Vitoria-Gasteiz sees a direct link between rumours and discrimination in society, Source: Depositphotos

Spanish city will train citizens as anti-rumour agents

Spanish city will train citizens as anti-rumour agents

Authorities in Vitoria-Gasteiz want to tackle the spread of disinformation on migrants at the grassroots level

The Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council has announced that it will offer Anti-Rumour Training to volunteering citizens. The Spanish Basque autonomous region’s capital wants to do something about the pervasiveness of harmful talk that spreads through society regarding topics, such as migrants and people of foreign origin.

Vitoria’s Service of Coexistence and Diversity, together with the Civic Center of Lakua, is thus inviting citizens, who want to learn how to dismantle rumours, to register for the courses that will take place in October and November. What’s more, there are also separate sessions on the same topic but for municipal employees.

Rumours – the origin of fake news and conspiracy theories

What Vitoria-Gasteiz is doing is quite unique. After all, how many other cities can claim that they have a formal Anti-Rumours Strategy among their policy agendas? The authorities there are aiming to go beyond mere informational campaigns and turn to education at the neighbourhood level.

The Anti-Rumors Strategy is an awareness and action project for social transformation whose objectives include involving and training a large number of people. The aim is to generate a network of Anti-Rumors Agents, who will promote critical thinking and raise awareness about the adverse effects of stereotypes, prejudices and false rumours related to migrants.

The Strategy in question can thus be seen as social agenda so that the reduction of prejudices and the prevention of discrimination are recognized as a fundamental collective objective for the city as a whole.

The Civic Center of Lakua will host the anti-rumour training on 17, 19 and 24 October and on 2 and 4 November. These sessions will delve into rumours, perceptions and attitudes towards migratory processes, the cultural construction of categories: race and culture, rumours, gender and migration. Practical skills for dialogue and communication will be worked on.



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