What is “The invisible discriminator”?
This campaign was made by beyond blue in 2006 to highlights the impact of racism on the social and emotional wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The campaign was aimed at subtle or ‘casual’ racism, this can be unequal social treatment in public that might be a acceptable social stereotype that really should change “a race are less educated then other races” or “a race is not able to maintain a job as well as other races”.
Why is the campaign needed?
Racism impacts the mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, which puts them at greater risk of developing depression and anxiety substance us and attempted suicide.
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are nearly three times more likely to be psychologically distressed than other Australians and twice as likely to die by suicide3
- There is a ‘dose’ effect: the risk of high or very high levels of psychological distress increases as the volume of racism increases4
The campaign was received poorly (220 000 views, 34 likes and 35 dislikes) by the internet and needed to disable comments on the video so that “flaming” and slander wasn’t allowed on the video’s forum. This isn’t necessarily a indication of the video’s poor message, but it could be a case of the internet grabs a wide audience of all ages and backgrounds. The understanding and knowledge of each audience member can’t be guaranteed to be accepting of new ideas and tolerance of differing ideals.
The personal stories that were made with the campaign create a greater sense of authenticity (with 4000 views, but 72 likes and 17 dislikes), it would seem this video had more engagement with its audience. This might have been because of personal recount attracts more empathy then a staged reenactment of the same account, but it become more apparent why the comments had been disabled with the campaigns main video…
Playground with no boundaries
The internet has very few limitations with what people can say and do, the only enforcers are those running the forum that is used. This leaves a lot of room for individuals to play, create and comment, this was taken advantage of with “greg’s story” part of the invisible discriminator campaign. Some of the comments were encouraging, others facetious, few were racist, this is probably the reason for disabling comments of the main campaign video. It is always hard to say they way the “internet” will react to a heartfelt message as the balance is a fine line that content creators must ride to make a far reaching and impactful message that would help future generations.
- Beyond Blue. 2016, ‘The Invisible Discriminator’, beyondblueofficial, July 31 2016, viewed 20 August 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVevKISMyx0
- Beyond Blue. 2016, ‘Greg’s story’, beyondblueofficial, July 31 2016, viewed 20 August 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3qhzOzvp7I
- Beyond Blue. 2016, ‘What do you think she’s upto?’, beyondblueofficial, July 31 2016, viewed 20 August 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axX93e_YWt0