Social Media Activism in a COVID-19 World

Sophie Scanlon

Aaron Weiss

The Black lives matter movement has gained more and more traction in the past couple of months and people are moving online to raise their voice and educate.

Tiktok, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are some of Australia’s most popular social media sites and they have become a vital vessel for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Emily or as she is known on TikTok as @howdoidelete1 is an Indigenous Australian from the Barkindji, Wakawaka and Birrigubba regions.

She has a following of 42.9k followers and 1.7million likes on her videos and she shares videos on life as an Indigenous Australian.

“Tiktok allows me to use popular trends and songs to communicate the truth about Australia’s frontier wars and dispel the myth of terra nullius, and civilisation.”

@howdoidelete1

TikTok has a young age demographic, mainly generation Z and Millennials and this is the same people who would attend the protests.

There has been an increase in the amount of time people are spending on social media during the COVID19 global pandemic.

“I think because people are isolated, they’re engaging with social media more actively to seek out connections and entertainment. They’re also seeking information and critiques on news bulletins and government decisions,” Emily said.

But there have been rumours circulating of a ban on the popular app TikTok which would mean the silencing of many Indigenous Australians who have found a platform with a broad international audience.

She believes that even if there was a ban “creators and advocates would just find another avenue.”

Like many other apps TikTok collects data from its users including your details, your contacts and your location, the primary difference in this app compared to others is that the it is Chinese owned.

Alessia Francischiello

The reason this is a risk factor is because there is potential for the Chinese Communist party to force TikTok to hand over their data.

Although there are both Federal and State Australian politicians who are users of the popular app, but some are speaking out saying they believe the app should be banned.

Even with the uncertain future of the app the users and content creators continue to make videos whether lighthearted or as a form of activism.

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