The 60 Days of PVE Campaign: Lessons on Organizing an Online, Peer-to-Peer, Counter-radicalization Program

Alex Wilner, Brandon Rigato

Abstract


Combatting violent extremism can involve organizing Peer-to-Peer (P2P) preventing violent extremism (PVE) programs and social media campaigns. While hundreds of PVE campaigns have been launched around the world in recent months and years, very few of these campaigns have actually been reviewed, analyzed, or assessed in any systematic way. Metrics of success and failure have yet to be fully developed, and very little is publically known as to what might differentiate a great and successful P2P campaign from a mediocre one. This article will provide first-hand insight on orchestrating a publically funded, university-based, online, peer-to-peer PVE campaign – 60 Days of PVE – based on the experience of a group of Canadian graduate students. The article provides an account of the group’s approach to PVE. It highlights the entirety of the group’s campaign, from theory and conceptualization to branding, media strategy, and evaluation, and describes the campaign’s core objectives and implementation. The article also analyzes the campaign’s digital footprint and reach using data gleamed from social media. Finally, the article discusses the challenges and difficulties the group faced in running their campaign, lessons that are pertinent for others contemplating a similar endeavour.


Keywords


Counter-Narrative, Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), Peer-to-Peer (P2P) campaign, ISIS, Social Media, Canada

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