Social media is no man’s land but a level playing field with no or minimal censorship. At just one click, we are free to post, share and read whatever content, whether true or false, propaganda or extremist. From politics, world news to pop culture and achievement, every day we are exposed to so much news and content, mostly streaming online.
Remember times you read a message on social media or noticed that a particular thing was trending and you wondered how wrong or extremist info got there. Guess what? The originators of the messages wonder how wrong you are to think that they are extremists. How do you counter such narratives?
Last week I was in Djibouti at an Innovation Lab by IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) – training on using art and activism creatively. As a PR person and journalist, this was a media boot camp for me. In just two days, we were tasked with developing new and innovative social media campaigns to prevent and challenge extremism and promote peace.
Here’s how best to counter extremist narratives:
First decipher extremist content – get your facts right and do your research.
Tap into the truth and intelligence.
Get your message to counter it crafted properly to suit your target audience.
Get a social media plan ready. How to do it: Set your objective ; Identify your target audience; Craft a campaign message ; What is your goal? ; What is your broad message? ; What tone will your audience respond to? ; What sources do your audience find credible? ; What is your call to action? ; What is your content?