Why Aussies are being silenced

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Research by Mainstreet Insights reveals that Australians do not feel safe to share their opinions (which will come as a shock to most Kiwis)..

One in two Australians (54%) have hidden their perspective on topical issues because they’re afraid of how people will respond.

The report, released by Mainstreet Insights, also found that:

  • 75% of Australians have confidence to share their worldview even if its contrary to broader public opinion
  • 65% of Australians believe that cancel culture has affected when and with whom they share their opinions
  • 52% of Australians are struggling to be their authentic self for fear of judgment or exclusion
  • 27% of Australians feel the need to hide their perspective on hot topics

Cancel culture (or call-out culture) is a modern form of ostracism in which someone is thrust out of social or professional circles – either online on social media, in the real world, or both.

Despite the majority of Australians having the confidence to share their worldview, even if it’s contrary to broader public opinion (75%), many are re-considering when and with whom they share their opinions.

Younger generations of Australians are being disproportionately affected by cancel culture with seven in 10 Generation Z Australians increasingly feeling the need to self-censor, re-considering when and with whom they share their opinions.

Australian’s fear of judgement and general response has also led them hiding their perspective on hot topics (27%), their political views (26%) and their religious beliefs (24%).

“Most Australians believe that we need to work harder to bridge division across different cultural, generational, gender and religious groups however they also believe that self censoring their views or hiding their opinions is counter-productive to this goal,” says social researcher Mark McCrindle.

“The fact that most Australians are increasingly self-censoring and have struggled to be their authentic self for fear of judgment shows the perverse impacts of the rise of cancel culture.

“This research shows just how much acceptance and tolerance have been redefined in our modern era. While once acceptance was focussed on welcoming the individual and their right to hold their view, today, for almost half of Australians, accepting someone means also accepting and indeed celebrating their practice or worldview.”

“Indeed for young Generation Z Australians, they are as likely to hold that accepting the individual also requires the acceptance of their practice or worldview,” states Mainstreet Insights co-founder Dr Lindsay McMillan.

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