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The LGBTIQ YOUTH NET project is tackling the rising issue of online anti-LGBTIQ hate speech, which affects the mental health and well-being of vulnerable youth. With over 84% of youth recognising the presence of online anti-LGBTIQ hate speech, and more than 91% feeling threatened by it, there's an urgent need to equip these individuals with the skills to combat this form of hate speech. Amidst a digital landscape that has amplified such issues, the project aims to foster resilience, promote inclusivity, and create safer online spaces for youth, especially those within the LGBTIQ community.

The rising issue of online anti-LGBTIQ hate speech poses a significant threat to the mental health and overall well-being of vulnerable youth populations. Despite the vast online connectivity and social interaction made possible by digital platforms, they also serve as conduits for this harmful speech. Educational institutions and youth support programs share the responsibility of equipping young people with skills to counter such negativity.

Therefore, there's a pressing need for innovative and inclusive educational models, like the LGBTIQ YOUTH NET project, that address this form of online hate speech directly and equip young individuals, particularly within youth community teaching both LGBTIQ & NON-LGBTIQ young persons the necessary skills to navigate digital platforms safely and confidently, standing together against hate.

THE OVERALL OBJECTIVE of LGBTIQ YOUTH NET is to develop a new set of resources that will help combat anti-LGBTIQ online hate speech, which is on the rise. These resources will help the work of youth workers, including those working to support LGBTIQ youth. The resources will also support young people, LGBTIQ & non-LGBTIQ youth, 18 to 26 years of age to identify hate speech & combat it. To achieve this, we plan to develop and implement an innovative model that combines digital and social skills, tailored for both LGBTIQ and non-LGBTIQ youth. This educational model prioritises hands-on experience and interactive learning, helping participants not only recognise online hate speech but also effectively challenge it. By providing youth, educators, and policymakers with the resources they need, we strive to combat online hate speech and foster a culture of diversity, inclusion, and respect.

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