Shine distances itself from social media bullying

2014-06-14_0035A contestant on The Voice has questioned the show’s use of social media following a wave of criticism about her appearance.

Nicole Martini, who lucked out in the show’s Blind Auditions, wrote on her blog that the phrasing on the official Facebook page left her open to online criticism.

The Voice posted a status making reference to my quote on the show. The status read: “Bombshell or bomb? What did you think of Nicole Martini’s performance?” On top of having my character ripped, this phrasing was like opening up a floodgate for people to comment on my body. You would think i had competed on The Ass not in fact The Voice.

I was told I was disgusting, that someone needed to buy a new TV after having seen me on their own (to which I offered them a link to Harvey Norman’s online TV catalogue.) I was told no one wanted to hear my voice cause they couldn’t take their eyes off my thighs. I mean, I know they’re hot but calm down!

Eventually they took the status down, but that was after more than 700 comments without moderation. Now, the good news is, I not only have a thick ass, but even a thick skin, and I chose not to let the keyboard heroes get under it. So what’s my problem then? My problem is simply this… some people couldn’t have dealt with this the same way I did. Some people don’t have thick skin.

The Voice Facebook page is managed by Shine Australia, which own the digital rights for both The Voice and The Voice Kids.

A Shine statement to TV Tonight said:

Shine Australia does not condone behaviour which is offensive, threatening or bullying.  We have a legal policy around all our social media activities that is in place to moderate and if necessary ban or remove posts which are offensive or damaging to individuals.  This policy covers our sites on Facebook and the web but on sites that are outside our control, we support our talent in managing their own personal  space through direct coaching.

 All artists on The Voice have ongoing access to a clinical psychologist. They also have a talent team dedicated to supporting them through the process. Shine Australia’s duty of care to the artists is paramount and we have a continuing care beyond the show itself.

A Nine Network spokesperson said:

The Nine Network has dedicated teams who engage with our audiences on all social media platforms. Sometimes our teams need to protect those involved in our shows and we take that responsibility very seriously and dedicate significant resources to it. With The Voice The Voice Kids, we work closely with production company Shine to execute this policy and fully support The Artists who are such an important part of the show.

 It’s not the first time Reality contestants have complained about social media bullying, and the problems are exacerbated when the shows goad the audience to cheer the hero and hiss the villain.

When Love Comes To Town participant Rebekah Clayfield said last month she copped abuse online for her upfront behaviour on the show, while House Rules contestant Brooke Strong said this week she was staying offline because “people are pretty horrible and it’s just bullying.”

The last word goes to Nicole Martini:

I’m ENRAGED that cyber bullying continues even in the wake of Charlotte Dawson’s suicide, and I’m pissed off that women’s bodies seem to always be the focus of so much scrutiny. We blame the media but what about ourselves? Why must we make it so difficult for women to love themselves?

Via: Fairfax

3 Comments:

  1. Part 2: The reason that the forums ceased was due to costs in server maintenance etc. The moderators were volunteers so they cost the station nothing. Why the stations do not get people to moderate social media is because of the constant whinging and harassment of the stations by people who thought that their “right” to free speech was being withheld from them.

    I, for one, am sick of the whinging about our “right” to free speech. People who whinge about this rarely (if ever) acknowledge that any such “right” comes with a significant amount of responsibility as well and they are purely and simply not prepared to live up to these responsibilities to use their “rights” appropriately.

  2. Part 1: As a former moderator on a commercial television forum, I was and still am disappointed that stations moved from moderated forums to the unadulterated nastiness of social media, where posts are rarely (if ever) screened. For the record, on the forum I moderated adult reality posts went straight up, but would be edited as we got to them (which was usually within 24 hours) whereas children’s reality was pre-moderated and it was certainly absolutely disgusting to read some of the things that people felt that they had the right to post 🙁

  3. @heyjude. Agree with your sentiments. . MKR a couple of seasons ago had some horrific stuff written on their facebook page by audience members on some of their contestants, and it was left there. As part of a duty of care, these TV sites should be vigilantly modified.

  4. Shine’s motto on their logo is “Inspire. Create. Shine.”. Hopefully that’s happening behind the scenes as well. Otherwise they are just empty words.

  5. Maev....Sydney

    A young person of my acquaintance was on a ch.9 reality show some years ago…and won..
    I have heard all that spiel from Nine before….during and after this girls event….the forums and message boards were full of rubbish and insults and downright rudeness…
    There was ‘no’ monitoring even though many complained…it took much work on our part to finally have these sites removed…but not before all that rubbish was out there….
    She entered at my suggestion…I thought it would be a lovely experience for her…Not…and not for any of us… Also congrats to this young woman for her great comebacks…. 🙂

  6. I think discrimination/racism is extrem in our industry. People need to be educated about equality! It has become a general attitude in our country to bully and bribe others.

  7. I find the 7 network to be the worst for inciting hatred and bullying to the extreme. For me it started with MKR and now with House Rules. I have complained a couple of times to the network and have posted my objections to it on the Facebook pages concerned but I get ignored. The language is disgusting also. Channel 9 seem to moderate their pages better but still some terrible comments seem to get left on.

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