The Impact of Counter-Narratives

TANYA SILVERMAN, CHRISTOPHER J. STEWART, ZAHED AMANULLAH AND JONATHAN BIRDWELL, AUGUST 2016

The concept of creating counter-narrative in order to push back against extremist recruitment and propaganda has become well established in recent years. In practice, however, it has proven difficult to curate this content in a systematic way, target it toward at risk audiences, and – most importantly – measure constructive impact on their behaviour.

ISD’s Impact of Counter Narratives report presents the development, deployment, and evaluation of three counter- narrative campaigns orchestrated by the Against Violent Extremism network and Jigsaw (an incubator within Alphabet that uses technology to address geopolitical issues) with additional in-kind and financial support from Facebook and Twitter. The report provides fresh evidence that social media campaigns can help spark de-radicalisation.

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Voices of Pakistani Youth: Lessons for Civil Society in the Development of Effective Counter-Narrative Campaigns

This report provides a series of evidence-based lessons for international NGOs, practitioners and activists working in Pakistan, to improve their capacities in developing counter-narrative campaigns to counter extremism and hate speech. Through YouthCAN, focus groups bringing together 70 young people from Islamabad explored how youth in the country understand extremism and hate speech: how they define these issues, where they encounter them, and who they see as responsible.

Developing a Civil Society Response to Online Manipulation

This document presents a vision for a pan-civil societal response to online manipulation. In part, it argues, this will come down to capability: building a pooled detection capacity to function as a transparent, public interest alter­native to those built by the tech giants. In part, it will require new organisational philosophies and forms of co-operation, and in part new approaches to funding and support.