Bilbao City Council has joined the Anti-Rumour Agents Network project, an initiative to be launched at Deusto to debunk false topics concerning migration. Volunteers will become “anti-rumour agents”, using objective data against racist attitudes.
Migrant groups bear the stigma of many negative stereotypes linked to social benefits, work or crime, topics that impair coexistence and integration, but which are removed if objective data are provided. The Anti-Rumour Agents Network project is intended to give citizens rigorous information about these issues, to help dispel racist prejudices and spread a more positive and truer view of migration.
The project consists of training volunteers, in a process where rumours are first collected for later analysis, and compared with objective data. Thus, through several meetings, the citizen-agents acquire tools to disseminate their arguments and counteract the false topics by using a snowball methodology.
Bilbao City Council, through its Equality, Cooperation and Citizenship Department, has joined this initiative that began in Barcelona in 2010, and will launch an Anti-Rumour Agents Network in the Deusto neighbourhood, open to the participation of citizens committed to inclusive coexistence. Since 2013, this project has also been in operation in Getxo, where 25 people took part last year, either on an individual basis or on behalf of entities and associations. The materials and tools developed by the initiative, which are useful to dispel prejudices and stereotypes commonly linked to migration, are available on Getxo Town Council’s website.