In the new Press Freedom Blog of The Finnish Foundation for Media and Development (Viestintä ja Kehitys-säätiö - Vikes for short), the editor, author and campaigner Koko Hubara writes and talks about her experience with social media, in particular her Ruskeat Tytöt (Brown Girls) blog:
Within a couple of weeks the Ruskeat Tytöt blog had attracted plenty of attention. It was picked up by other media and started to be cited in the major newspapers and magazines in Finland, both in good and bad tones.
Ruskeat Tytöt won various blog awards and received a lot of praise, but at the same time every other reader and/or (white) cultural correspondent, writer, theatre person, and artist had an opinion on how I should talk about racism and what should be considered “inoffensive”. For instance, when people at work touched my hair without asking and compared it to animal fur – that was simply friendly curiosity about difference, which I should understand and allow.
Of course I also got, and get, anonymous and signed hate mail and people hoping I would be raped or killed. There are still a lot of readers who are in the business of publicly belittling our experience and who change the subject when we raise the problems we face.
But for the most part the debate has been positive since the start, with an enthusiasm to learn and listen, and it has involved racialised people themselves as well as their white nearest and dearest whom the discussions undoubtedly address.