I recently sat down with Baz Macdonald from Re: News to chat about what news story comments say about us as a society. Our conversation drew from two examples about blackface – one in NZ, one in Australia. Yes: I actually mean white people painting themselves black in order to mock people of colour and thinking that’s OK.
We took a look at the kinds of things readers had to say about these stories in the comments sections of online news sites to answer the question: What do these comments say about NZ society?
While news comments certainly don’t speak for all, they do present a challenge to more celebratory claims about social media’s deliberative and participatory democratic potential. And at the same time, comments remind us that racism (and white privilege) persists. For the full discussion, watch here.