Roleplay on Online Hate Speech and Democracy – A New Mosque in Sleepyville

Hi and welcome to this Youtrain
introductory video on a method called A New Mosque in Sleepyville this method is part of our category on simulation exercises and role plays A New Mosque in Sleepyville is a strongly immersive simulation of an online consultation and debate based on predefined roles and characters the method can be customized
for different learning outcomes with the issues of democracy participation
discrimination and the challenging dynamics of online debates figuring
prominently the method has been published and copyrighted by the Council
of Europe in their publication Bookmarks a manual for combating Hate Speech
Online through Human Rights Education find more information on that in the
description box for this method we recommend a group size of 15 to 30 participants the duration would be 90 minutes for running the activity and 60 to 90 minutes for the debriefing regarding materials you’ll need a room of several chairs and tables arranged in a way that there are several meeting areas as well as a general assembly space printouts such as the roll cards the instructions on the procedure and the background story you can find links to these printouts in the description box below good internet access participants need wireless devices like mobile phones tablets or laptops and a safe dedicated online space for participants to interact during the activity for example a secret Facebook group All right Marcus from your experience what can you tell us about this activity So the roleplay is based on the story or the scenario that there is a little town called Sleepyville predominantly Christian and there is a small Muslim community and the Muslim
community asked for a mosque the mayor agrees to this but once heshe decided this the town got really into riots and many people are against it and some people
are totally in favor so the mayor understands he/she needs to have a
public consultation then review the decision in the Town Council by having a vote but a parties represented in the Town Council after
the public consultation and this public consultation takes place online so the people involved and the people defined in this role-player the mayor and his deputy very important the site administrators as the public consultation is online and they are the ones watching over hate speech and the
way the debate and the consultation is going the parties the political parties that are represented in the Town Council associations and citizens so first you need to prepare the activity of course you print out the role cards the
handouts you set up the room in a way that there’s different areas
for the different groups to meet and that it might resemble a Town Hall where
later everybody can convene and the voting can take place so your participants are with you in the training room first you read the story to them maybe you want to make a little mental travel out of this let them close
their eyes so they really get into this role of being part of Sleepyville then you assign the roles this can be done by random or you might want to pre
allocates and the roles assembles a bit tricky like the mayor or the site
administrators this is a role where some people might feel not so comfortable so
you might have pre consult this with people then you let people read the role cards and make sure they understand the role and they understand the main blocks the three main blocks of activity which is pre-consultation phase where
statements are issued online but not yet commented on and also there is the
opportunity for groups to meet and have physical real-life meetings then there’s
the public consultation phase where everything happens online and then
there’s the voting in the Town Hall once you’re sure participants understood
everything the mayor announces the beginning of the pre-consultation phase so groups can meet consult with each other negotiate try to lobby for their position and of course write their
statements then after half an hour the public consultation phase begins
it takes place online so people sit at the laptops or mobile devices read the
statements comment on it and comment on the comment etcetera etc after half an hour again the mayor announces that now it is time
to convene and vote and only the political parties vote the mayor then announces the result of the vote should the vote be a tie then the mayor has vote as well and can thus decide the outcome so once the roleplay is over you as a facilitator/trainer step in and say thank you that was a role play now it’s
time to step out of the role it’s really important to do a strongly rolling here
welcome each other back as the persons there so that the discussion that takes
place afterwards the debriefing that is immensely important in such a role play
is not done in a way that people steam out or attack each other or still talk about what happened in the roles but they are actually on the metal level they’re out of the roles and have this helicopter perspective to look at it as
a metaphorical experience from which consequences or learning points for real
life can be drawn you as trainer or facilitator are in charge of the safety of people so make sure everybody’s back to the safe zone there was enough room
for steaming out for expressing everything and the online debate and consultation can quickly escalate and it really gives you a lot of material to debrief on and to talk about the same phenomena in real life and what can be
done against it so what can be done to prevent and combat online hate speech thank you for watching this video we would like to emphasize that this method requires a solid and safe facilitation and debriefing since it can offer a wide
range of different learning points and outcomes which you need to be aware of
an intentional about in the design and customization of the activity it’s also
worth mentioning that role plays and simulations of the type presented here
are subject to controversies because of the danger of reinforcing stereotypes through the roles thank you for watching on the description box you’ll find links and support material to implement method Youtrain is co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union for more videos on non-formal education please check out our channel and subscribe

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. Delighted to share with you our new video-tutorial on a method "A New Mosque in Sleepyville
    " from Council of Europe publication “Bookmarks – a manual for combating hate speech online through human rights education”

  2. We definitely need more and more of these kind of activities. Times are a-changing, and not necessarily in the way we liked it to happen. 🙁

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