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Stand on your front porch and scream

Updated: Aug 28, 2020

While global hashtags and messages face backlash, Australians innovate to create both silly and very meaningful messages of support and solidarity.

Another global hashtag about a serious social issue became news for all the wrong reasons recently. If you have an Instagram account you might have noticed that many women were posting black and white portraits of themselves with the hashtag "challengeaccepted". The trend in places like Australia and the US often didn't say much apart from #challengeaccepted #womensupporting women and a couple of words about the importance of the women in their lives. In a not-completely-dissimilar way to what happened with #blackouttuesday the challenge came under fire in a couple of ways. Firstly some questioned how meaningful posting a selfie can be in promoting feminism and then many started questioning the real origins of the challenge. Many believe that it was actually linked to the alarming rates of femicide in Turkey.

But there is hope for social media to help Australians connect and unite without fear of backlash - especially with locally created causes with less potential for dilution as these messages travel around the world.

A serious local cause gaining a lot of attention recently was the campaign to raise the age of criminal responsibility here in Australia. With parliamentary discussions having been on the table about whether the age (one of the lowest globally) should be raised from 10 years old to 14 many Australians tried to raise awareness on their social accounts by posting images of themselves at age 10. Many have an issue with this as youth imprisonment disproportionately affects indigenous communities and children facing hardship. This trend helped to visually demonstrate just how young ten looks.

In true Australian spirit of course, many have been finding much more lighthearted ways to support one another during a rough time. Victoria is of course suffering through a long lockdown, and with nowhere to go it is rare to see a Facebook Event. Almost 80,000 Victorians did click attending to the 'Stand on your front porch and scream', location? your house. People let their frustration out, much to the dismay of many neighbours I'm sure.

Image Source: Facebook

But on top of citizens supporting each other, some are feeling for our hardworking politicians during this time. Attracting more than double the attendees of the 'Stand on your front porch' event, with 190.000 'attending' and not a lot else to do with Fridays at the moment 'Give Dan Andrews a virtual hug' is taking place this Friday. The event description begins with "As we all know, Dan Andrews is looking exhausted and disheartened. This is an event where we can click "Attending/Going" as a virtual way to show him that he has the support of the Victorian people, and we appreciate his incredibly hard work in keeping us safe."

Image Source: Facebook

With reports that 33% of Australians are spending more time on social media in recent weeks of the pandemic, it comes as no shock that social trends continue to evolve and gain traction. With no clear timeline on when we will be able to get back to all of our previously enjoyed activities it will be interesting to see which new challenges, events and activities will take off online.

Zara Cooper


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