This week has showcased the very worst uses of social media and the internet’s ability to serve as a platform for division, hurt and hate. From the Christchurch shooting to the appalling comments made about AFL star, Tayla Harris, users of social media, political leaders and organisations have all expressed their outrage and the need for change across the digital world.
There was however one story that captured the attention of the world and served to unite, not divide.
Egg Boy’s casual cracking of an egg on the head of Senator Fraser Anning in response to his bigoted comments reminded us that we can also use these platforms and the media for good. The bold Aussie teen won the heart of the nation overnight and has been labelled “the hero Australia deserves”.
In mere hours, Egg Boy inspired millions of tweets, thousands of #EggBoy memes, comics, t-shirts and even murals in Melbourne’s CBD, as well as calls to nominate him for Australian of the Year. The comments by Fraser Anning were condemned by politicians from all parties, with a petition for his removal reaching over 1.3million signatures (the most signatures for an online petition in Australian history).
In the digital age, the way we engage with one another has changed. The importance of social media in creating a supportive community is profound, and one small action can start a ripple effect.