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Racism, targeted attacks force Hunter charity off Twitter

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Escalating racism, harm and targeted attacks have forced Life Without Barriers (LWB) to take a break from using Twitter.

The registered charity, which opened its head office in Newcastle’s Darby Plaza late last year, was utilising the social media platform to encourage other not-for-profits and businesses to take practicable steps to further resolution during National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June).

The organisation also participated in Reflect, Innovate, Stretch and Elevate Reconciliation Action Plans (RAPs), creating key partnerships with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups along the way.

However, some unsavoury commentary from keyboard warriors has left LWB no choice but to step away from Twitter, which is currently unmanaged by the global company.

Life Without Barriers chief executive Claire Robbs at the launch of the Newcastle head office.

“We use social media at Life Without Barriers to support, engage and promote true social purpose and social justice,” it said in a statement on Wednesday 31 May.

“As platforms and users, we are all responsible for shaping a more respectful and inclusive digital world.

“It’s our duty to nurture constructive debate that advances our country and elevates opportunity for all.

“That also means firmly denouncing any form of harm, including racism, discrimination and targeted attacks.

“We believe we have to make a choice about the environments in which we seek to collaborate on social justice and, for now, we do not see Twitter as a safe and constructive place to do that.

“As an organisation, we believe to be true allies, we must take action and, in the foreseeable future, that means suspending our engagement on it.

“We encourage Twitter to step forward in its leadership and foster a platform that connects us with the appropriate safety necessary in the national and global environment.

“Life Without Barriers will continue to share, support and engage in discussions via LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram.”

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