India: SPEAK – Using Social Media Responsibly

Digitalisation in India is advancing in leaps and bounds. Almost 500 million Indians are already using social media networks actively. The Church of South India (CSI) acknowledges this trend and has launched the SPEAK project for digital media literacy.

Social media such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube have become indispensable when it comes to communication - especially in such a large and populous country as India. It has given a voice to many previously voiceless and unreached Indian citizens and has opened up new horizons.  The number of users is increasing rapidly. On the flip side, digital media has also given birth to an entire industry of disinformation and misuse.

SPEAK – ethical, authentic and knowledge-based information

The Church of South India (CSI) uses many social media platforms but is also aware of the dangers of fake news and hate speech. The CSI has developed the SPEAK project to combat this and to use the networks to spread the gospel and other information. SPEAK stands for "Social media, Prioritize Ethics, Authenticity & Knowledge". The aim is to teach digital media literacy based on ethical core values, authenticity and knowledge. The project will train a total of 300 ministers, catechists and volunteers as social media communicators in workshops lasting several days. 

India

There will be around 500 million social network users by 2022.

Spreading the Gospel and providing rapid aid in the event of a disaster

The CSI social media communicators have many tasks. They spread the Gospel and raise awareness of ecological issues such as the impact of climate change. They are given the tools for crisis communication, e.g. when natural disasters, social and political unrest or pandemics occur. In this way, help can be organised and coordinated as quickly as possible. Dealing with disinformation and hate mail is also part of the programme. The CSI's solidarity-based social media network is thus being continuously expanded at national and international levels.

 

Project Goals

The Church of South India (CSI) uses many social media platforms but is also aware of the dangers of fake news and hate speech. The CSI has developed the SPEAK project to combat this and to use the networks to spread the gospel and other information. SPEAK stands for "Social media, Prioritize Ethics, Authenticity & Knowledge". The aim is to teach digital media literacy based on ethical core values, authenticity and knowledge. Intensive training is being provided to 300 professional social media communicators in the CSI in the five states of South India.

 

Project Work

Intensive training is needed to ensure that social media communication is based on ethical values, authentic information and knowledge. The communicators learn how to fact check messages from other users and how to take action against misuse. Besides regular trainings, the programme also includes coordination with the church's communication departments. Continuous feedback from the participants and regular evaluations of the process ensures the long-term quality of communications.

Project Partner

The Church of South India (CSI) is today the largest Protestant church in India with almost four million members in 24 dioceses and 15,000 parishes. This makes it one of the largest Protestant churches in Asia. The CSI runs kindergartens, schools, colleges, technical institutions and hospitals. The church is based in the large region covering the five southern states in India: Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. The CSI is a united church integrating Reformed, Lutheran, Methodist and Anglican traditions.

 

 

We are pleased to hear that you are interested in this project. If you have any general questions, please use the contact form below. We are also happy to help you personally if you have any questions or require further information – by phone or by E-mail.

 

Solomon P. Benjamin

Head of Units India and East Asia

+49 711 636 78 -42

benjamin@dont-want-spam.ems-online.org

Angelika Jung

Head of Unit Fundraising

+49 711 636 78 -63

jung@dont-want-spam.ems-online.org

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