Stop it at the Start: New campaigns gives parents window into misogynistic content flooding social media

Dan Jervis-Bardy
The Nightly
Parents will be given a window into the misogynistic content flooding their young boys’ social media feeds under the latest push to tackle gender-based violence.
Parents will be given a window into the misogynistic content flooding their young boys’ social media feeds under the latest push to tackle gender-based violence. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Parents will get a window into the misogynistic content flooding their teenagers’ social media feeds under the latest push to tackle gender-based violence.

Amid rising concern about the influence of figures like Andrew Tate, the Federal Government will on Monday launch a new tool that exposes adults to the “echo chamber” of harmful online voices polluting the minds of young boys.

The so-called “Algorithm of Disrespect” is a website that will simulate the average young Australians social media feed, giving parents and carers an insight into the misogynistic content and language that is served up daily.

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Parents will also be able to access guides to help them discuss the content with their children.

The tool is part of the next phase of “Stop it at the Start”, a long-running campaign that aims to educate adults to help stamp out the attitudes that lead to male violence.

The so-called ‘Algorithm of Disrespect’ is a website that will simulate the average young Australians social media feed, giving parents and carers an insight into the misogynistic content and language that is served up daily.
The so-called ‘Algorithm of Disrespect’ is a website that will simulate the average young Australians social media feed, giving parents and carers an insight into the misogynistic content and language that is served up daily. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

“New research shows there is a growing echo-chamber of disrespect online with influencers targeting young boys with misogynistic content,” Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth said.

“Parents and other adults with young people in their lives can’t always know everything that kids are seeing online, but we can take steps to educate ourselves on what they are seeing and hearing and help young people to recognise and deal with harmful online content.

Australia’s e-safety commissioner published a study earlier this month revealing how harmful influencers such as Mr Tate were shaping the identities of young men.

Parents will also be able to access guides to help them discuss the content with their children.
Parents will also be able to access guides to help them discuss the content with their children. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

Mr Tate is a British-American social media influencer known for promoting misogynistic, homophonic and sexist views.

He was arrested last year on allegations of human trafficking.

Without naming Mr Tate, Ms Rishworth said misogynistic voices cannot go “unchallenged” online.

“This campaign will counter these voices in the social media spaces where they are being viewed, like Snapchat, Meta and TikTok,” she said.

The new tool is designed to educate parents about the ‘hidden trends of disrespect’, including the latest phrases young people are using online.
The new tool is designed to educate parents about the ‘hidden trends of disrespect’, including the latest phrases young people are using online. Credit: Unknown/Supplied

The new tool is designed to educate parents about the “hidden trends of disrespect”, including the latest phrases young people are using online.

These includes terms like “beta”, which is used to insult males who are not dominant, and “simp”, a phrase that describes a man who is subservient to a woman.

Patty Kinnersly, the CEO of anti-DV group Our Watch, said toxic male influencers represented “possibly the greatest disruptor to young men’s development in history”.

“The overwhelming counterculture of online porn and misogynistic male influencers is shaping many young men and boys’ views of relationships, masculinity and women,” Ms Kinnersly said.

Shanynna Blaze, a campaign ambassador and co-founder of Voice of Change, said it was time for the community to stand up and stop sweeping violence against women under the rug.

“Not calling out the small things, like a seemingly harmless joke here and there, can lead to really problematic behaviour if it’s not stopped at the start,” she said.

“We can all play a part to teach our young people, and teach ourselves, where the line is drawn between respectful and disrespectful behaviour. Then, we can be a lot more aware of when we can call it out before it turns into violence,” Ms Blaze said.

The campaign will run across television, online, social media and in cinemas from Monday until May 2025.

If you or someone you know is experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, domestic, family or sexual violence, call 1800RESPECT

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