The Commission for International Justice and Accountability and CIJA US joined forces with the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and Propulsion Fund to launch the Resonant Voices Initiative (RVI) in the Western Balkans in early 2017, networking journalists, activists, and community leaders who challenge dangerous messages online, mapping online radicalization trends, and providing training, mentoring, and technical support to counternarrative campaigns.
Dangerous messages RVI is countering include terrorist propaganda, hate speech, disinformation, harassment, and intimidation. The online amplification and distribution tools made targeting vulnerable audiences with manipulated and weaponized information possible at an unprecedented scale, increasing the risk of harm to individuals and communities, especially in post-conflict societies. The aim of Resonant Voices is to empower a diverse group of civil society actors – activists, journalists, bloggers, educators, and other online (and offline) influencers – to strategically engage in online and offline communication campaigns, utilising technology, together with a deep understanding of their communities, to produce compelling content that effectively pushes back against polarizing, inflammatory, and radicalizing discourse.
Until now, RVI equipped 114 influencers in the Western Balkans with skills, know-how, and resources to counter radicalization, the recruitment of foreign terrorist fighters and violent extremists, and other dangerous trends. 298 original digital content pieces were produced to date, many of them of high-production value and continued relevance, intended to be used in a long-term campaign and awareness raising in the region.
From 2018, the Resonant Voices Initiative will expand its focus to the Western Balkans diaspora communities living in the EU.
The Resonant Voices Initiative in the EU is funded by the European Union’s Internal Security Fund – Police.