SOFIA DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION was founded as non-profit organization with the decision 348
of the Sofia Municipal Council to work for the sustainable development of the capital.


“Projects like LEAD Online are important as they address the root causes of hate speech and build awareness about the magnitude of the problem,” said Tommaso Chiamparino, policy officer in the Fundamental rights policy unit at the European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice, in his opening address to the international valorisation conference, organized by Sofia Development Team in Brussels on February, 6 2024.. The project has been very successful in building local multi-stakeholder partnerships in each of the seven partner countries, coordinating the efforts of various actors to tackle hate speech online in an engaging, informative, and effective way.

Hosted in the premises of the Regione Umbria in Brussels, the conference gathered more than seventy participants for a full day of panel discussions, interactive presentations and networking. Partners of the LEAD Online consortium highlighted the project achievements, an online hate speech self-assessment tool, ‘digital gardening’ trainings, local talks for raising awareness of hate speech online, and much more. Over 4000 people participated in activities and over 100,000 have been reached through social media and online publications. 

The star of the day was the interactive online game, HateOut! Game, which features animated scenarios enabling players to recognize hate speech incidence and to select the most appropriate response in each case.

The speakers and participants shared important insights about their experiences with cyberhate and the ways to inform and empower people, especially young students, to report and counter it. Key points highlighted in discussions focused on the need to combine online interventions with face-to-face learning events which engage participants in real-life interactions to counter hate speech and help to foster a sense of belonging amongst learners. Building inclusive, responsive digital tools and games is equally important: co-creating open educational resources with the participation of young people, especially from hard-to-reach groups and marginalized communities is critical for improving the efficacy of online hate speech/cyberhate interventions and reducing the creation and/or consumption of hateful content online.

After two years of intense collaboration, the LEAD Online project, coordinated by Sofia Development Association team has come to an end, but the consortium partners are already gearing up for new, more joint initiatives ahead.  Follow the project at ;, check out our tools and games, and do reach out if you’d like to become part of an ambitious, knowledgeable community of like-minded people who are working to make our online and offline communities safer and more tolerant places.




          - Learn, Engage, Act: Digital tools to prevent and counter hate speech Online | LEAD-Online 
              Denitsa Lozanova, LEAD Online Coordinator, Sofia Development Association

               Prompting Awareness: The Hate Speech Self-Assessment Tool
               Konstantinos MantzosDAISSy Research GroupHellenic Open University

               - Hate Speech ontologies and Hate Speech Self-Assessment Tool
               Sylvia Liuti, FORMA.Azione - Italy

                - Learn, Engage, Act: Digital Tools to Prevent and Counter Hate Speech Online
                   Amina El-Gamal, project coordinator, ZARA, an Austrian counselling centre AgainstOnlineHate and AgainstRacism

Konstantinos Potsis, Project Manager, DAISSy Research Group, Hellenic Open University

                 Panel Discussion - LEAD-Online: Championing a Hate-Free Digital Future

              - Learn, Engage, Act: Digital Tools to Prevent and Counter Hate Speech Online
                Maria KORECK, project coordinator, DIVERSE Association, Romania

              - Learn, Engage, Act: Digital Tools to Prevent and Counter Hate Speech Online
                Summary and Way Forward




Facebook   @LEADOnlineEU

Instagram   leadonline_eu

Twitter   @LEADOnlineEU


The project is funded by the EU’s Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values programme.


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