Boris Herman

2023 IVLP Impact Award Project: Reducing the Impact of Disinformation on Young People at Risk of Committing Targeted Violence in Central SerbiaSerbia

Boris Herman works at the Centre for Social Innovation and Integration, a non-profit organization that works directly to counter extremism at the grassroots level, particularly in formerly incarcerated and youth populations in Serbia. Herman has a background in pedagogy, sociology, psychology, criminal law, and penology which he uses to engage directly with individuals and groups who are the most vulnerable to radicalization. 

IVLP Impact Award Project: Reducing the Impact of Disinformation on Young People at Risk of Committing Targeted Violence in Central Serbia

The project aimed to enhance media literacy among young people in central Serbia, to prevent disinformation and deter them from committing serious crimes, particularly targeted violence. The biggest generator of targeted violence campaigns on social media is a very low level of media literacy, lack of knowledge of how the media work, and a lack of knowledge and motivation to check the reliability and accuracy of media articles, which "trigger" violence on the Internet and later in real life.

Through eight workshops, several focus groups, three short videos, and individual meetings, the project helped young people gain better insight and raise their level of media literacy, which will ultimately affect the prevention of the spread of attacks and threats on social media. In the workshops, the participants discussed the definition of news and basic journalistic questions. They also learned about different ways to transmit news, played a game to see how information changes through communication, and discussed different types of fake news through different media channels.

"I hope that after this project, the number of young people who are at risk of committing serious crimes will decrease." - Boris Herman

IVLP Exchange Experience 

Boris was a participant in the IVLP Project, Countering Violent Extremism and Racially and Ethnically Motivated Violent Extremism – Community Strategies, organized by the U.S. Department of State and the Institute of International Education.

Boris's exchange experience led to the development of his IVLP Impact Award Project: "During my visit to the U.S., I saw practical examples that changes are possible. I am glad because I stayed in contact with some of the lecturers and wish to bring them to Serbia to share their knowledge."

U.S. Communities Visited

Montgomery, AL; Washington, DC; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle, WA

"I believe that every person can change. Just as young people learn to be violent, so we can teach them to be nonviolent. " - Boris Herman

Country: Serbia

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