Archive for September, 2012

Petition: Take back our online and political discussion from jerks and bullies

Something is really wrong with our political and online level of discussion when people think it’s ok to greet the news that our Prime Minister’s father has passed away, by making really vile and hateful statements on Facebook and Twitter.

I am not an Labor party supporter, but I am a supporter of acting like a decent human being online and offline, and I’d like to ask that if you feel the same way, you join with me in saying enough is enough.

This problem is bigger than just politics too. We’ve seen some pretty rough examples of online harrassment and bullying recently, such as what happened to Charlotte Dawson. Part of the reason extreme situations like that happen, is that we tolerate bad behaviour online everyday. We need to stop doing that.

If our political conversations in Parliament House, in question time, or just on social media between every day people are a reflection of who we are as a nation, I really want us to do better.
I’d like to ask you to sign my online petition, and pass it along, but I’d also like to ask you to do more:

  • Check your own behaviour. Don’t participate in hostility, abuse or bullying online.
  • If you see people you know (friends, family, members of your online community) being abusive jerks online, tell them it’s not on. You’d tell them if they’d had too many drinks and were acting like a jerk at a party. It’s ok to tell them online too.
  • Get in touch with your MP, and let them know that you’d like them, their party and all politicians to help lead by example by making a commitment to lifting the tone of our political and online debate to a more civil level. (Here’s how to find your MP’s details)

Want to get more involved?

I am starting to contact politicians, journalists and community leaders to inform them of this campaign and to ask for their support. If you’d like to get involved, please contact me via Twitter (@stokely) or leave a comment here.

Thank you for your support!

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