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Australian youth perspectives on the role of social media in climate action

journal contribution
posted on 2024-01-08, 03:59 authored by Grace Arnot, Hannah PittHannah Pitt, Simone McCarthySimone McCarthy, Chloe Cordedda, Sarah MarkoSarah Marko, Samantha L Thomas
OBJECTIVE: The climate crisis poses a significant public health threat to current and future generations. Limited research has examined young people's perspectives about the role of social media for climate awareness, action, and policy change. METHODS: Qualitatively led online survey of n=500 young Australians (aged 15-24). Questions focused on the effectiveness of social media platforms in communicating the need for climate action, with TikTok videos used to prompt about appeal strategies and campaigns. Data were analysed using a reflexive approach to thematic analysis. RESULTS: Participants perceived that social media platforms were a powerful and inclusive communication mechanism for climate action. Social media had the ability to reach diverse audiences and connect young people globally. Limitations included influencing key decision makers and risks associated with misinformation and disinformation. Participants supported messages that highlighted the urgent need for action, trusted celebrity and youth voices, and practical information to engage in action. CONCLUSIONS: Social media presents a powerful opportunity for engaging young people in discussions and decisions made about the climate crisis. IMPLICATIONS FOR PUBLIC HEALTH: The public health community should be guided by young people in developing a range of social media mechanisms to empower them to have a seat at the table in public health responses to climate.

History

Journal

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health

Volume

48

Article number

100111

Pagination

100111-100111

Location

United States

ISSN

1326-0200

eISSN

1753-6405

Language

en

Issue

1

Publisher

Elsevier BV