Wednesday, July 6, 2022

NSW govt launches initiatives to counter racist online content

Young people will be empowered to counter online hate and misinformation following a NSW Government funding boost to a range of programs addressing racism.

Minister for Multiculturalism Natalie Ward said the Multicultural NSW Community Partnership Action (COMPACT) Program is supporting 15 initiatives, including connecting young people with community volunteering opportunities and sporting programs addressing racism and bullying by focusing on leadership and mentorship.

“We know that young people have been spending more time online during the pandemic to find a sense of community and social connection. But, distressingly, we’ve also seen a rise in racist, harmful content which tries to threaten our social cohesion,” Mrs Ward said.

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“The COMPACT Program helps our young people be resilient and responsive to emerging threats to community harmony arising from local or global issues.

“Whether these are the effects of a global pandemic or conflicts overseas affecting our local communities, these programs inspire young people to unite against divisive forces through tailored mentoring, leadership and volunteering initiatives.”

Anti-racism charity All Together Now’s Managing Director Priscilla Brice said its ‘Agent C’ project will continue to help young people identify and understand how to address conspiracy theories and misinformation online through specialised training sessions.

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“The pandemic has caused a significant rise in online conspiracy theories and created a platform for racism and extremism. This funding will allow us to develop and deliver more training sessions for young people to stand up against messages which are divisive and hateful,” Ms Brice said.

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The Multicultural NSW COMPACT Program was launched in 2016 and has reached over 40,000 young people in more than 130 schools. For more information, see: https://multicultural.nsw.gov.au/compact/

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