Contested Publics: Racist rants, bystander action and social media acts of citizenship

McCosker, Anthony and Johns, Amelia 2014, Contested Publics: Racist rants, bystander action and social media acts of citizenship, Media International Australia, no. 151, pp. 66-72.

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Title Contested Publics: Racist rants, bystander action and social media acts of citizenship
Author(s) McCosker, Anthony
Johns, AmeliaORCID iD for Johns, Amelia
Journal name Media International Australia
Issue number 151
Start page 66
End page 72
Total pages 7
Publisher University of Queensland
Place of publication North Ryde, NSW
Publication date 2014-05
ISSN 1329-878X
Keyword(s) online racism
bystander anti-racism
social media citizenship
Summary While social media tools enable new kinds of creativity, cultural expression and forms of public, civic and political participation, we often hear more about the harms that arise from instances of trolling and 'aberrant' online participation, including racist provocation. In media and communications research, these issues have been framed in a number of ways, usually focusing on new tools for civic engagement, political participation and digital inclusion. Government policy has been shifting steadily towards potential regulation of social media 'misuse' in relation to appropriate forms of 'digital citizenship'. It is in this evolving context that we consider several instances of cultural or nationalistic provocation and conflict in which social media platforms (YouTube and Facebook in particular) have been central to the social dynamic that has unfolded. We examine the recording and uploading of racist rants and associated bystander actions on public transport in Australia and elsewhere around the world. In this article, we contend that while racism remains an issue in uses of social media platforms such as YouTube, this focus often overshadows these platforms' productive potential, including their capacity to support agonistic publics from which productive expressions of cultural citizenship and solidarity might emerge.
Language eng
Field of Research 200101 Communication Studies
200104 Media Studies
Socio Economic Objective 950204 The Media
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2014, University of Queensland
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation
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Created: Mon, 14 Jul 2014, 21:09:03 EST by Amelia Johns

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