Week 1: Hate, trolls, and phone addiction (and what to do about them)

Pepe the frog was killed off by his creator after becaming an alt-right symbol. Photo: twitter.com/therealdonaldtrump

BY RUTH BERAN & VERITY CHAMBERS


Orientation

Let’s go through the Subject Guide including Assessments.

Saying mean stuff online

WATCH: Celebs read mean tweets, from the Jimmy Kimmel Show

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”.”

From ‘What is hate speech?‘ smh.com.au

“Over 50% of young people have seen or heard hateful comments about a cultural or religious group online.”

From ‘Online hate‘, eSafety Commissioner

DISCUSSION:

  • Who has seen hate speech online? Who has seen hate speech in real life? Which is more common?
  • Why do you think this could be the case?
  • Which social platforms are the worst for hate speech?
  • Why do people say hateful things online?
  • What can we do about hateful posts or comments we see online?

WATCH

Young people talk about the hate speech they’ve encountered:

UCLA students discuss hate speech and government regulation:

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

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

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

WATCH:

The psychology of trolling

DISCUSSION: How would you deal with hate and 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.

READ: No, you’re probably not ‘addicted’ to your smartphone – but you might use it too much.

Six criteria for social media addiction: Problematic social media use

Discussion:

Let’s compare screen time. Have a look at your phone app – how much time have you spent on your phone in the past week? Which apps are you using most?

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

TASK

Create a social media tile on one topic discussed today highlighting how people can safeguard their mental health and safety online.

Don’t know what a tile is? Here are some examples – note the different aspect ratios for different social platforms.

(TIP: Canva is a great tool for this exercise, if you’re not familiar with it, here’s how to get started.)

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