#PJstories – Interview with Riccardo Tonnarelli

Riccardo participated in the Training Course “Radicalization Stop” organized by PROJUVEN in Torremolinos, Spain

Hello RiccardoAccording to your opinion, what drives youth radicalisation?

In my opinion youth radicalisation is driven especially by lack of education. Another factor could be the mental fragility that young people suffer, which often leads of being easily infuluenced from extremist group that have bad intentions. Nowaday, with globalization and internet, is much easier for extremist groups to connect with youngsters through social media channels.

What can we do to protect young people from extremist influences in the online environment? What are your tips for staying safe online?  

The first thing that should be done is to delete each extremist content on websites like Facebook, Instagram,etc. that are used a lot by youngsters. The bigger part of the recruitment is online, so IT companies should spend more money for checking, filtering and deleting malicious posts. Indeed I haven’t any tips for staying safe online, simply because I know what is right and wrong. My parents gave me good directions and fortunately I don’t suffer from social problems like bullying or exclusion, factors that often take to radicalization. However, I think that young people have to develop their critical thinking so they will be able to evaluate what information is not correct. Also they have to be able to react, reporting extremism posts in the online environment or if they detect that somebody around them had some different attitudes, they have to be able to help him or her.

What is the most important thing you have learned during the training? How do you plan to share and use your knowledge?

I can not say that there is just one important thing that I learnt during this training. I learnt a lot of things such as speaking better English. Despite its still not very good, I improved it a lot and now I feel more comfortable when I have to express myself in foreign language. Another very important thing is that I met people from countries that I didn´t know before. I got to know new cultures and I also understood that we are all very similar in many aspects as european citizens. Also we threated a fundamental and current topic such as the radicalisation and I saw different views from people all over the Europe.

This project opened me a new world and I came back home with a lot of memories. If there would be the possibility, I will be happy to see you all again!

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