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Augmenting Social talk
Start date: Nov 1, 2015, End date: Apr 30, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Recent findings show that almost half of youth distrust the EU and its political directions. Consequently, it is simply unrealistic to expect youth to use formal EU-funded platforms to freely express views. Indeed, eParticipation projects so far showed that specialized platforms rarely scale and do not reach a large amount of users. Yet, young people ARE engaging in lively political debates by using free, easily accessible social media tools like Twitter. #ask is designed to go directly to the discussions that young people and politicians are already having on Twitter and act as a ‘broker’ between the formal content pushed out by policymakers and the informal content spontaneously generated by European youth. It will do so by reformulating structured policy documents and Tweets into more engaging formats, using sentiment analytics and visualization tools to translate unstructured youth discussions into opinion ‘snapshots’, and promoting #hashtags to stimulate opinions’ exchange. To young people #ask will be a fun, simple way to view policy and to policymakers a source of data-driven insights into youth views. The #ask framework and tools will be deployed and tested across four pilots in the UK, France, Greece and Bulgaria and will refine the solution over a 12+ month period. During that period, #ask will use its Dashboard to monitor results to not only collect youth opinion, but also to understand what type of engagement approaches work well. Resulting opinion snapshots will be fed into Twitter campaigns to show both policymakers and young people collective youth opinions and the lessons learned will be used to improve the deployment of the next campaign. To ensure the approach works on varying scales, #ask will focus on debates at a range of levels ensuring discussions reflect local, National and European policies. #ask has the potential to reach several hundreds of thousands of young people at local, national and European level and connect them with policymakers.

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