Tuesday, June 15, 2021
Times of Georgia
HomePoliticalMetlink Joins Chorus Of Councils Saying ‘Think Before You Type’

Metlink Joins Chorus Of Councils Saying ‘Think Before You Type’


An abusive message punched into a keyboard can have just
as much impact as a punch to the gut, is the gist of a new
video featuring real staff from Metlink and local government
organisations encouraging people to think before they type
in a bid to end online abuse.

Spearheaded by Hamilton
City Council, the video features staff from councils and
public transport authorities across Aotearoa New Zealand
reading abusive messages they’ve received through social
media channels. The video was released on Pink Shirt Day to
shine a light on online bullying, which is a harsh reality
for many people in public-facing roles.

In Aotearoa,
Pink Shirt Day works to create schools, workplaces,
communities and whānau where everyone feels safe, valued
and respected.

Metlink general manager Scott Gallacher
says Pink Shirt Day is an opportunity to bring attention to
bullying, check our own behaviour, and commit to being
kinder to one another moving forward.

“We are proud
to get on board with Hamilton City Council’s initiative,
which is all about reminding us to have compassion in our
online interactions. Anyone who has worked for a
public-facing organisation can relate to receiving online
abuse and threats. But the fact that it’s so common
doesn’t make it ok. It’s bullying, and bullying is never
ok.

“The reality is that every single message we
receive through our online channels is read by a real
person. When someone writes ‘f*** you’ or ‘go die’,
it’s hard not to take personally. It can take a real toll
on people’s mental health, and it’s never necessary or
appropriate.”

Mr Gallacher says working to deliver
an efficient and reliable public transport network for
Wellingtonians is what gets Metlink staff out of bed each
morning, and social media is an invaluable way to stay
connected with passengers.

“We genuinely love
hearing from Wellingtonians about how we can make public
transport work better for them, so keep the messages coming
– just remember that there’s a real person on the
receiving end,” adds Mr Gallacher.

To watch the
video produced by Hamilton City Council and featuring
Metlink staff, visit: https://www.facebook.com/MetlinkOnOurWay/posts/1389724608075087

Public
transport users can also expect to see pink shirts light up
Metlink buses, trains and ferries today as operators rally
together to celebrate Pink Shirt Day, with support from
Metlink.

For more information on Pink Shirt Day,
visit: www.pinkshirtday.org.nz

© Scoop Media

 



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