City of Barcelona, Council of Europe
Launched in 2010
The Antirumors Strategy (ARS) began in 2010, as part of the City of Barcelona’s Intercultural Plan. The plan had been developed through a public consultation process that asked people about what they felt hindered positive intercultural interactions. The majority identified subjective aspects, such as as sterotypes, prejudice and other forms of misinformation.
The ARS was designed in response. The strategy aimed to encourage critical thinking and awareness among residents rather than trying to prove prejudices wrong with data. After its success in Barcelona, the strategy and its methodology was rolled out in other Spanish cities in 2013. In 2014-15, the Council of Europe led a European project (C4i: Communication for Integration) to adapt and implement the antirumours methodology in other European cities (Limerick, Botkyrka, Nuremberg, Erlangen, Lublin, Patras, Loures, Amadora, Bilbao, and Sabadell).
Since then, the strategy has gone global. The ARS methodology has been refined and adapted, with tools and training available to allow cities to adopt the strategy.
Find out more about Barcelona’s Anti-Rumors Strategy and about Council of Europe Intercultural Cities programme anti-rumors resources, including its anti-rumors handbook. Visit Anti-Rumours Global on Facebook.
“Although the internet and social media bring new opportunities for increased connection between people, they are also highly effective channels for spreading false rumours and hate speech. The ARS seeks to prevent these attitudes from becoming “normalised” by encouraging an awareness of their negative consequences and calling for action.”
Council of Europe Anti-Rumours Handbook