Tommaso Altamura iStockCommunication and education both take place online: youngsters who are looking for meaning and identity or are seeking information about ideology and religion surf the web. Sometimes it is hard for them to distinguish between reliable facts about politics and religion on the one hand and targeted propaganda spread by extremist groups on the other hand. Either online presences appear similar in design, format and professionalism.

Recruitment attempts by anti-democratic and inhuman groups are appealing when at the same time there is a lack of counter offers based on humanistic principles and human rights. That is exactly where we come into play. We offer political and religious learning opportunities on websites and popular social media platforms, e.g. Facebook, Instagram, etc. - focused on establishing dialogue and exchange. Our online presence is target group-specific and takes advantage of the multimedia landscape, which works agreeable and suitable with the youths. That operates as a counterweight to the tremendous offers of extremist groups online. Educational institutions, such as schools, use our content in their daily work as well and, if needed, connect with our trainers.

The goal is to reach people online who are at risk of radicalisation or have already been radicalised. We initially offer them an online dialogue, which eventually leads to the establishment of a direct offline contact. The resulting working relationship intends to promote critical engagement with extremism and ideology and, ultimately, initiate steps for exiting completed radicalisation processes.