We can’t wait to see the end product from some of Australia’s brightest young creators as they putting the finishing touches on their videos
tackling a range of challenging topics such as extremism, hate speech, intolerance, racism and LGBT rights as part of the Share Some Good campaign.
Let’s get you ready to engage with your audience.
As we await the launch of these videos, we thought we’d share some of our learnings on how to stay safe when confronting or challenging difficult social issues online. Not all situations are the same so let’s review a few different approaches in dealing with or responding to negative comments on your channel. Whether you choose to engage, delete, flag or report negative comments, remember to familiarize yourself with the online and offline support mechanisms available, and most importantly to trust your instincts.
Your channel your rules.
Many of these videos will be hosted on your own YouTube channel and you might want to think of a few basic housekeeping rules about what’s acceptable and what isn’t. It’s important to keep in mind that not all negative comments have malicious intent. While you have the option to turn off or delete comments, it’s common practice to keep comments on as it provides a space for you to engage with viewers. You can make your viewers aware of your standards and let them know that comments that cross the line into malicious attacks won’t be tolerated. You always have the option to delete or report individual comments that you consider to be out of line, so just set the tone right and guide the discussions.
Trust your instincts and stay cool.
Your videos were created to challenge various perspectives. So you may consider engaging in the different discussions they trigger? One way to counter negative comments is to simply introduce alternative viewpoints, while this may be the most challenging approach, if you are open-minded and listen carefully to the viewpoints of others, you may find some common ground. The key is to remain calm, put yourself in the shoes of the other person, and ensure you don’t put yourself in harm’s way. If you choose to engage, it is important to remain balanced in your responses, but if things escalate it may be better to disengage. You can always chose to respond to hateful content by simply ignoring. If someone writes a negative comment, don’t respond. If it gets into the territory of hateful speech you can delete it, and if someone makes threats, report or block them.
Remain positive and do not fuel hate with hate.
Just remember. You’re not alone in this. You can learn about specific ways in which others have dealt with similar issues, and it will be reassuring to know that you are not alone and helpful advice is out there. There are times when negative comments cross the line into harassment, if specific threats are made against you and you feel unsafe, report the user to your local law enforcement agency.
Know whom to turn when things seem to spin out of control.
The Online Hate Prevention Institute has a number of How-to-Guides on how to report hateful content on various platforms.If you are being repeatedly attacked, consider involving the authorities. Before going to the authorities, it is important to familiarise yourself with the laws in your jurisdiction. Be sure to bring all the evidence you have collected and any information about the abuser’s potential identity and location.
You can visit the YouTube Online Safety Center to review Community Guidelines and for additional resources, tips, and tools to staying safe.
Our friends at Reach Out have also put together a useful list of resources in dealing with with cyberbullying:
- You can report cyberbullying online throug the eSafety Commissioner or on different social media websites
- The Australian Human Rights Commission (1300 656 419) has a complaint handling service that may investigate complaints of discrimination, harassment and bullying.
- A useful legal rights fact sheet on bullying
…or simply just talk to someone you trust about what is going on and how you feel about it. Opening up not only allows you to get support, but helps you to feel less alone about what is happening.