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News Opinion/Commentary Social media

YouTube cracks down on misinformation. How far will they go?

YouTube logo
Image: iStock

YouTube has vowed to crack down on vaccine ‘misinformation’.

Last week, The Wall Street Journal reported YouTube was cracking down on ‘misinformation on the COVID-19 and other vaccines. As a result, YouTube has already removed over 130,000 videos. 

YouTube has seen a worrying trend surrounding vaccine misinformation.

“We’ve steadily seen false claims about the coronavirus vaccines spill over into misinformation about vaccines in general.

YouTube said they won’t penalise creators for sharing personal experiences. They also promised to allow content that talked ahput vaccine trials and historical successes and failures of vaccines.

Controversial osteopath and lawyer among the banned

YouTube banned American osteopath, Dr Joseph Mercola. 

He lamented on Twitter:

Anyone who asks questions or challenges the hard sell is immediately censored on social media.

Lawyer, Robert F Kennedy has also complained about the crackdown Through a representative, he lamented:

Free speech is the essential core value of a liberal democracy. All other rights and ideals rest upon it. There is no instance in history when censorship and secrecy have advanced either democracy or public health.

These bans have caused outrage overseas. YouTube banned Germany’s RTDE from posting on their channel. YouTube has also banned Russia’s RT channel from uploading further content.

Russia’s foreign ministry has slammed YouTube’s actions as “flagrant censorship and [a] suppression of freedom of expression”.

“Ad – pocalypse”: a reason to be wary

When I first read about this, I was skeptical.

I can’t help but think about what happened in 2016 and 2017. The ‘ad – pocalypse” saw the relationship between content creators and YouTube irreparably damaged. 

For those who don’t know, YouTube cracked down on content they deemed not “family friendly”. One YouTuber that fell victim to this crackdown was Swedish gaming YouTuber, Pewdie Pie. 

In 2017, Ad – pocalypse heated up. Major businesses, such as Amazon and Coca Cola revolted against YouTube after their ads were found on extremist content.

This revolt made Google lose almost US$1billion (US$750million to be exact). 

In response, YouTube cracked down on questionable and “borderline” content. Meaning: everyone who is not CNN or MSNBC have seen their AdSense revenue, views and subscriber count tank or climb at a snail pace.

Content creators have turned to other means of making income, such as Patreon and SubscribeStar to keep afloat. 

Secular Talk‘s Kyle Kulinski has been a vocal critic, claiming that his analytics have suffered ever since.

This is why I’m skeptical about Google’s latest move. Any independent creator with any criticisms or queries about vaccines will probably be penalised. CNN, MSNBC and Fox News will remain favoured by YouTube’s algorithm. 

I find it hard to believe that people who open up about adverse effects from vaccines will not be penalised. YouTube’s algorithm are less than perfect. From my understanding, they rely on tags. Tags don’t usually tell the context of the video.

So, if you talk about the ‘covid vaccine’ as a tag, YouTube may disable AdSense or otherwise penalise you, regardless of your intent.

Big Tech corporations have a habit of going too far when monitoring content. This should make all social media users wary, regardless of your views.

What do you think about Google’s anti – vaccine crackdown? Justified or too far? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Culture Social media

Instagram linked to poor mental health in young people

Instagram app on device
Image: iStock

The Wall Street Journal uncovered troubling findings on the impact Instagram has on teens.

Instagram’s parent company Facebook Inc conducted the research.

One slide from Facebook’s internal message board last year claimed:

Thirty-two percent of teen girls said when they felt bad about their bodies, Instagram made them feel worse.

Another slide noted:

Comparisons on Instagram can change how young women view and describe themselves

Facebook Inc has conducted the research over three years. The consistent findings are worrying.

While not a cause, Instagram has shown to exacerbate depression, anxiety, eating disorders and suicidal ideation. 13% British and 6% of American teens blamed Instagram for their suicidal ideation.

Facebook CEO and Head downplay the findings

Not surprisingly, Facebook Inc has downplayed worrying findings.

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg argued:

The research that we’ve seen is that social apps to connect with other people can have positive mental-health benefits.

Likewise, Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri has also minimised the findings, claiming size of the issue was “quite small”.

Instagram banks on young people

Young people are abandoning Facebook. They have been for almost a decade. However, the number of young people using Instagram has exploded.

People aged twenty-two and under make up 40% of Instagram’s users. On average, US teens spend 50% more time on Instagram than Facebook.

That’s why Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Instagram’s Head Adam Mosseri has downplayed the alarming research. At a Congressional Hearing in March this year, Zuckerberg argued:

The research that we’ve seen is that using social apps to connect with other people can have mental-health benefits

Mosseri downplayed the issues. He said the extent of the problem was “quite small”.

Of course, Mosseri and Zuckerberg will want to minimise links between Facebook, Instagram and youth mental health. Young people on Instagram have become their cash cow.

Instagram and the exploitation of underage children

Canadian Youtuber and podcaster, Josh Barbour is vocal against influencers who exploit children. His campaign was triggered by Myka and James Stauffer’s adoption and ‘rehoming’ of a Chinese child. (I’m not going to use the name the Stauffers gave him).

The case exploded Barbour’s channel, The Dad Challenge Podcast. Since then, Barbour has exposed a whole underbelly of child exploitation on social media.

Piper Rockelle and Liliana K

Two revolting instances of children being exploited on Instagram are Liliana Ketchman (aka Liliana K) and Piper Rockelle.

 

I remember when I saw his video on Ketchman, her account was mass reported. Liliana was underage (twelve, I think). Unfortunately, Instagram refused to take the account down. Reason? Her ‘mother’ (I use that term loosely) ran the account.

I was infuriated. I seriously thought about deleting my Instagram accounts.

A few months later, Barbour exposed the exploitation of Piper Rockelle. Unlike Liliana K, Rockelle was over the age limit (she was fourteen, I think).

The images are beyond revolting.

For me, this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I deleted both my Instagram accounts. Please note,  I don’t begrudge those who still have an Instagram account.

However, if people delete their accounts in revolt, I’m all for it. People should hold Facebook Inc accountable.

Platforms like YouTube and Instagram are potentially putting children in danger. The full impact on child influencer culture is yet to be seen.

 

I’ll be fair to Mark Zuckerberg for a second. Do I believe that he  deliberately created Instagram to exploit children? No. But he is responsible. And Facebook Inc is failing a whole generation.

I’m passionate about mental health. I think that mental health care, especially therapies, should be free for clients. If you feel the same consider signing the Green’s petition hereYou can also write to your MP.

Categories
Culture Film, TV

Australian TV needs to stop using diversity as a gimmick

TV shot of Brooke Blurton, Australia's 2021 Bachelorette

Australian TV will soon make “history”.

This year, The Bachelorette will feature Brooke Blurton. She is the show’s first Indigenous and openly bisexual (successful) star. Both men and women will be competing for her affection. People have expressed scepticism on social media. Many claim it’s a gimmick.I can’t say I blame them.

Producers refused request for an LGBTQ+ Bachelor

Producers of The Bachelor/ The Bachlorette Australia ruled out having an LGBTQ bachelor or bachelorette. This was less than three years ago, after Australia had legalised same – sex marriage. Host, Osher Gunsberg was all for the move. Their excuse was that it didn’t fit the “concept”.

The ‘concept’ apparently needed heterosexuality and monogamy. This excuse raised another issue; the idea that LGBTQ+ people couldn’t have relationships to cis – het people.

This excuse was made less than two years ago.

So, why now? Have ratings plummeted over the years? Is that why they’re using LGBTQ +  and Indigenous people?

I’m sick of this. LGBTQ+, Indigenous people, and people of colour in general, shouldn’t be just add ons. They shouldn’t be used to make a company, or a TV production feel better about themselves. And, frankly, that’s how the TV industry in Australia has been acting recently.

We should be past the idea of having people of colour or LGBTQ+ people in pop culture as revolutionary. Enough with the obsessions of the ‘firsts’..

Australian TV and its issues with diversity

Close up of black remote with white numbers on buttons
Image: iStock

The Bachelorette hasn’t been the only show to face issues with diversity.

Last month, former Neighbours actors Sharon Clanton, Meyne Wyatt and Sharon Johal claimed to be victims of racism, sexism and homophobia. They also accused the production company, Fremantle Media of not doing enough to prevent it. This shows that virtue signalling doesn’t work. Inclusion has to be genuine.

Will producers treat Blurton fairly?

I doubt I’ll watch the Bachelorette. If I do, it won’t be much of it. However, I do hope Brooke Blurton is treated and portrayed fairly.

I hope that the producers respect Blurton’s identities. I hope producers don’t erase Blurton’s bisexual or Indigenous identities. Let’s also hope they don’t make soft-core porn from Blurton’s sexuality, either.

Enough of ‘firsts’ and gimmicks

The Neighbours controversy (for me) proves that meeting a ‘quota’ is not enough. Having Indigenous or LGBTQ+ characters is not enough.

It’s time to normalise LGBTQ+ and Indigenous people in Australian pop culture. They should be included without causing a news story! Can we get to that point?

 

Just another side note, can we please not make Blurton’s identities into a debate? If Blurton claims she’s Aboriginal and bi, can we just leave it at that? So what if Blurton didn’t identify as bi three years ago? She can now if she thinks it fits her. Sometimes sexuality isn’t so clear cut. And her being or “identifying” as Aboriginal? I don’t want to get into that.

 

 

What do you think of The Bachelorette this year? Will you watch it? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

 

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Culture Events

20 years on, Cathy Freeman creates a legacy of hope for young Aboriginal women

Australian flag and gold medal
Image: iStock

Tuesday, 15 September (AEST) marked twenty years since Sydney hosted the Olympics.

I was eleven when the Olympics was in Sydney in 2000. While I wasn’t really into sport, I knew that it was a major event. I even got enthusiastic about it.

Australia claimed a number of new gold medallists; joining the history books with former swimmer, Dawn Fraser and hockey champion Nova Peris. Swimmers like Grant Hackett and Ian Thorpe won Australia’s heart as well as gold medals.

So did sprinter, Cathy Freeman.

Cathy Freeman inspires generation of young Aboriginal people

According to ABC Life, a number of Aboriginal women were inspired by Freeman’s success. Author of the article, Molly Hunt described Freeman as “a legend” that “forever changed the hearts of many young black people and the nation”.

Hunt, who was an aspiring runner herself, saw herself in Freeman.

Maddie Whitford said that she felt “proud” of Freeman’s success and that she was experiencing so much media attention.

Even though Jash doesn’t consider herself a ‘sports person’, she felt inspired by Freeman’s victory sprint:

I think it was so powerful when she had two of the flags because it reinforces the statement that, firstly, she is an Aboriginal woman, and that she won that medal, not only for Australia, but for her community.

I can appreciate the impact that Freeman’s win had on young Aboriginal people. It must’ve been great to see their heritage represented on the global stage.

Torch relay

The torch took off around the world, like it is every four years. 1500 people were involved in the Oceania leg of the relay. Freeman ran took the torch to Olympic Park in Sydney where Freeman ignited the Ring of Fire.

The beginning and end of the Australian torch relay was significant. Nova Peris – Kneebone started the relay, and Cathy Freeman ended it.

It was a spectacular coincidence; two Aboriginal women both started and ended the Australian Olympic Torch Relay. Aboriginal pride was there for all to see. I’m sure for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, it’s an event that they’ll never forget.

400 m sprint

25 September 2000: The great moment – Cathy Freeman’s 400m sprint victory.

 

At 49:13 seconds, Freeman won gold. It was just short of the world (47:6 seconds) and the Olympic record (48:25 seconds).

Even though that was a monumental achievement, Freeman told the ABC that she was disappointment at her time. She thought she could do better.

 

The Sydney Olympics were a great chapter in Australian history. I’m sure it’s been etched in the minds of most Australians. Personally, I don’t think the 2000 Olympics have been repeated. Maybe it never will.

Media coverage 20 years on

I haven’t seen one negative article on Cathy Freeman. I’ve been pleasantly surprised that her victory wasn’t marred by politics.

The ABC, Alan Jones on Sky News Australia have expressed awe at what she achieved. It’s nice to see a news story (or history in this case), not be marred in controversy.

 

What are your memories of the 2000 Sydney Olympics? Feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments below.

 

Categories
Culture

Study shows children’s books lack ethnic diversity

Boy reading book in library
Image: iStock

Competency in reading and writing in school – aged children has been a major concern for parents, teachers and commentators for some time.

In 2018, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) Report claimed Australia’s 15 – year – olds were just above average in literacy. All the results in English, Mathematics and Science were the worst they’d been since 2000.

Children books lack ethnically diverse characters

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Edith Cowan University professor, Dr. Helen Adam studied the cultural diversity in books aimed at kindergarten/ prep aged children.

Out of 2413 books, only 18% (approximately 434 books) featured non – white characters.

Even the most anti – politically correct crusader could see something wrong with this. Right?

The UK has been worse, with less than 5% of children’s books having at least one non – white character.

 

Immigration and ethnic diversity is a reality

Immigration is a major part of Australia. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ 2016 Census, most of Australia’s immigrants come from the UK and New Zealand. However, between 2006 to 2016, the rate of immigration from those countries slightly decreased.

Conversely, immigration from Asia has increased. There has been soikes in immigration from China, India and Nepal.

Could this disparity lead to white supremacy among children and young people?

The Sydney Morning Herald feared lack of diversity in characters could create white supremacy in Caucasian children. To be honest, I think that’s a bit alarmist.

However, when I first read the article, my immediate thought was how would it affect the education of children? Would children from non – White/ non – English speaking backgrounds and their families feel so discouraged that they’d isolate themselves? Maybe refuse to speak English at all? If we expect migrants and their families to assimilate, I think we need to meet them half way. They should be included in  all facets of society, including in literature and pop culture.

 

Will their ethnic diverse authors in the future?

Looking briefly at Booktopia’s Top 50 Favourite Australian Authors of 2018, most of the authors listed were from a European background. The exception was Vietnamese – born, Anh Doh.

Authors should be able to write about characters who are not the same as them. Characters can have different ethnicities, sexual orientations, life experiences, etc. Not all characters have to reflect the exact identities and experiences of the author/s.

Having said that, it’s not surprising that most authors create characters who somehow reflect their knowledge and experiences. And ethnicity may play a role in that.

Will diversity in characters change in the future? With our current trends in migration – an increased South and East Asian migration rate, it’s possible that we’ll have more authors from different ethnic backgrounds, hence characters.

Of course, publishers need to be open to potential authors who were not born here. Then there’s the Australian market. How popular are books from non – European migrants/ second generation Australians going to be? Only time will tell.

 

All children deserve a decent education. Children should be able to read about characters they can relate to. This includes children who’s family has cone from overseas.

 

What do you think about ethnic diversity in children’s books? Is there enough? Do you think it’s important? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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Retail and Marketing

David Littleproud attacks Coles over milk. Too little, too late

Coles sign on side of store

MP David Littleproud attacked grocery giant, Coles for not passing extra A$0.10 from their milk on to farmers. This has triggered an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) inquiry.

Apparently, Coles have finally buckled, donating an extra A$5million to farmers.

Why has anyone only spoken up now?

Coles and the other grocer mammoth, Woolworths were in a longstanding war over grocery prices.

Woolworths entrance
Woolworths has been part of the ‘price wars’ since 2011, resulting in them quashing competitors.

This started in 2011. Both supermarkets offered low prices and started a home brand that has covered a wide range of items.

The “down down” prices have proven to be sinister.  A number of smaller, independent grocers couldn’t compete went out of business.

Coles and Woolworths were accused of quashing small businesses in rural and regional areas.

To add insult to injury, last month, the price wars ended. Prices rose again. Everyone has lost out instead of Coles and Woolworths.

 

Yet, to my knowledge only recently has any MP publicly spoken out against Coles and/ or Woolworths. What took them so long? Is it just save face and make itlook like they’re doing something for the farmers after the disastrous Murray Basin plan?

Aldi: a saviour?

However, it’s not all bad news. Coles and Woolworths do have a competitor – German supermarket, Aldi.

They first opened stores in Australia in 2001.

Since then, Aldi has had its hits and misses. Many people like their prices, not just for groceries, but also household appliances like Dyson vacuum cleaners, which are cheaper than in other stores.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t bring back any small businesses in rural towns that have collapsed.

 

 

I think the Federal Government has really shot themselves in the foot over the grocer wars. Put simply, Coles and Woolworths are too big. Criticising them now is pointless.

 

Coles and Woolworths have proven to have no regard for the ‘little guy’. They’ve been able to bully their way to dominating a major part of the retail sector.

If they had no regard for the independent businesses, then why would they care for farmers? Unless it tarnishes their image (and threatens their bottom line).

U.timately, the CEOs of Coles and Woolworths only about one thing, and that”s profit.

 

Categories
Culture Film, TV

Uber Eats ad is noice

This is a new Uber Eats ad. It features Magda Szubanski as her Kath and Kim character, Sharon Strizlecki and Kim Kardashian-West. It’s very well done.

Categories
Culture Film, TV Pop Culture

Taboo: black humour with compassion

 

For the last two Thursday’s, I’ve been watching Ten’s controversial show, Taboo.

In the show, stand-up comedian, Harley Breen meets people facing adversity. After getting to know their situation, he uses their experiences as part of his stand-up gig.

This is not the first time he has attempted this. Last year, he did an episode on disability. I wasn’t aware of that.

In the first episode this year, Breen went to the Hunter Valley, New South Wales, to meet terminally ill people:

  • Matt: former infantry soldier who was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour
  • Lauren: cystic fibrosis, osteoporosis, depression and anxiety sufferer.
  • Nicole: new mother who was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer
  • Michael: father of two girls, diagnosed with lung cancer (not caused by smoking).

Matt, Lauren, Nicole and Michael opened up about their diagnoses and how it affected them and their loved ones.

My favourite part was when Breen and the guests started talking about medications they all take. Breen then joked that tgey were all “massive druggies”. I think that worked because the guests cinsented and in on the joke.

There was one joke Breen made that I thought was miscalculated. That was when Breen talked about parents losing terminally ill children. This was after Matt confided in him how much it upset him and indicated that was his personal boundary. I don’t think Breen was being callous, but if I were him, I would have left it out.

 

Breen tackles racism

Last week, Breen tackled racism and prejudice against Muslims.  Breen admitted on Studio 10 that it was the episode that he was nervous about.

This episode was well done; maybe better than the terminal illness episode.

I found this episode more satirical. Breen mocked the attitudes that the guests faced. He tackled intrusive questions, (i.e. ‘where are you from?’) and ostracism that some Muslims face, especially in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

My favourite part of this episode is when Breen tackled cultural differences between himself and Sara. Because of her faith, Sara doesn’t drink alcohol. Breen treated this like a language barrier in his stand up gig.

 

 

My take on the Taboo series so far

Overall, I think Harley Breen should be applauded. I like the way he has seeked consent from and bounced ideas off his guests upon the show.

 

This style of black humour isn’t for everybody. For some, the topics will be too raw and upsetting. Some may think that there are some things that “don’t have funny” in them.

Taboo  dares to test the boundaries of comedy. This is what makes Harley Breen so commendable.

 

The next episode tackles mental illness.

 

Taboo airs Thursday, 8.45pm EST on Win.

 

Have you seen any of the Taboo comedy series? Let me know your thoughts about it in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
Culture

Elizabeth Warren aims to break up tech giants to increase competition

 

U.S. Democrat presidential hopeful, Elizabeth Warren has vowed to break up the dominance of major tech companies such as Google, Amazon and Facebook. To three hundred of her supporters, she said:

 

We have these giant tech companies that think that they rule the earth. I don’t want a govenment that is here to work for the giant tech companies. I want a government that’s here to work for the people.

This isn’t the first time that Amazon has faced fierce criticism from Democrats. Last year,  Bernie Sanders put pressure on Amazon to raise the wages of workers. Amazon CEO caved in, promising a US$15.00 wage for workers.

Severe lack of competition

There is a severe lack of market competition in the tech sector. While there are a numbe of different apps, they are mostly owned by single companies. For example, Facebook Inc owns Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp.

Branding of products

Senator Warren is also critical of Amazon, Facebook and Google doing ‘in – house’ advertising; for example, Amazon preferring to advertise their own products above that of an outside company/ publisher. It makes sense that a company would prefer to market their own products, but a lack of competition gives Amazon an unfair advantage. Senator Warren wants to limit the number of places in – house products can be advertised and sold. For example, the proposed law would make Apple choose between selling apps on iOS or their App Store,  but not both.

Potential pitfalls of the proposal and solutions

While supporting the premise, Kevin Roose of New York Times has reservations about the move. Austin – based independent tech workers ferared that the legislation could backfire, given it’s lack of clarity.

Roose also offered ideas so the proposal doesn’t fall through: be specific in present problems and offer specific solutions that’d suit each platform, (Roose argues that a sweeping law targeting Amazon and Facebook wouldn’t work given the different nature of the businesses). He pointed out that for some reason Cloud technology was absent from the proposal. Companies like Apple and Google should also be forced to drop their 15 – 30% tax on new developers. Roose also warns Senator Warren to avoid the censorship debates.

 

I really applaud Senator Warren and other Democrats for trying to implement moves to make the online market more fair. I’m a huge critic of major companies killing the possibility for competition. In Australia, I’ve hated how Coles and Woolworths were able to knock off independent grocers and fuel market. Now, it’s too late. However, competition has come back with Gerrman Aldi and Us’s Costco entering the Australian retail market.

 

It boils down to consumers

Despite it’s flaws, Facebook still held the record for most monthly users, according to Dreamgrow. Instagram came in third after YouTube.

It seems that Facebook is still widely trusted. Unless people use it simply out of habit.

I’ve written before about some of the benefits of Amazon, especially when it comes to music and how other music stores often fail to offer the range of albums that Amazon does. So who can compete? Who can offer the same range of books, CDs, downloads that Amazon has done for years?

There are slightly more competition in the social media market with WeChat, Tumblr and TikTok, however, Facebook Inc is still the most powerful tech giant.

 

It’d be great to see more competition in the online retail and social media sectors. Along with legislation, companies need to somehow win over consumers tge way Facebook, and Amazon have for so long.

 

 

Categories
Retail and Marketing

Is SPF 50+ sunscreen worth it?

Ultra 50 plus sunscreen
Popular and alleged ‘Cancer Council’ approved sunscreens come under scrutiny

Australians are repeatedly urged to ‘slip’ on a sleeved shirt, ‘slop’ on sunscreen and ‘ slap’ on a hat.

Now, being sunburnt is not fun. But is sunscreen all it’s cracked up to be? Maybe not.

Are sunscreens worth the hype?

Here’s a real kicker. Tests, including one reported on by Choice in 2018 revealed that most sunscreens they studied did not meet their marketed SPF claim. However, when manufacturers were contacted, most defended their product and claims. 

Cancer Council: can they be trusted?

A number of sunscreens have been found not to live up to their ratings. But what about the ones with the Cancer Council signature and logo? Surely if a product has the logo of the biggest cancer charity and education resource that the products would be reputable?

Well, not really.

According to news.com.au, the Cancer Council received a furious backlash from parents of toddlers after their children received severe rashes and burns after applying their Pepper Pig sunscreen.

Take this next finding with a grain of salt, but I found it interesting. Cancer Council sunscreen has been reviewed on Product Review, and from what I’ve read, many customers were not happy. A number of customers report severe sunburn, even when they applied the sunscreen as recommended.

So maybe take logos, as well as SPF claims with a grain of salt.

 

So, what is the answer? 

People have told me that zinc sunscreen is better than cream.

People are often warned to avoid the sun in the afternoon completely, if possible. If it’s not possible or you’re at an outdoor event, (like The Red Hot Summer Tour where I was burned to a crisp) here’s what you can do:

Shirt

Don’t where sleeveless or short sleeved t – shirts. Best to have the sleeve go around the elbow, if not below.

Shorts/ pants

For heaven’s sake, women, DON’T wear short shorts or skirts, you’ll regret it, trust me! Your knees will cop it. For about a week, I’ve had to apply Aloe Vera cream and put up with, at times, excruciating pain from sunburn. Make sure shorts/ skirt cover the knee at least. 

Hat

Wide – brimmed, of course. It helps if it has a string around the neck to hold it in place, too. The hats you could buy from the Red Hot Summer Tour were really good.

Shoes

Although they may be uncomfortable in Summer, I think closed is best. Wear shoes that cover the top of your feet, because they can get sunburnt, too. For me, I did get sunburnt on the top of the feet, (I wore sandals at the RHST).

 

Could festival/ event organisers make changes for the future?

There was a bit of shade around the outskirts at the RHST, but not actually in front of the stage where all the performers were. Could this be a possibility for future festivals? I’m not sure. You weren’t allowed to have summer umbrellas in front of the stage, either. I get that would have been due to safety concerns. I just wonder if there could have been a tarp or some sort of covering over where most people were sitting. Or at least have the event in an area with plenty of trees (there was surprisingly very few at North Gardens in Ballarat, Victoria where the RHST was).

 

If you’d like to see some pictures, check out my Instagram @saraharnetty.