#Istandwithadam #choppergate: A nation of copycats? Or good influence? 7



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There is national furore about the booing of Adam Goodes this week, with stars and popular websites all standing up to stop it and screaming about how embarrassing our nation is for having such a racist outlook.  It is amazing how the tables can turn on a set of public opinions when social media stands up and takes control.  And we’ve seen a lot of it lately.  Twitter, Facebook and the consensus of the national media is a powerful force when you get it behind your sails and as long as you are not the negative target, it is interesting to watch public opinion peel out across a nation and uplift everything in its path.

But is it right that social media is making people across the nation take a second look at important issues and explore their opinions of them better? Or should we leave people to make and keep their own ideas? Look at some of these massive campaigns.  Which had influence on you?

#Istandwithadam I mean, who would admit aloud now that they ever contemplated booing Adam Goodes at a game?  In fact, can we ask if many of the “booers” even knew why they were booing, or were just getting in on the fun at a match when everyone chorussed a noise?

#choppergate Bronwyn Bishop has felt the same type of national unity in social media, but is on the other side of a movement that is rapidly gaining popularity to cripple what is left of her political career.  First she spent $5227 on a helicopter to travel down the road… now she’s cancelling her upcoming trips away and has a new scandal of spending erupting every other day.

#Istandformercy was a massive movement to find mercy for the Bali Duo who were sadly.  This helped so many people find empathy in the deaths of two drug dealers lives.  I must admit being forced to understand the situation more carefully and with greater care thanks to this social media campaign.

#lovewins was the hashtag that prevailed when the US Supreme Court legalised gay marriage in all 50 states.  While large swathes of the worldwide populations opposed the cause, the public opinion was given a second look by many due to the velocity of support the movement had.  And perhaps we can even attribute the campaign with raising enough awareness in Australia to make it a talk-able topic.

#hometovote saw tens of thousands of people travelling home to Ireland to vote for the gay marriage referendum.

And so I have to ask today… Were your opinions influenced by recent hashtag campaigns to educate yourself further?  Does the amount of furore a cause gets help weight on your position?


Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. No…..I have opinions and ideas about all the hashtag things, no matter what is written about them all does not change my ideas or opinions in anyway shape or form.

  2. No, people follow popular opinion like sheep to feel good about themselves. #illridewithyou is a good example; a made-up story that everyone fell for. The only one I agree with is against Bronwyn Bishop because I dislike her arrogance.

  3. These type of campaigns are what we once called consciousness raising and speed up the process of raising consciousness about an issue. Think how long it took to raise the rights of women to equality of opportunity (and still fighting eg re pay). While there are negative elements to some of the campaigns I think they serve two useful purposes: bring issues to wider attention and though not everyone will think more deeply about them, some people will and let politicians of all parties be more regularly in touch with what their constituents are thinking. I am pleased to see the Adam Goodes booing issue be brought out because there is a very ugly racism that most of us (white Australians) never see and I think it is a conversation we, as a nation, need to have and become more conscious of and stand up to when we see it. E.G A lovely young doctor I know (born to Vietnamese parents and educated in Australia) was in a McDonalds with a few of her family having a lunch her young brother had bought for them all with his first pay. After being taunted by two other customers whom they stood aside and let be served before them (ie acquiesced to being bullied to keep the incident minor) and who later as they left dumped their leftover food and packaging on top of their food. How many of us have had incidents like that happen to us? How many of we, white Australians, face not knowing every time we leave home and get on a bus or train, or walk down the street what abuse and conflict we are going to encounter. Not a way to live and we as a nation need to stop denying it and make it like domestic violence unacceptable.

  4. NO – I am a Sydney Swans supporter, I am not a racist, I served 21 years in the Regular Army which included a tour of Vietnam. I think Adam handled this whole situation very badly, his man management skills need urgent attention.

  5. No I am not influenced by these bandwagons. I am not a sheep that follows the mob. I like to research issues for myself and form an informed opinion based on fact rather than just some misguided journalists point of view. It is usually lazy people who go along with the mob.

  6. Only one comment to make. Bye Bronwyn Bishop. You tried to screw the parliamentary system and got caught out. It’s time you either resign to the back bench or resign from the federal parliament altogether, creating a byelection to allow an HONEST (do they exist?) politician to replace you. YOUR TIME IS OVER!

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