A joint effort by the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Symβiosis and four other European non-profit organizations, “Get the Trolls Out!” began as a forteen-month program which sought to engage Europeans – with a specific focus on young people – in activities which monitored anti-Semitic speech and incidents in Europe and aimed to counter such attitudes with actions and messages, grounded in facts, which promote inclusion and embrace Europe’s diversity. The programme is coordinated by the London Media Diversity Institute.
We considered that, as firsthand memory of the Holocaust recedes in Europe, young people are especially vulnerable to dangerous ignorance and indifference towards anti-Semitic attitudes that are still very much prevalent today. During the initial phase of the project, efforts were focused on the five home countries of the participating organizations. However, due to the emphasis on digital tools and social media, combined with our target audience’s vigorous use of them, we reached a continent-wide audience in our pursuit of solutions to a pan-European problem.
In September 2018, “Get the Trolls Out!” entered a new phase and is currently being implemented by partners across six European countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and the UK). It has also been supporting the Council of Europe’s #NoHate initiative.
“Get the Trolls Out!” focusses on combating intolerance and discrimination based on religion, and its associated racial paradigms, in Europe. In particular, it has recently been examining antisemitism, Islamophobia and anti-Christian sentiments, and the associated attempts to turn public opinion against migrants and asylum-seekers. Using innovative tools, it delivers a powerful counter-narrative against hate speech, raises awareness on media literacy, and advocates for responsible journalism and accountable social media platforms.