types of extremism and inspiring them to use social media for peace.
Empower young people to break the vicious circle of hate.
The main goals of WORDS HEAL THE WORLD are:
- challenge hate on the internet with content produced by students from different nationalities and backgrounds
- provide young people with knowledge and the skills necessary to deconstruct extremist messages on multiple social media platforms
- help increase the visibility of institutions all over the world that use words to tackle extremism/radicalisation
- inform people about recent reports and events regarding extremism/radicalisation
- provide local and global communities with information about different types of extremism
- empower youth to promote peace through workshops that make them realise they can make a difference in our society
In the absence of a universal definition for the concept of extremism, we define extremism as every ideology that preaches the supremacy of a group in comparison to others due to their culture, religion, color, gender or sexual preferences. Therefore, we consider antisemitism, Islamophobia, jihadism, xenophobia, racism, misogyny and homophobia types of extremism.
We believe the fight against extremism begins on the online space, and there is no one better than young people to use it for peace. Students are the future generation, and we have been training them to use WORDS TO HEAL OUR WORLD.
Extremists have been using words as weapons and we are using them for PEACE.