Federal support for innovative online initiative to prevent radicalization to violence
November 6, 2018
The Government of Canada is committed to addressing radicalization to violence in Canada. Effective online prevention is key. Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced $1.5 million from the Community Resilience Fund to Moonshot CVE, which will introduce an innovative, internationally-tested online method of countering radicalization to violence that complements other frontline efforts being used across Canada.
The online space is a place where violent extremists can spread propaganda, recruit others and incite violence. The project, Canada Redirect, will provide alternative, positive content to vulnerable individuals searching for violent extremist material online. The technique, termed the “Redirect Method,” uses online advertising tools and Internet video channels to direct individuals to content created by credible third parties that challenge ideologies that can motivate destructive attitudes and behaviour.
Since the launch of the Redirect Method in 2015, it has been deployed in over a dozen countries worldwide and has reached vulnerable audiences in languages including English, French and Arabic, among others. Similar approaches are currently being used by some social media companies to provide counter narratives to vulnerable individuals at risk of self-harm and suicide.
“Effective prevention is an essential component of tackling radicalization to violence online, where violent extremists can spread propaganda, recruit others and incite violence. I’m very pleased to support Moonshot’s innovative project to challenge the claims of dangerous ideologies by offering alternative voices that counter those who promote destructive attitudes and behaviour.”
- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
“Moonshot CVE is excited to launch Redirect in Canada. With the support of the Community Resilience Fund, Redirect Canada will amplify under-heard voices and offer alternative paths to individuals seeking violent extremist content online. Moonshot CVE staff are especially excited to continue cultivating our relationships with frontline practitioners, who are essential partners in addressing the problem of violent extremism online and in their communities.”
-Micah Clark, Program Director, Moonshot CVE
Moonshot CVE carried out a needs assessment in Canada in 2017, which concluded that there is a need to better understand the individuals’ vulnerability online to recruitment, and to develop and test new online approaches to help counter radicalization to violence.Moonshot’s Redirect Method detects signs of high risk of radicalization to violence based on online search queries. This method does not profile or track individuals. For Canada Redirect, Moonshot will consult with local subject matter experts and practitioners to create a Canada-specific list of unique search queries (e.g. words, phrases, etc.) indicating high risk of radicalization to violence.
Findings from this project will help inform local communities and practitioners about countering radicalization to violence in the online space, and help expand the reach and impact of organizations across Canada that are creating positive alternative content.
Due diligence has been taken to ensure the project is in compliance with all applicable Canadian laws, and Government of Canada privacy principles and appropriate statutes. Canada Redirect will legally act as any other advertiser on the Google search engine, under the same restrictions as mainstream advertising campaigns.
The Community Resilience Fund is led by the Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence, which provides national leadership on Canada’s efforts to prevent radicalization to violence.
The Community Resilience Fund had $2.4 million in funds for existing and new projects in 2017-2018 and $4.4 million in 2018-19. For 2019-20 and beyond, this fund will have $7 million available each year for existing and new projects.
Senior Advisor for Communications
Office of the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness
Public Safety Canada
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