- June 14, 2018
- Posted by: Scott Freeman
- Category: News
You are an active campaigner against homophobia online. Tell us more about your work in the space.
I think everyone should have the right to go about their life freely and in peace without conflict; and our modern lives integrate being online into so much of it. From my open inbox allowing anyone to come to me for advice, support, and a safe-space to openly talk – to my work with large groups such as Festival Republic, I ensure that anything involved with me is as open and unprejudiced as possible.
Have you ever experienced homophobic abuse online. If so, how did, or do you deal with it?
Surprisingly I receive a lot less homophobic abuse online today, when I’m open about my sexuality, than in the past when I kept it hidden. My openness took away their only ammo. It’s very “Yeah, I like guys…so what?”.
What do you think can or should be done to reduce the amount of cyberbullying and digital abuse?
I think we need more trust in our parents, school, and authorities to take it seriously. In my experience, any time a friend or myself has reported cyberbullying in any form – it’s been dealt with appropriately.
What advice would you give to somebody being harassed or abused online?
Take lots of screenshots! Make sure you’re able to prove everything you’ve seen take place, because just as quickly as you saw it – it can be deleted and vanish. Tell someone, even a parent. It’s uncomfortable to talk about but it’s easier to deal with as a group.
What would you say to somebody that thinks cyberbullying or online abuse is a joke?
With the amount of cyberbullying present today everyone knows someone who’s experienced it so to laugh at online abuse, is basically laughing at your friend or sibling and invalidating what they are feeling. Put yourself in their shoes.
What is your favorite social media platform and why?
I love all social medias and utilize them differently, but the best place to see me is at my Tumblr TheShitneySpears.com, it’s a great place for me to educate myself on news, enjoy great pieces of art and photography and laugh endlessly at memes.
Do you think social media is a blessing or a curse?
Social media is clearly a blessing. The elements it provides us with, and great things from charity work to breaking news definitely outweigh the bad.
Why do you think cyberbullying and abuse has become such a big online problem?
I think it’s gotten worse solely because more of us are able to use it today. Cheaper internet, easier access, and more platforms for abuse to take place are all part of the reason – but also a lessened focus on limiting abuse.
What advice would you have for somebody who wants to be a writer or a blogger and is worried about sharing their content in case of ridicule and abuse?
I think you’ll always be able to find your community at the end of the day. If you tag your posts with whatever the content is related to, the right people will see it and even if they don’t agree with your opinion – it’s only because they’re as passionate about the topic as you are.
Do you have a favorite mantra or positive term that you use to motivate yourself?
“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”
What are you up to for the rest of 2018? Anything that you’d like to share?
I’m working on a great book that I can’t wait to share with you all, as well as some great television products – as well as continuing to sharing more content on my Tumblr!