Strategic Communications, Informatics and Social Media



OBJECTIVES

1. Use all state, private and civil institutions as partners for raising awareness against the risks of violent extremism.
2. Use the Internet to increase the public’s awareness about the values of moderation, social diversity, tolerance, the risks of violent extremism and the dissemination of the values of critical and creative thinking.
3. Use all traditional and modern means of communication to support the culture of the state and highlight the role of its institutions, especially the army and the security forces, in the fight against violent extremism.
4. Prevent the use of the Internet as a platform for promoting ideas relating to violent extremism.


ACTIONS AND ACTIVITIES

P8.A1 Research on Online Radicalization And Strategic Communication

Consistent with the general objectives, support research institutions and scholars to study online violent radicalization, in the wider context of other dimensions, at a greater scale and quality, and through regional and global networks. Research agenda shall include, but is not limited to the following subjects:
• Decoding of violent extremism propaganda in the Lebanese context by using automated text analysis to develop tools capable of analyzing all kinds of extremists’ propaganda at scale.
• Using AI and machine learning tools to extract, organize, archive and analyze extremists’ content online
The following data is needed to help map out terrorist activity on the platform and understand user behavior and messaging techniques:
• Sociodemographic information of content generators and targets (e.g., age, gender, occupation, family characteristics, relationship status, occupation, and employment),
• Typology of content (operations, lectures, songs, presentations, etc) and medium (text, image, video) and content meta data.
    • Social network of the content generator.
  • The online-offline nexus of messaging in extremism ecology in Lebanon.
  • Recruitment techniques used online by extremist networks in the Lebanese context.
  • Impact evaluation of counter and alternative narratives campaigns on deradicalization.


P8.A2 Standardized PVE Strategic Communications Framework

• Support activities of this action plan with strategic communication guideline and messaging protocol.
• Protocol should include post- terrorism activities coverage and messaging.
• Work collaboratively with the private sector and search bodies to formulate a standardized strategic communication framework.
• Develop voluntary media guidelines and code of ethics to guide the performance of media outlets with the objective of preventing the spread of hate speech, violent extremism and all sorts of human rights abuse.


P8.A3 Capacity Building on PVE Communications and Alternative Narratives

• Train /Engage journalists and media to work together to prevent the spread of hate speech, misinformation, disinformation, mal-information, violent extremism, polarization content; and to support the spread of counter and alternative narratives.
• Organize training programs for messengers at national and local levels to understand the narratives and how to deliver effective messages. Involve the private sector companies in these programs.
• Train members of staff of CSO and NGO to become practitioners in disseminating alternative and counter narratives through online and offline media. (Trainings shall build organizations capacity on producing counter narratives and alternative narratives but also to include counter engagement activities which link online messaging with real offline engagement with target audience.)
• Organize training programs for presenters and editors of talk shows (including the talk show referred to in Activity P8.A4 on how to cover violent extremism issues in cooperation with the relevant ministries.
• Train ISF officers, judges, mayors and municipalities staff on strategic communications for PVE and Protocol (Engage with citizens: men and women/ Boys and girls). Protocol should include post- terrorism activities coverage and messaging. This training shall be delivered to security personnel from the Lebanese security forces and the Lebanese army.


P8.A4 Media Campaigns And Media Spaces for Youth

• Develop alternative narratives for online and offline media campaigns with widespread geographical reach.
• Engage the influencer and celebrities in spreading messages and narratives against extremist narrative.
• Organize programs with media outlets, TV, radio and newspapers, to train and dedicate space for young people to express themselves and tackle the essence of the challenges in their local communities.
Assumptions The assumption here is that youth are full of energy and the current fragile situation in Lebanon makes them eager to express their opinion and voice out their demands. Their desire to play a vital role and express themselves could be a push factor for joining radical groups if it was utilized in a positive way. Giving space for youth expression could increase their resilience to extremism and spread positive narratives online and offline. Besides, it could strengthen youth efforts to combat misinformation, disinformation and mal-information.


P8.A5 Lebanese Internet Referral Unit And Prevention of Hate Speech

Establish the Lebanese Internet Referral Unit (LIRU) within the PVE Unit to lead the implementation of various activities in this plan, in addition to:
• Coordinating the efforts between content creators and social media companies by creating the National Internet Forum to Prevent Hate Speech and Violent Extremism.
• Enacting a new law to prohibit hate speech, misinformation, disinformation, mal-information, violent extremist, and violation of human rights propaganda online.
• Engaging with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT) and its research bodies such as the Tech Against Extremism Research Network.


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