What is Project Grey?

Project Grey aims to oppose online and offline polarization by amplify opinions of the ‘grey middle’. Campaigners, data analysts and social workers join hands to combat polarization and the processes of radicalization that stem from it.

Although the group of people with extreme opinions is often relatively small, they make the most noise on social media. This strongly reduces the space for a wide pallet of more nuanced opinions, also described as the ‘grey middle’. Project grey emphasizes these opinion of the silent majority that risks getting lost in the ruckus. The campaign is launched from an innovative online tool and dashboard that help us gain insight regarding the subject people have heated discussions on and where the first signs of polarization can be discerned.

Project Grey emphasizes these opinion of the silent majority that risks getting lost in the ruckus

Social workers and youth workers are also involved in Project Grey. They are trained to recognize (online) polarization and to handle it proactively and reactively both within their neighbourhoods and online, for example by organising dialogue meetings. Become a part of Project Grey.

Project Grey uses technology that is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning. The algorithms used within this project autonomously search for patterns in the data. More information can be found here. They help us gain insight regarding which subject people discuss on social media and where signs of polarisation can be discerned.

What is polarization?

Polarization is characterised by an increase in us-them thinking. It is a process in which differences between groups in society are increasingly emphasized, causing groups to oppose each other more vehemently. Polarization can manifest itself in different settings: in a neighbourhood, at school or on the work floor, but also online on social media. Sometimes polarization is necessary to clarify conflicting or opposing views. However, if polarization is excessively prolonged or if differences are played up to much, it can divide society.

In the public debate a lot of attention goes out to strong views of a relatively small group of black-and-white thinkers. The vast majority of people have a more nuanced opinion. This group can be seen as the ‘grey middle’. Project Grey wants to empower this more nuanced counternarrative and make the ‘grey middle’ resilient to polarization.