It may now seem such a routine part of our life, but Social Media platforms have been with us less than 2 decades. myspace was created in 2003, Facebook in 2004, and Twitter in 2005. At first, these platforms seemed a quirky and relatively harmless innovation, but within a few years they had already developed a darker side.
The Online Hate Prevention Institute (OHPI), established in 2012, was one of the first organisations in the world to identify and highlight the problems associated with social media, particularly when it came to racism.
The OHPI produced the first significant work on anti-Aboriginal racism on social media in its first year, and has led the discussion on the issue since then.
The “Aboriginal Memes & Online Hate” report highlighted the then-unprecedented online attack against Indigenous Australians and how racist content went viral through social media, particularly Facebook.
The OHPI also exposed a sub-culture of “griefers,” people who use Facebook through anonymous accounts for the explicit purpose of destroying people’s online experience. The griefers demonstrate an attitude of disdain for the ability of law enforcement and Facebook to provide any meaningful sanctions.
In 2012, Dr. Oboler called on Facebook to develop a moral compass regarding racism and hate directed at groups.
Throughout this year, we will celebrate the achievements of the OHPI.
Later in 2022, COVID permitting, we hope to thank all our supporters and announce plans for the next decade at a special dinner.
We still need your help. If you would like to contribute to this vital work, you can donate to the OHPI. Donations over $2 are tax deductible for Australian tax payers. You can make a one off donation, or set up a regular monthly payment. You can also request that your support be used in a particular area of our work, such as anti-Indigenous racism.