Combating hate speech and misinformation through an intercultural dialogue between citizens

According to the Eurobarometer, 83 per cent of Europeans thought in 2018 that fake news imperil democracy; 73 per cent of internet users were concerned that fake news in the internet influence the elections for the European Parliament negatively. In the age of digitalisation, the fact that hate speech and fake news manifest themselves more strongly in the opinions of the society the more often they are published is much heavier. If the same contents originate in addition from different sources, the risk increases that people believe them or that the vast majority of internet users accepts them silently.

In the partner countries, the amount of hate speech and fake news was and is increasing, with an upward trend. Unfortunately, particularly vulnerable groups were and are still in their focus. Consequences are social exclusion and discrimination; their self-confidence gets lower, their fear grows; the number of verbal and physical attacks rises; prejudices and stereotypes are sizing.

The initiatives and laws brought on their way or enforced by the EU and the partner countries, were steps in the right direction. However, they help the concerned people only limited because they are only applied when the damage is already done.
Therefore, our project “Pro Dialogue” aimed at the initiation of a social dialogue at the local level of the partner countries that combats the reasons for hate speech and fake news. On one hand, it should be based on verifiable information and facts, led rather rationally than emotionally and exclude abuses and insults. On the other hand, it should bring affected and involved people together and ensure that they do not speak about each other but with each other. In this, subjects are the focus that are linked to the every-day life or that have direct impact on the living together of the local community.

Apart from the elaboration of the Intellectual Outputs and their practise test, Dialogators and multipliers were trained, workshops for stakeholders from the local and regional levels of the partner countries and a European Conference for the transfer of the project results into other countries were implemented during the project. Besides, Partner Meetings, Work Meetings and Online Meetings of the transnational thematic work groups took place, as well.

The following concrete results were achieved:
  1. Based on the newly developed Curriculum, 22 adult education actors were educated as Dialogators.
  2. With the Toolkit for Dialogators, they obtain an accompanying reference book for the planning, preparation, implementation and evaluation of dialogue activities.
  3. 143 citizens were trained as multipliers who are informing about the work of the Dialogators and advertising the dialogue activities.
  4. With active involvement of more than 1,300 citizens, 15 selected dialogue activities were implemented in the partner countries in the frame of the Test Phase.
  5. From the Curriculum and the training material, an according Blended Learning Course was generated with which all interested persons could be educated as Dialogator.
  6. A concept for mobility projects of adult education staff was developed. Based on that, adult educators from other European countries can be educated as Dialogators.
  7. Information on the project and its results have been distributed, the according target groups have been reached.


The Curriculum and the training material, the Toolkit and the Blended Learning Course are available in English, Bulgarian, German, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian and Hungarian. More information and all project products can be found here.


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