Today we’re talking online activism and keeping the ledger straight.
We all get our news online - social media is our town square and the news pages are the town criers. I follow a bunch of these pages and while plenty of the articles they share demonstrate great empathy and compassion for the complexities of life lived and a commitment to science and waking the world up to climate change - there is an equally powerful commitment from people who seem to find social justice, equality, fairness and acceptance profoundly threatening. Some are bots, some are astro-turfers and shills, and some are believers - whatever they are, they actively seek out stories of tolerance and climate activism to drown out the voice of the town crier. These are the voices of hatred, discrimination, and frankly, fear. They shout so loudly that your friend who is might be climate concerned but not engaged feels there’s more of a diversity of genuine expertise than there actually is - and might not ‘get’ that the science is in - and might also feel that expressing discrimination is just ‘voicing your opinion’.
Do you want to contribute to the discussion - and risk getting attacked? Possibly not. But there’s a global Facebook movement that’s grown up organically and powerfully over the past three years, and stepped up, little by little, and more and more, to counter that hatred, and open space for other views. It’s a group that sits at the tipping point of civic discourse - It’s the I am HERE movement - and our guest today is the administrator of the Australian arm - Gabriel Morse of #iamhere Australia, welcome!
If you're inspired to join the group, you can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/iamhereaustralia