Press Release

19.07.2017 Stacey P2P

Peer to Peer: Facebook Global Digital Challenge spring 2017 winners named in DC

July 19, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WASHINGTON – Facebook, along with EdVenture Partners, hosted the spring 2017 finals of the Peer to Peer (P2P): Facebook Global Digital Challenge today at the National Union Building in Washington, D.C. P2P is a global university competition started in 2015 in which students create social and digital media campaigns to counter online hate and extremism in ways that are credible, authentic and believable to their peers, localized to each of their communities or regions.

The program featured presentations by four finalist teams from universities in Bangladesh, Nigeria, the Philippines and Spain. The event also featured remarks from Monika Bickert, Facebook’s director of global policy management.

The students presented their projects in front of a panel of judges, a who’s who of experts in countering extremism, including Russell Porter, special coordinator, CVE, United States Agency for International Development, and J.M. Berger, author, analyst and consultant on extremism as well as fellow with the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, The Hague.

After the judges’ deliberation, Think Twice, Act Wise from University of Dhaka in Bangladesh was named as the winner.

Think Twice, Act Wise is a campaign promoting tolerance and empathy through the development of critical thinking skills and extracurricular activities among the youth of Bangladesh. By providing positive stories on tolerance and empathy, interfaith dialogue videos, workshop sessions and an app, they inspire youth to “think twice” before doing anything — and their extracurricular portal provides resources to “act wise(ly)” according to that. Their tactics were designed to utilize tolerance and empathy as effective counternarrative strategies against extremism in social media. You can learn more about the campaign at their website or on their Facebook page.

Second place was awarded to American University of Nigeria’s Women Against Violent Extremism (WAVE) campaign (Facebook page).

Third place went to CEU Universidad San Pablo’s Rewind campaign from Spain (Facebook page).

And, fourth place went to Xavier University from the Philippines with their I am Mindanao campaign (Facebook page).

The winning teams were awarded $5,000, $3,000, $1,000 and $500 prizes for first through fourth places, respectively.

Representatives from finalist countries were also present, including Vincent Larach, Public Diplomacy & Digital Engagement Officer, Embassy of Spain; and Darell Ann R. Artates, Third Secretary and Vice Consul (Public Diplomacy), Embassy of the Republic of the Philippines.

About Peer to Peer: Facebook Global Digital Challenge

Over the past couple years Facebook has been supporting a variety of initiatives to counter online hate and extremism.

The Peer to Peer (P2P): Facebook Global Digital Challenge program challenges teams of university students around the world to design, pilot, implement and measure the success of a social or digital initiative, product or tool that:

  • Motivates or empowers students to become involved in countering hateful and extremist narratives.
  • Catalyzes other students to create their own initiatives, products, or tools to counter hateful and extremist narratives.
  • Builds a community of interest/network focused on living shared values that counter hateful and extremist narratives through action.

P2P is a global university competition that started in 2015 as a White House initiative, then U.S. government interagency partnership, that engaged students from 23 universities around the world to create social and digital media campaigns to counter online hate and extremism. Facebook became involved with P2P in fall 2015, forging a public–private partnership. They provide Facebook ad credits to all teams, and they became the official program sponsor for all international teams in fall 2016.

In less than two years, P2P has generated more than 500 anti-hate and extremism campaigns by more than 5,500 university students in 68 countries. Over 56 million people worldwide have been reached via social campaigns, campus movements, mobile apps, cultural activities, videos and more — making this Facebook’s counterspeech program with the largest global reach. EdVenture Partners, an educational consulting firm, designed, developed and continues to manage the program since its inception.

To learn more about the program and its university participants, please visit https://edventurepartners.com/peer-to-peer-facebook-global-digital-challenge/.

The winning team, “Think Twice, Act Wise” and their faculty advisor from Dhaka University in Bangladesh, are pictured with Facebook’s director of global policy management, Monika Bickert.