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How can I influence my people?


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The SEL activities helped the learners identify key strengths and weaknesses in affecting change. Learners had an opportunity to identify those changemakers they know and what characteristics they have that make them effective. The learners were encouraged to apply this to themselves and look for ways to improve.

In the Media analysis unit, learners had the opportunity to explore how messages are spread online by mobilising an “army of haters” and then considering how this can be “flipped” to mobilise an army of activists.

The Media production unit offered learners the opportunity to plan a counter-narrative campaign using some of the learning from the “army of haters” activity in the Media analysis unit.
In this Citizenship unit, learners will learn more about planning high-level campaigns and examine the importance of identifying the issue, audience and objectives to help focus a campaign.

Prompt Questions

These questions are provided as examples to initiate and guide discussions around the topic in this focus area.

  • What issues exist in the online communities/groups you belong to?
  • How do you know these issues exist? (e.g seen or experienced them firsthand, seen other evidence, etc.)
  • How could you find out if there are other issues present?
  • Do you know how all the members of that community feel about these issues? How?
    • What could you do to find out?
  • What tips do you have for getting the information you need from people?

Main Activity

The SELMA project short definition of hate speech is:

“Any online content targeting someone based on protected characteristics with the intent or likely effect of inciting, spreading or promoting hatred or other forms of discrimination.”

Top tips for effective canvassing

While your group may individually have their own ideas of what issues need tackling, it’s a good idea to undertake a canvassing exercise to further understand what the issues are for others.

Your role is to support the group in developing their own canvassing strategy, this may be face to face if the issue is a local issue, or online. Given the prevalence of online hate speech and the focus of the SELMA resources, an online approach is preferred, but you shouldn’t restrict your group to this, if that’s what’s important to them.

The purpose of the canvassing activity is to find out more information about the issues that are affecting the communities your learners are a part of.

If your group already has a good understanding of the methodology for canvassing or surveying, then you might choose to skip straight to the activity. However, your group may find the handout useful to refer to.

Share the Top tips for effective canvassing slides with the group. Explain that canvassing is more commonly linked to door-to-door canvassing for voting situations, but we’re hacking this and using it to mean “finding out out more from my people”. Work through the slides with the group, explaining each point and ensuring that the group understands the main points. You may wish, depending on the group that you’re working with, to stop at the end of each slide and give time for the group to work on that step of the planning process.

By the end of the activity, learners should have created or started to create a canvassing plan to investigate the issues in their online communities.


The objective of this activity is for the learners to have created, or started to create, a canvassing plan to find out from their people what the most important topics are in their (online) group(s).

You may wish to set a task for learners to continue working on/refining their plans, in order for these to be used in wider campaign planning around online hate speech.

Outcome Criteria

  • Considered and selected appropriate methods for collecting data/information about online issues.
  • Planned a survey/canvass to collect relevant information.


Evaluate appropriate methods for collecting data/information about online issues Understand how to plan a survey/canvass to collect relevant information.


Top tips for effective canvassing - Slides

Evaluating appropriate methods for collecting data/information about online issues


Top tips for effective canvassing - Handout

Understanding how to plan a survey/canvass to collect relevant information