Online Civil Courage Initiative

Combatting hate speech and extremism across Europe through our online counter-extremism hub in partnership with Facebook

In partnership with Facebook, the OCCI is the first strategic non-governmental effort to mount a proportional response to the propagation of hate, violence and terrorism online, across Europe. It delivers models that combine expertise from the technology, communications and marketing, and academic sectors 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 Insight Reports equip NGO partners on an ongoing basis, with in-depth, data-driven insights into the fast evolving landscape of extremist propaganda, narratives and networks to equip NGOs with the knowledge needed to develop effecitve campaigns.

AD GRANTS

The OCCI in-kind advertising grants support NGOs conducting counterspeech 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 counterspeech campaigns. The labs bring together regional activist organisations and pairs them with content creators and marketing agencies to upskill the potential of counterspeech campaigners.

SUPPORT

The OCCI Help Desk connects practitioners with experts able to answer questions and provide guidance on how to develop, manage and measure effective counterspeech

  • OCCI France
  • OCCI UK Conference
  • OCCI UK Conference
  • ISD UK Conference
  • OCCI Lab

Resource links

Our latest news

Impact to date

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Team
Iris Boyer
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Iris Boyer

Deputy Head, Technology, Communications and Education

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Iris Boyer
Iris Boyer

Deputy Head, Technology, Communications and Education

Iris is Deputy Head for Technology, Communications and Education, overseeing a number of programmes supporting and amplifying civil society’s efforts against extremism through scaled partnerships with tech companies and grassroots organisations. Iris also coordinates multi-sectorial networks spanning government, academia, the media and the NGO sector, and regularly advises them with ISD’s insights on the latest trends in extremism and the most effective and innovative approaches to tackle its mainstreaming. She is also working on ISD’s regional expansion, and particularly leading on thought leadership and development in France. Before joining ISD, Iris worked at YouTube on the development and coordination of the global campaign Creators for Change, after having managed counter speech and social good programmes at Facebook for their EMEA policy team. Prior to that, she spent some time working for French Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a junior policy analyst in Russia and Eastern Europe, as well as for French Ministry of Finance, as an economic attaché covering the South Caucasus region. Iris holds a French 5-year diploma in social sciences and humanities from Sciences Po, as well as an international master in public affairs from the Higher School of Economics in Moscow and the London Metropolitan University. Before graduating, Iris has also worked as an intern for a youth-oriented charity in Belgium and a policy-focused think tank Russia, as well as with French MEP and former Minister of Education Vincent Peillon at the European Parliament.
Julia Ebner
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Julia Ebner

Senior Research Fellow

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Julia Ebner
Julia Ebner

Senior Research Fellow

Julia Ebner is a Research Fellow at ISD, specialising in far-right extremism, reciprocal radicalisation and European terrorism prevention initiatives. She is the author of ‘The Rage: The Vicious Circle of Islamist and Far-Right Extremism’ as well as several peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and policy briefings. On the basis of her research, Julia advises parliamentary working groups, frontline workers and tech firms, speaks at international conferences and delivers workshops in schools and universities. She regularly writes for the Guardian and the Independent and gives interviews in English, German and French on the BBC, CNN, ZDF, ARD, France24, Al Jazeera, LBC and others. Before joining ISD, Julia worked as a Senior Researcher at the counter-extremism organisation Quilliam, where she led research projects on terrorism prevention for the European Commission and the Kofi Annan Foundation and gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee on far-right extremism. Among other publications, she co-authored the report ‘The EU and Terrorism: Is Britain Safer In or Out?’ as well as a chapter in the Routledge volume Education and Extremisms. In her role as the coordinator of the pan-European network Families Against Terrorism and Extremism (FATE), she carried out radicalisation prevention projects across Europe and North Africa. Julia holds an MSc (Dist) in International History from London School of Economics and an MSc (Dist) in International Relations from Peking University. She completed her undergraduate studies with a BA (Hons) in Philosophy and a BSc in International Business.
Cooper Gatewood
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Cooper Gatewood

Manager, Digital Research

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Cooper Gatewood
Cooper Gatewood

Manager, Digital Research

Cooper is a Manager within ISD’s Digital Research Unit, focussing on quantitative research into the spread of hateful and polarising narratives online, and how they are leveraged by extremist actors. Cooper also develops monitoring and evaluation frameworks to measure the impact of a number of ISD’s intervention projects. 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. Prior to joining ISD, Cooper worked at Portland, where he advised clients from the non-profit and government sectors on their media engagement and social media strategies. Cooper holds a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University and a Masters of International Security from Sciences Po. He has a background in quantitative research and data visualisation. He also speaks fluent Spanish and French, as well as proficient Japanese.
Jakob Guhl
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Jakob Guhl

Coordinator, Technology, Communications & Education

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Jakob Guhl
Jakob Guhl

Coordinator, Technology, Communications & Education

Jakob Guhl is a Associate at the ISD, where he mainly works with the Online Civil Courage Initiative, a project that aims to improve and promote civil society reactions to hate speech and extremism on the Internet. Jakob has co-authored research reports on reciprocal radicalisation between far-right extremists and Islamists, coordinated trolling campaigns, hate speech and disinformation campaigns targeting elections. Additionally, he has published articles in the “Journal for Deradicalisation”, “Demokratie gegen Menschenfeindlichkeit” and co-authored an essay for an edited volume of the Munich Residence Theatre about the origins of contemporary political anger. Jakob holds an MA in Terrorism, Security and Society from King’s College London. His dissertation focused on the radicalisation processes of converts to Islam who became violent extremists.
Natasha Hanckel-Spice
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Natasha Hanckel-Spice

Head of Partnerships & Delivery, Technology, Communications & Education

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Natasha Hanckel-Spice
Natasha Hanckel-Spice

Head of Partnerships & Delivery, Technology, Communications & Education

Natasha manages ISD’s partnership projects programmes, overseeing delivery. This includes the Youth Civil Activism Network (YouthCAN) and Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI) in partnership with Facebook. Prior to joining ISD, Natasha worked with a number of well-known organisations including the British Home Office, advising on marketing strategy and developing social enterprise and youth campaigns.
Christopher Stewart
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Christopher Stewart

Manager, Technology, Communications & Education

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Christopher Stewart
Christopher Stewart

Manager, Technology, Communications & Education

Christopher J. Stewart is a Manager at ISD, working primarily on the Online Civil Courage Initiative (OCCI) where he is responsible for the delivery of innovative models that combine expertise from the technology, communications and marketing, and academic sectors to ‘upskill and upscale’ the civic response to online hate and extremism. Christopher has an expertise in research focussed on the effectiveness of counterspeech and civil society efforts to challenge hate speech and extremism. Christopher’s most recent publications include: The Impact of Counter-Narratives, exploring the effect of online counter-narrative content, following a year-long cross-platform pilot study conducted in cooperation with Google; and an article on lone actor terrorism in the Chatham House journal The World Today. Christopher holds a Masters in Geopolitics & Security and a Joint Honors Bachelor in Geography, Politics and International Relations from Royal Holloway, University of London.