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Freedom of Expression and Hate Speech

The project focuses on building the capacities of activists who are already working towards specific goals in order to enhance their skills for using new technologies, combined with leadership skills and critical thinking skills that are not provided by the state education system (rhetoric, argument writing). The primary project beneficiaries will form a core group of leaders who will share their knowledge within their communities on the field and on a national level through a range of online tools, raising the public awareness for certain progressive causes.

The increasing use of social media in Macedonia as a space for free expression, as media with hundreds of thousands of users, is not accompanied with the development of knowledge and leadership skills among activists for using this huge potential. Social media can help overcome the isolation between the citizens and the communities, creating a space for free expression and for building relationships and establishing cooperation, and in combination with other forms of activism - mobilizing the citizens and communities for solving specific problems.

At the same time, although the increased use of hate speech in the social media is noticeable, a comprehensive independent analysis of all system resources generating hatred has not been conducted (from laws and institution relations to impact).

Project goals: 

  1. Providing the civil sector in Macedonia with technical and leadership skills, enabling NGOs and individual activists to start using these skills for positive social changes in relation to selected important causes.
  2. Contributing to the identification and reduction of online hate speech.