Taking action online
Racism often occurs online, particularly on social media. Perpetrators sometimes feel more emboldened than they would in real-world settings, but the impacts of online racism can be just as real.
If you witness racism on social media or elsewhere online:
- It’s often best to ignore the post and consider blocking future posts from the person. It may be better not to engage with them, as they often want you to react in order to start an argument.
- In some situations you may feel it is productive to comment. If someone is personally targeted online, offering support can be a powerful statement of solidarity. Sometimes, if the person who has made offensive remarks happens to be a friend, consider letting them know you disagree with what they’ve said. A positive attitude always sets a good example and is likely to prompt a more positive response. Beware of feeding the trolls and getting sucked into an argument.
- If the post is on a page you moderate, consider hiding or deleting the comment.
- Taking a screenshot of the offensive material and saving it to your computer can be a good idea. It may be useful later if any follow up is needed and the person deletes what they have published.
- Most social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have systems for handling complaints about offensive content. Consider alerting the platform, because they can remove the content.
- You can also report the content to the office of the Office of the eSafety Commissioner. They can investigate the matter and follow up with the perpetrator.