The Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI)

The OCCI upskills and upscales the civic response to online hate and extremism in Europe.

In partnership with Facebook, the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI) is the first strategic non-governmental effort to mount a Europe-wide proportional response to hate, violence and terrorism online. The OCCI combines expertise from technology, communications, marketing and academia to upskill and upscale the civic response to online hate and extremism.

OCCI’s activities are designed to address the gaps and needs identified by the counter-speech community in Germany, France and the UK.

RESEARCH
The OCCI’s Insight Reports equip NGO partners with in-depth, data-driven insights into the ever-evolving landscape of extremist propaganda, narratives and networks. This supports NGOs by providing them with the knowledge needed to develop effective campaigns against extremism, hate, polarisation and disinformation.

AD GRANTS
The OCCI in-kind advertising grants support NGOs conducting counter-speech campaigns in Germany, France and the UK. Grants are accompanied by guidance on the design and delivery of the campaigns, increasing their potential impact.

COMMUNITY
The OCCI Community provides a secure and collaborative online space for organisations and activists to share their campaigns, experiences, advice and challenges with like-minded and similarly inspirational people.

TRAINING
The OCCI Counterspeech Labs help NGOs design and deliver their own counter-speech campaigns. The labs bring together regional activist organisations and pairs them with content creators and marketing agencies to upskill the potential of counter speech campaigners. For more information on how to get involved in a Lab, email [email protected]

SUPPORT
The OCCI team is available to answer questions and provide guidance on how to develop, manage and measure effective counter-speech campaigns. Please write to us at [email protected] for support.

Launch of the OCCI

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg and Sasha Havlicek
at the UK launch of the OCCI, London, 2018

OCCI Community Boost

OCCI Community Boost workshop,
London, UK, 2018

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ISD’s OCCI team

Cooper Gatewood
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Cooper Gatewood

Senior Digital Research Manager

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Cooper Gatewood
Cooper Gatewood

Senior Digital Research Manager

Cooper Gatewood is a Senior Digital Research Manager within ISD’s Digital Research Unit, focusing on quantitative research into the spread of hateful and polarising narratives online, and how they are leveraged by extremist actors. Cooper is currently contributing to ISD’s research on disinformation campaigns, particularly those aimed to influence and disrupt election processes. He also manages on the Online Civil Courage Initiative in France, coordinating activities to support civil society’s response to hate and extremism online. In addition, Cooper conducts ongoing evaluation of a number of ISD’s programmes, including Be Internet Citizens and Young Digital Leaders. Cooper also develops monitoring and evaluation frameworks for a number of ISD’s education projects. Previously, Cooper worked at Portland, where he advised clients from the non-profit and government sectors on their media engagement and social media strategies. He is the co-author of ISD reports The Boom Before the Ban: QAnon and Facebook, La pandémie de COVID-19: terreau fertile de la haine en ligne, Fostering Civic Responses to Online Harms, Promouvoir le civisme en ligne face aux malveillances à l’ère du numérique, Disinformation briefing: Narratives around Black Lives Matter and voter fraud, Mapping hate in France: A panoramic view of online discourse, and Building Digital Citizenship in France: Lessons from the Sens Critique project. Cooper holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Masters of International Security from Sciences Po and is fluent in Spanish and French, as well as speaking proficient Japanese.
Cécile Simmons
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Cécile Simmons

Research Manager

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Cécile Simmons
Cécile Simmons

Research Manager

Cécile Simmons is a Research Manager at ISD, working within the digital research and policy team. She has co-authored reports on far-right terrorism and extremism, hate speech, gender-based violence and disinformation campaigns targeting elections. She works with tech companies, government departments and inter-governmental organisations. Cécile features regularly in international media, including BBC News, The Guardian, Politico, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Le Monde, and Wired. She is the co-author of ISD reports La pandémie de COVID-19: terreau fertile de la haine en ligne, Seconde vague et désinformation: Aperçu des tendances sur les réseaux sociaux, The Interplay Between Australia’s Political Fringes on the Right and Left: Online Messaging on Facebook, Public Figures, Public Rage: Candidate abuse on social media, An Online Environmental Scan of Right-wing Extremism in Canada, Mapping hate in France: A panoramic view of online discourse and Fostering Civic Responses to Online Harms: Learnings from the Online Civil Courage Initiative and the Online Civic Fund.
Sasha Moriniere
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Sasha Moriniere

Analyst

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Sasha Moriniere
Sasha Moriniere

Analyst

Sasha Moriniere is an Analyst at ISD. She is currently contributing to ISD’s research on disinformation campaigns, particularly those aimed to influence and disrupt the 2022 elections in France. Sasha previously worked at Moonshot and most recently contributed to the report delivered to the French President Emmanuel Macron about online disinformation and its impact on our democracies. She holds a Master of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is fluent in French, Spanish, and is learning Arabic. 
Iris Boyer
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Iris Boyer

Senior Advisor, ISD France

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Iris Boyer
Iris Boyer

Senior Advisor, ISD France

Iris Boyer is a Senior Advisor at ISD and spearheads ISD’s development in France. She also works as a Senior Policy Consultant for Reset and is an honorary member of different expert groups on information manipulations and online threats set up by the French regulatory body. She has recently set up the first coalition of academics observing cyberthreats to electoral integrity in France. Previously she spent five years overseeing ISD’s flagship communications, education and technology programming, as well as mobilising and training international networks of civil society organizations against online hate and radicalisation, and designing digital citizenship modules against disinformation.  Iris has also worked as a Senior Policy Manager for the Web Foundation where she led the global roll out strategy of the Contract for the Web, focusing on Platforms and Government accountability. Before that, Iris spent time working at Facebook and Google on European and Global programming supporting the mobilisation of civil society against online harms. She started her career working for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and held several positions covering Russian speaking countries. Her background is in political science and public policy.