University of Stirling students are taking part in the 5th Facebook Global Digital Challenge – ‘Challenging Extremism’ – and recently launched the #GenerationProud campaign.

Five students from the Division of Communication, Media and Culture (CMC) at University of Stirling have launched a social media campaign to say ‘NO’ to online extremism in all its forms. The campaign also aims at promoting tolerance and respect for each other, and encourages young people to make their #GenerationProud.

The campaign emerged from group work in the Social Media Marketing (CMCU9SM) module – the aim was to respond to the 5th Peer to Peer Global Digital Challenge: Challenging Extremism. The Challenge is financially supported by the US Department of State and social media giant Facebook, and is coordinated by Edventure Partners.

From the onset of the campaign, students from the CMC have worked together, defining online harassment in Scotland, as well as understanding the peculiar nuances of the country and the appropriate target audience for the creation of a powerful and insightful message.

Woman holding smartphone

The group seeks to end online extremism through their campaign

The campaign is currently being implemented by Joseph Elton, Stacey Lange, Stephanie Reilly, Jacob Cawthon and Alexandra Jowett. In this implementation phase, students have chosen to spread the positive message of inviting their peers to be more respectful of others, and to remind them that we were not born with hate, we were not born to ‘construct’ the other. We can change, and we can make the online and offline world a safer place. In short, we can make our #GenerationProud.

The group seeks to end online extremism, by inviting people to sign a pledge: Say no to extremism, Respect others, Be tolerant, listen and think for yourself. The full pledge and scope of the campaign can be found at www.generationproud.com, on Facebook, and Twitter with the account @GenerationProud.

The team is now competing globally against 200 other universities towards the final 5th Peer to Peer Global Challenge that will see them, if selected, flying to Washington DC and present their success story to the US Department of State, representatives from Facebook and EdVenture Partners.

The team’s hard work has already started to bear fruit – the UofS students have been invited to compete to the OSCE Regional Competition taking place in Vienna.

– Chiara Livia Bernardi, Lecturer in Digital Media