Digital Citizenship cover - Demos

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Digital Citizenship cover

9/12/16

4:26 pm

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Ralph Scott is Head of the Citizenship programme at Demos. Louis Reynolds is a researcher in the Citizenship programme. ISBN 978-1-911192-06-0 £10 © Demos 2016

Digital Citizens: Countering Extremism Online | Louis Reynolds · Ralph Scott

The last half a century has witnessed a burgeoning information revolution that has transformed our societies beyond recognition. The development of sophisticated computing, the technological reorientation of vast segments of the global workforce, the invention of the internet and most recently the proliferation of social media technology has radically changed the ways we work, live, develop and communicate. Political extremism and violent radicalism have not been excluded from this growing trend, with social media being used as a tool for the recruitment and exploitation of young people by extremist groups. As a result, the development of digital citizenship in our young people, to help them navigate these new online challenges, has become an urgent need. British schools are responsible for identifying and building resilience against radicalisation as part of their duty of care. Many of the skills required to combat the influence of extremism and the ability of terrorist groups to exploit and manipulate young people are already taught in schools, through existing personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) education and citizenship efforts, the British values agenda and the work of individual school leaders and teachers. However, there is a dearth of high quality resources designed to increase the resilience of young people to extremism and radicalisation in a digital context. This report summarises the results of a pilot project which seeks to address this gap by developing, testing and evaluating new resources to help schools tackle online radicalisation. Based on the analysis of a survey of existing materials and a best practise review, it presents a digital citizenship intervention, developed by Demos and Bold Creative, designed to build this resilience to extremism, and measures its impact through a pilot study delivered in schools.At a time when the growth of social media combined with the influence of extremism makes it more important than ever, this report adds to the public evidence base regarding counter-extremism interventions in a school context, and contributes to the development of effective education for digital citizenship.

“There is an urgent need for schools to develop digital citizenship in our young people…” DIGITAL CITIZENS: COUNTERING EXTREMISM ONLINE Louis Reynolds Ralph Scott

Digital Citizenship cover

9/12/16

4:26 pm

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This project was supported by:

Demos is Britain’s leading cross-party think-tank. We produce original research, publish innovative thinkers and host thought-provoking events. We have spent over 20 years at the centre of the policy debate, with an overarching mission to bring politics closer to people. Demos has always been interested in power: how it works, and how to distribute it more equally throughout society. We believe in trusting people with decisions about their own lives and solving problems from the bottom-up. We pride ourselves on working together with the people who are the focus of our research. Alongside quantitative research, Demos pioneers new forms of deliberative work, from citizens’ juries and ethnography to ground-breaking social media analysis. Demos is an independent, educational charity, registered in England and Wales (Charity Registration no. 1042046). Find out more at www.demos.co.uk

First published in 2016 © Demos. Some rights reserved Magdalen House, 136 Tooley Street, London, SE1 2TU, UK ISBN 978-1-911192-06-0 Series design by modernactivity Typeset by Chat Noir Design, Charente Set in Gotham Rounded and Baskerville 10 Cover paper: Flora Gardenia Text paper: Munken Premium White