In 2020, Dr. Speckhard started the Escape Hate Counter-Narratives Project. Since then, she has in-depth interviewed 52 white supremacists and anti-government militia members, some involved in the January 6th riot, and most captured on video, about their life histories, vulnerabilities to recruitment, recruitment history, experiences inside the group and reasons for leaving. She has also interviewed 6 Antifa, violent activists.
The ICSVE team has since been editing the videos of the white supremacists and anti-government militia members who left and are now willing to renounce their groups into short video clips to upload on the Internet to fight online and in-person recruiting. The 40 video clips made thus far are subtitled in English and German can be viewed on ICSVE’s YouTube channel. ICSVE researchers have also worked with Facebook to promote them on Facebook to vulnerable audiences in Canada, the US, and beyond.
ICSVE is dedicated to flooding the Internet with counter-narratives to fight white supremacist and anti-government militia propaganda and recruitment. The Escape Hate project was modeled after the Breaking the ISIS Brand Counternarrative Project (funded in large part by the Embassy of Qatar) and which has been lauded by the White House, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. State Department and many foreign governments as well as having been covered in the Washington Post, Time magazine, on NPR and in many other news networks and print outlets.
The Escape Hate Counternarrative Project videos are being used in multiple countries to fight extremist recruitment in youth and adults as well as in police and security trainings. Our hope is to offer powerful tools to delegitimize domestic violent extremists and their ideologies and diminish social support for them globally.