Young Digital Leaders 2019: From Safety to Citizenship Online

Young Digital Leaders (YDL) is an educational programme aiming to empower young people across Europe through digital citizenship, critical thinking and media literacy. The programme, developed by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and supported by Google.org, was created to equip young people with the knowledge and skills they need to be safe, effective and empowered online citizens in the 21st century. It also sought to upskill teachers and parents so they could more proactively support this process, with a better understanding of the challenges faced online. The second phase built on a 2018 YDL pilot, expanding its reach with a collaborative partnership model between these stakeholder groups and local civil society organisations in Bulgaria, Greece and Romania.

This report describes the programme’s logic, content and the findings of our evaluation. It demonstrates its impact on participants, describes ideas to improve future programme delivery, and makes recommendations for policymakers who can positively influence the provision
of digital citizenship education (DCE) throughout Europe.

The Online Ecosystem of the German Far-Right

This report presents the findings of a research project of ISD’s Digital Analysis Unit about the alternative online-ecosystem of the far-right, including alternative social media platforms and alternative media outlets. While these platforms draw in a global audience this report focuses specifically on the German speaking and Germany-focused communities and outlets within this ecosystem. Drawing together ISD’s digital ethnographic work across dozens of forums and channels with the latest in machine learning and natural language processing, this report provides an overview over the size and nature of the far-right communities on these platforms the motivations for participating in these communities and assesses whether banning far-right groups from mainstream platforms leads to the displacement of their followers to ‘alternative’ platforms. We also analyse the role of alternative ‘news’ outlets in disseminating far right concepts, drawing on the‘Hate Observatory’, a joint initiative of ISD and the MIT Media Lab , based on their Media Cloud software, and compare the frequency and types of coverage of far-right themes in mainstream and alternative media. This report also recommends steps to be taken by tech companies, government, civil society and researchers to counter the far-right online.