Week 1 (10/2): The dark side – Dealing with hate, trolls, and phone addiction


“Anti-cyber bullying fix – meet the troll” by FixersUK is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0


Let’s go through the Subject Guide including Assessments.

Hate speech

DISCUSSION: What is hate speech? How would you define it?

“Hate speech can be a confusing term, defined differently in different contexts…the UN describes hate speech as “any kind of communication in speech, writing or behaviour, that attacks or uses pejorative or discriminatory language with reference to a person or a group on the basis of who they are.” The speech is directed at a person’s “religion, ethnicity, nationality, race, colour, descent, gender or other identity factor”.”


POLL: Stand up! Have you seen or heard hateful online comments about a cultural or religious group? If yes, go to right-hand side of the room. If no, go to the left-hand side of the room.

“Over 50% of young people have seen or heard hateful comments about a cultural or religious group online.” https://www.esafety.gov.au/young-people/online-hate

DISCUSSION: As a journalist, why is it important to oppose hate speech?

WATCH: two videos in which Aidan White, the Director of the Ethical Journalism Network, discusses:

Why journalists should oppose hate speech:

A 5-point test for hate speech:

Download an infographic on the 5-point test for hate speech here.

In Australia, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance, has Guidelines on Reporting Hate Speech and Extremism:

Different jurisdictions in Australia have different laws in relation to hate speech, including vilification and racial discrimination legislation. There have been some cases in Australia where people using hate speech have been jailed or received criminal sanctions.

DISCUSSION: Why is legislating to prevent hate speech controversial? What is the difference between free speech and hate speech?

A survey has found that 7 out of 10 Australians support further legislation to stop the spread of hateful content online.

Dealing with trolls

WARNING: Contains offensive language WATCH: ABC Media Watch on violent threats, sexualised harassment, and misogynistic hate. The online abuse female journalists cop for doing their job. So, how do you stop it?


Rachel Baxendale is a journalist for The Australian, so why did she go off Twitter altogether for 24-48 hours last year?

LISTEN: Is Twitter a toxic place for journalists? at 6’27”

WATCH: 60 Minute trailer on online trolling:


DISCUSSION: How would you deal with online trolls if your work requires you to be on social media?

Social media and phone addiction

DISCUSSION: What is nomophobia? Do you suffer from it? Are you addicted to your phone? Are you addicted to social media?

WATCH: Phubbing: Is using your mobile phone an addiction?


WATCH: Survey reveals how mobile phones are interfering with our everyday habits. https://coach.nine.com.au/lifecoach/technoference-problematic-smartphone-use-australia/b1b9b1b7-048a-41d0-a037-fb3446942fec

READ: No, you’re probably not ‘addicted’ to your smartphone – but you might use it too much: https://theconversation.com/no-youre-probably-not-addicted-to-your-smartphone-but-you-might-use-it-too-much-89853

Six criteria for social media addiction: Problematic social media use


How will you ensure that you maintain your mental health and safety online as a social media professional?


Create a social media tile on one topic discussed today highlighting how you will ensure your mental health and safety online.

Author: veritychambers

Journalist and teacher

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