Interview of the Italian Group after the Training Course in Germany "Radicability" 2019
Vaishali Sornoo: In my opinion, youth radicalization is driven by the social environment and the lack of support in family, that young people don’t find during this stage of their life, in which they feel unappreciated and misunderstood. Consequently, they get influenced by strong and negative personalities that they would emulate just to feel secure.
The prevention of radicalisation and violent extremism is very important. For this reason, youth organization/ONGs play a key role by spreading awareness thanks to projects and activities organized by the European Union, in which multicultural people can debate about sensible topics and find a solution, too.
To protect young people from extremist influences in the online environment, it’s important to filter all information from mass media as social networks because it’s easier to approach people as teenagers who are more vulnerable.
For this reason, my tips for staying safe online consist in reporting everything related to violence and extremism and blocking pop-up.
Carla Petta: Radicalization consists in moving towards extreme points, towards radical positions or solutions, beyond any compromise. In young people the causes of this process are to be found in different fields, but they are mostly related to the individual sphere.The difficult social and economic context can lead to situations of hardship, which for a young person in adolescence are experienced as an obstacle to self-realization. To overcome this, support from the family and the community is needed. If this fails the young person becomes vulnerable and may tend to isolation, given the lack of understanding on the part of the people around him, approaching radical ideologies and slowly moving away from his identity or his previous behavior, convinced that society must change. Thus among the causes we find a personal sense of malaise, dissatisfaction and conflict (for exemple conflict of identity), an experience of marginalization or political tensions.
The role of youth organizations and NGOs is fundamental for the prevention of radicalization. These bodies deal with the social aspects concerning prevention, promoting intercultural dialogue, breaking down prejudices and encouraging actions of active solidarity through intercultural projectsto protect young people from extremist influences.
In the online environment we should contribute to making the network a safer place by blocking users who post extremist posts about social media.Young people must understand that behind fun video channels or viral campaigns can be hidden propagandist intentions and attempts to recruit radical groups. The propaganda strategies and the fake news must be unmasked. Also in this case, therefore, opportunities are needed for critical and creative confrontation and the possibility of having experiences.
Daniele Gullotta: In my opinion the absence of any support, especially in family and at school, drives youth radicalization. In fact young people are negative influenced by social group and media, which can offer bad examples about political, religious and cultural themes. Finally, social inequalities favor the radicalization process. Youth organizations should promove more integration programs that deals with radicalization and make people aware of the issue. Indeed indifference is the first problem that can lead to the spread of violent extremism. Moreover NGOs must try to involve the institutions as much as possible so that they can take concrete measures to decrease the levels of youth radicalisation.
In order to protect young people from extremist influences it is necessary that information passing online is filtered. It is also important that all activities aimed at promoting tolerance and diversity are promoted and highlighted on the web. Accurate use of social media is needed. The latter are the first means of transmitting extremist demonstrations.
Giuseppe Leotta: Youth radicalization is a complex phenomenon driven by several causes. First, economic frailty determines more permeability to extreme rhetoric and propaganda. Social exclusion, cultural prejudices, violence and ghettoization constitute other factors that affect the phenomenon.
Youth organisation must play a positive role. They have to implement projects on their territory in order to stimulate social inclusion and to give the chance to excluded youth to feel as a port of the society in which they live. In this perspective, Erasmus projects or national projects that support this effort by youth NGOs have to be encouraged.
I think that an extremely important goal is to fight against fake news on the web. They are used, nowadays, in a viral way and in many countries fake news determine a mass manipulation of people’s opinions and electoral behaviour. It is important to stimulate fact-checking systems that allow people to filter the information they get on the web.