Count to ten: new campaign launched to prevent polarisation

A fake key for the function of swearing.

Sire, the advertising industry body which produces campaigns aimed at solving societal problems, has launched a new initiative in an effort to prevent polarisation.

Research done by Sire suggests people feel that opinions are being vented more aggressively, particularly on social media and in politics.

It found that as many as 1.4 million people have less contact with friends, family members or colleagues over differences of opinion about issues such as immigration, the climate, coronavirus, nitrogen pollution or blackface Pete.

The slogan chosen for the campaign is ‘Don’t lose each other when polarisation threatens’, and is aimed at promoting connection rather than entrenchment, Sire said.

The organisation has put together a list of twelve tips to remain engaged with other people, including counting to ten before saying something abusive, agreeing on the amount of time you discuss a ‘sensitive subject’ and focusing on things you have in common.

Last month, the socio-cultural think-tank SCP published a report showing a large majority of the Dutch are worried about increasing polarisation in society.

This is even though scientific research shows that there is more agreement between people on many different subjects, the SCP said.

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