VOICEPOSITIVE LABS 2018
Swaniti Initiative – Ank Aha have partnered with Facebook India to conduct Voice Positive Labs 2018 – a series of workshops across the nation to engage youth on the issue of online violent extremism. Through creative skill building and interaction with experts, these workshops will enable young minds to develop and execute their own social media campaigns to counter violent extremsim (CVE) and spread positive messages on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In recent decades, the advent of the internet revolution and the increased user-base on social media has led to the rise of online violent extremism in India. The youth have been specifically affected by these changes due to the widespread use of social media that has provided them with a platform for expression that is both inexpensive and easily accessible. Social media platforms are now hotbeds for extremist messaging and radicalization campaigns, with the youth often being the target, or the messengers, for such efforts. Given these conditions, the younger generation is both vulnerable to extremist ideology, as well as in the strongest position to tackle it.
VoicePositive Labs 2018 aims to empower youth to recongise the issue of online extremism, and use the power of positive messaging and social media to make a difference.
- Visiting cities across the country to conduct two-day workshops
- Knowledge-building about CVE through interaction with experts in the field
- Training for development of positive social media campaigns through creative modules
- Launch and presentation on campaigns to CVE and social media experts
- Post-workshop guidance from mentors and the VoicePositive team
In each city, VoicePositive Labs aims to tap into the local context and local talent. We engage students on how to identify extremism in their surroundings and encourage them to share these experiences to help them create relevant content for their campaigns.
A major aim of the program is to Increase the awareness of the youth on the issue of online extremsim and introduce to them the concepts of CVE and counterspeech. We host interactive sessions with sector experts such as policy-makers, administrators, academicians and creative experts, to discuss the rise of extremist thought, CVE in India, and its consequences. VoicePositive Labs 2018 has hosted Government IT Secretaries, high-ranking police personel, noteable research experts and leading journalists to share their experiences and knowledge.
The workshops aim to build skills and capacity for youth to develop sustainable counterspeech campaigns. Through the course of the workshop participants are made familiar with the process and tools required to build, strategize and sustain a successful counterspeech campaign. VoicePositive brings in creative experts from fields such as music, art, theatre, comedy, photography, and dance, to mentor and guide participants in how to effectively tackle online extremism by creating impactful content. During the course of the workshop, our participants rehearse acts, shoot videos and even take photography walks around the city to create content for their campaigns.
SUSTAINABLE COUNTERSPEECH CAMPAIGNS
Our workshops have seen enthusiastic participation and a huge amount of talent from our participants. Several CVE campaigns have been launched on a range of issues such as communal violence, regional extremism and caste-based atrocities.