How to be BRAVE online

A guide

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Safety

Being BRAVE doesn’t mean being reckless. You should always know your own strengths and weaknesses and be aware of your capabilities. Be aware of the risks of online bullying which may lead to verbal attacks, or even threats to physical violence. Be BRAVE, but also, be SMART!

Act Quickly

Radicalisation eventually may lead to physical violence. This should be stopped, and the sooner the better. The earlier you step in the better chance you have to counter radical views in a calm manner. Having a relaxed discussion will make de-radicalisation easier as opposition will be less aggressive.

Get Help

If you stand up against radicalisation as a community, your actions will be more powerful and visible. Families are at the core of any individual’s resilience… Friends and teachers are also helpful. Police involvement might also be necessary. Think about who specifically can help you stand up and fight back. This could be someone close to you or close to people with extreme views.

Build Tailored Counter-Narratives

Your priority in building counter-narratives should be to sow seeds of doubt. Find out what they value and why this has a radicalising effect on them, and then use their values to build a new narrative. Not all extremists are motivated by the same factors, but there is always a pattern. It starts with intolerance towards others and then continues with the organisation of in-groups and out groups. But if you understand the extremist’s perspective, you can change it.

Long-term Engagement

Maintaining contact on a regular basis is necessary to a successful intervention. Counter-narratives are a long-term strategy. Remember that success is seldom achieved overnight. Extremists often lack community outside their radical groups, so providing them with an alternative is very valuable. Be realistic with your expectations to avoid disappointment.

Be Kind and Build Trus

Radical communities help reinforce hate towards “out-group” members. But conversation with ‘others’ works better when we trust each other. Find views you agree on, and be respectful of differences. This way it will be obvious that you are acting in good faith. It is far easier to change someone’s mind if they respect you, so give them a reason to respect you.

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