Culture of Conflict 3.0: Learning spaces and media for young people to deal with internet violence and hatred

The use of internet and smartphone have an extensive impact on the formation of identity in young people. The web is not only a tool for communication, but also the first point of reference for information on current events. Social media confronts children and youth early on with images and reports, that might frighten them. It is difficult to differentiate between opinions and news and between rumours and facts, which allows conspiracy theorists and extremists to instrumentalise media for their cause, stoke fears and even radicalize youth.

The model project Culture of Conflict 3.0 approaches these topics in a dialogue-oriented way: young people are being sensitized to hatred, discrimination and agitation on the web in a participative process and develop strategies, youth-focused approaches and learning media (comic films; app) for dealing with hatred on the web together with the Berghof Foundation team. Using innovative methods, the project strengthens the media- and information competence of young people and supports the development of skills, which enable them to critically consume media. This allows them to participate in an open and democratic discussion culture online. The project will finally design dialogue labs which will be offered for schools and in youth work and which will be conducted by qualified youth (peers) and teachers.

Duration

2017-2019

The project "Culture of Conflict 3.0 is funded from September 2017 until December 2019 by the Federal Programme "Live Democracy!" with means of the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth and the Federal Agency for Civic Education.

December 2017 - Reflection, exchange and outlook at the first meeting of the project advisory board

In December 2017, the advisory board of the project Streitkultur 3.0 held its first meeting, focusing on coming project steps and the future development within the project.

The project advisory board is composed of Dr. Ruth Festl (German Youth Institute, from January onwards Leibniz Institute for Knowledge Media, Tübingen), Dr. Maya Götz (Head of the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television at Bayrischer Rundfunk, Munich), Dr. Jessica Heesen (International Centre for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities, Tübingen), Claudia Lampert (Hans Bredow Institute, Hamburg) and Dr. Nils Brüggen (JFF-Institute for Media Research and Media Education, Munich). The board supports the project with subject-specific input and expertise. During the first meeting, the project team and the advisory board mainly discussed different aspects of learning settings, the use of smartphones in schools and the potential creation of new digital learning spaces. Moreover, the focus was on the conception of dialogue laboratories, which aim at providing young people with a space for dialogue and encouraging them to negotiate new ideas and opinions.

November 2017 - First workshop launching the project „Culture of Conflict 3.0“

What is real and truth? How can one deal with masses of information in the internet? Participants of the newly formed Youth Council addressed these and other questions as part of the project "Culture of Conflict 3.0". Under the guidance of an expert from the media centre of Baden-Wurttemberg, the members of the council dealt with different types of fake news. Of particular relevance were ways with which young people can identify fake news, for example through the critical analysis of different sources of information, the usage of photographic material, as well as statistics. The participants recommended to be truthfully informed and to bring together facts from different sources. Jointly together with the project team of the Berghof Foundation, the youth finally developed an initial concept for making an explanatory movie to be used for the website www.frieden-fragen.de.

November 2017 – One-day workshop introduces in making cartoons

The second event of the project "Streitkultur 3.0: Gegen Hass im Internet" was focused on the conception and production of cartoons. 15 participants from the Youth Council learnt how to distinguish between different forms of explanatory films. With support of an expert (Silke Hilgers), the youth analyzed relevant elements of a film and specifically focused on the symbolization of speaker's texts. Moreover, they were introduced into the function of a storyboard, precise wording and the diversity of representing figures. Based on example topics, the youth developed their initial film script and filmed their designed cartoon in the production phase. During the workshop, the biggest challenge was a necessary timing of speaker's text and graphic materials.

October 2017 - Youth Council’s Initial Meeting

In the end of October, the Project 'Culture of Conflict 3.0"' started in Tübingen with a first meeting of the Youth Council. On this occasion, 22 students from five schools in Tübingen and Rottenburg came together to specify their areas of interests within the project.

The Youth Council members dealt with the five main thematic areas of the project, namely fake or fact, hate speech on the internet, internet bots and algorithms, critical media competence as well as personal engagement in the internet. The students then discussed essential points and remaining questions together. They all agreed that 'hatred is not an appropriate response to hatred', as one participant put it.

Over the next months, the members of the Youth Council will address the thematic areas in detail and will become more familiar with various didactic methods. During the workshops, the youth will develop contents and methods for so-called dialogue laboratories, which then will be carried out in schools and out-of-school youth work with a specially developed App. Explanatory films and a specially developed App play an important role.