The far-right has enjoyed resurgence in many European countries and the internet is one important factor facilitating this growth. The internet and social media are potent tools for the spread of extremist propaganda especially among youth for whom they constitute integral features of daily life. There is however the growing understanding that beyond being just a group vulnerable to radicalisation, youth is a key stakeholder to be involved in development of viable solutions towards countering violent extremism.

YouthRightOn addresses the problem of far-right influence over youth in Bulgaria by developing alternative narratives to confront extremist messages and ideas propagated online. The activities of the project aim to enhance resilience, inspire critical thinking and increase civic engagement among youth in Bulgaria susceptible to extremist content online. The project partners are developing working preventive online measures that target well delineated target audiences and underlying factors contributing to far right radicalisation. Striving for sustaining its impact in the long term, the project also provides sound and replicable diagnostic approaches of at-risk- target audiences, push and pull factors, along with working methods for addressing radicalisation risks and effective messaging online, which can be replicated both in the national context but also transferrable to the EU.

Project Partners

The Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD) is a multi-disciplinary think tank specialised in sociological and criminological research, legal and regulatory analysis, policy monitoring and evaluation, security sector reform and crime prevention policies. CSD has pioneered the first research on radicalisation trends in Bulgaria followed by development of practical tools to guide policy makers and first line practitioners to identify risks of radicalisation. In addition, CSD has extensive experience in working with vulnerable groups (including Roma, asylum seekers, youth at risk and prisoners) and has contributed to the establishment of protective and integrative policies.

Distinkt Group is independent communications consultancy with service portfolio including strategic communications, association management, digital communications, design and development, research and analytics and content creation. With over 80 communications campaigns developed and run on behalf of public, international and private bodies, including the EC, the Company is best suited to take responsibility of designing and implementing the proposed online alternative narratives campaign..

The Applied Research and Communications Fund (Arc Fund) is an innovation policy and research institute. In the context of its Information Society Program it supports the development of information society policies in Bulgaria and is specialized in running awareness rising and prevention initiatives among vulnerable youth.

YouthRightOn is carried on under the The Civil Society Empowerment Programme of the European Commission. CSEP supports civil society, grass roots organisations and credible voices. Using the positive power and tremendous reach of the internet, it empowers these different groups to provide effective alternatives to the messages coming from violent extremists and terrorists, as well as ideas that counter extremist and terrorist propaganda.

For the purposes of the campaign and the personification of the messages embedded in it, in the social media of the campaign “Find another way”, purchased photos with settled rights were used. The people in them are not real and don’t participate in the campaign. The contractors of the project have developed the communication strategy based on many years of experience and after an in-depth analysis of the target audience. Based on this, information posts have been made and published in the social media of the project (https://www.facebook.com/anotherway.bg, https://www.instagram.com/findanotherway.bg/) and for some of them pre-purchased photos with settled rights were used in order to achieve better saturation with the messages of the project and their better perception by the target audience.