Chatbot „Erst- und Verweisinformation für Betroffene von Diskriminierung“

Supported project

The chatbot “Erst- und Väerweisinformation für Betroffene von Diskriminierung” was a funding project of CityLAB Berlin, supported by funds from the Senate Chancellery and the federal program Demokratie Leben.

What was the issue?

Discrimination is a social reality and at the same time a personal experience of exclusion and injury with sometimes very far-reaching emotional and material consequences. In addition to preventive measures such as training or the development of effective legal protection, it is important to support those affected in concrete situations to address discrimination and to demand their right to equal treatment and respect. In doing so, there are a number of barriers that are central to knowledge about:
(1) discrimination,
(2) their own rights and options for action, and
(3) reliable support services.

While classic media for passing on information (peer-to-peer, classic public relations work with flyers, events, media campaigns) establish contacts with target groups, digital options for communication and information provision in particular have not yet been systematically used.

There is currently a significant gap, particularly in the area of interactive digital media. Automated chatbots have supplemented, and in some cases already replaced, classic information flyers and FAQ pages in many areas of customer service. In chatbots, the relevant information is pre-structured sequentially in the form of decision trees and passed on to interested parties according to need and concern. As a result, the information provided is more low-threshold, immediate and focused, and requires less time/attention than reading a 5-page brochure, for example. In addition, the accessibility of information is expanded, as corresponding bots can be easily used via smartphones and tablets. In the service-oriented economy, bots are additionally popular because they are associated with a reduction in the burden on human resources. An initial structuring of concerns and first answers to questions already happen before an employee becomes active.

For the field of anti-discrimination work and counseling, a corresponding tool does not yet exist. In order to reach more people affected and to relieve existing counseling and support centers, the development and testing of a bot is an important step towards effective protection against discrimination.

What did you want to achieve?

The project goal was to develop a chatbot prototype that would (1) provide victims of discrimination with basic information about their rights, (2) refer them to appropriate counseling services, and (3) document discrimination.

A chatbot offers the potential of a easy accessible, immediate, and situation-specific assessment and orientation regarding possible options for action and offers of support for those affected by discrimination. At the same time, it potentially enables a stronger illumination of dark areas and critical areas of life. As a digital tool, the chatbot continues to hold the possibility of reaching project-critical target groups (adolescents, young adults) that are difficult to reach through traditional information channels. In this context, the introduction of a chatbot for victims of discrimination is an important step towards adapting the work of the counseling centers to contemporary needs and possibilities.


Daniel Bartel