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It's a sobering reality of our digital age: online spaces, where we've become accustomed to connecting with others, sharing experiences, and learning about our world, are fraught with the darkness of hate speech. More alarming is the fact that young individuals who identify as LGBTQ+ are more than twice as likely to experience this vitriolic language compared to their heterosexual peers.

In a recent study conducted by Nominet for their annual Digital Youth Index, it was revealed that over two-thirds of young people between the ages of eight and 25 have seen distressing content online. These digital spaces, which include social media platforms such as Reddit, Twitter, TikTok, and Tumblr, have become arenas for hate speech, particularly targeting minority groups.

The study's findings are a clarion call to action, piercing through the complacent narrative that Generation Z are 'internet natives,' seamlessly surfing the waves of the digital landscape. The stark reality is that the waters are far more turbulent than we'd like to admit, with numerous young individuals navigating an ocean of online hate speech and reporting negative impacts on their wellbeing.

As troubling as these statistics are, they serve as a powerful motivator for the launch of our project, LGBTIQ YOUTH NET. The alarming data underscores the urgency of our mission: to counter online hate speech and provide a much-needed lifeline to those most affected by it, including young LGBTQ+ individuals and other vulnerable groups.

Our project's objectives align with the pressing need for young people to feel connected, included, and secure in their online environments. After all, today's youth are not just future leaders; they are a crucial part of the digital fabric that connects us all.

By addressing this issue head-on, we aim to contribute to a safer, more inclusive digital landscape for everyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or other defining characteristics. Through education, awareness, and action, we can help ensure that the internet becomes a space where all individuals, particularly our youth, can express themselves without fear of hate speech or discrimination.

Source: Young LGBTQ+ people more than twice as likely to experience hate speech online | Online abuse | The Guardian

While Pride Month may have drawn to a close, the harsh reality faced by members of the LGBTQ+ community continues unabated - particularly in the realm of online spaces. We must remember that the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community are not confined to a single month of activism and parades; rather, they persist throughout the year. As the rainbow flags are lowered and the calendar flips to the next month, we risk losing mainstream media's focus on the issues at hand, even as online hate speech continues to proliferate.

Dr. Susan Cheng, Associate Dean for Public Health Practice and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, emphasizes this point. "As Pride Month concludes," she says, "public health practitioners and scholars, community members, and leaders, must remain committed to supporting the free and equitable access to rights and privileges of members of the LGBTQ+ community the other eleven months of the year."

Indeed, this commitment to safeguarding the rights and privileges of LGBTQ+ individuals cannot be a fleeting, month-long event. Instead, it should be an enduring endeavor that recognizes the year-round challenges faced by this community. The fight against online hate speech, in particular, cannot and should not be confined to a 30-day window.

Source: Online Hate And Harassment On The Rise—LGBTQ+ Community Among The Most Impacted (

The European E-learning Institute (EUEI) is committed to providing high-quality learning experiences and innovative educational programmes which engage learners from a range of sectors and socio-economic backgrounds. EUEI is committed to promoting social cohesion, inclusion, and sustainability across Europe, making them a perfect fit for the LGBTIQ Youth Net Project.

Our experienced team of trainers, researchers and technical experts are uniquely placed to guide educators from VET, HEI, Adult and Youth sectors to harness the opportunities that innovative and collaborative e-learning and digital tools offer for learners.

We specialise in the delivering of high quality, responsive and innovative projects to educators and learners in the topics of pedagogic approaches, entrepreneurial competences, digital skills, inclusion, and sustainability.

Meet our team working on the LGBTIQ Youth Net project!

Canice Hamill- Managing Director

Canice has worked in the field of lifelong education for over 20 years and is recognised as an expert in instructional design and the development of e-learning solutions for education and training. A former trainer and lecturer, Canice utilises a holistic approach to creating innovative, interactive learning environments and works closely with tutors, trainers, and development teams, emphasising the importance of empathy and user experience in every learning solution.

Our Logician -Innovative Inventors with an unquenchable thirst for knowledge

Catherine Neill- European Project Manager

An experienced EU project manager, Catherine is an integral member of our team. She is an effective communicator and has a strong background in areas of Inclusion. The oldest of 5 children Catherine quickly learned how to lead the pack, utilising organisational skills alongside her passion for helping others, she is committed to making the world a more accessible, sustainable, and friendly place.

Our Protagonist -Charismatic and inspiring leaders, able to mesmerise their listeners.

Aine Hamill- European Project Officer

Aine plays an important role in the learning design and subsequently in evaluating the effectiveness of our eLearning products on completion. Aine is always keen to engage with her creative side and implement the newest digital tools, pedagogies, and trends into our e-learning solutions. She is passionate about finding effective and relevant ways to engage learners from all walks of life.

Our Defender-dedicated and warm protectors, able to implement ideas and “create order from chaos”.

Including our key role in the initiation of the LGBTIQ Youth Net project we will also work tirelessly alongside our project partners to deliver the highest quality project results as possible. Within the project EUEI will develop the project website and be responsible for the technical realisation of the materials.

Learn more about EUEI

We recently had an online meeting exclusively with our core partnership organisations—Democratic Initiatives Incubator, European E-learning Institute, Outside Media & Knowledge UG, Momentum, and European Center for Human Rights. The focus of our gathering was the development of Work Package 2 (WP2) within the LGBTIQ Youth Net project.

WP2 aims to explore the challenges and opportunities young people face in the realm of online anti-LGBTIQ hate speech. During the meeting, we discussed in-depth the research methodologies and strategies that will be employed. Each partner organisation brought unique perspectives and expertise to the table, enriching our collective understanding of how to approach this sensitive and critical issue.

The conversation was highly productive, leading to a refined roadmap for WP2. We outlined timelines, allocated responsibilities, and discussed how the findings will contribute to the Reach and Teach Toolkit. This toolkit is intended to equip youth educators with actionable methods and insights, thereby enhancing their effectiveness in this crucial area.

The commitment from all our partner organisations was evident, and the meeting concluded with a renewed sense of purpose. We are all excited to move forward with WP2, united in our goal to make a tangible impact on the lives of LGBTIQ youth.

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