6 Music initiative to raise awareness of abuse of artists online

BBC Radio 6 Music is to launch a digital and social media initiative to raise awareness of the impact that online abuse has on the lives of artists.

Change the Tune will feature musicians and presenters, who will share their online experiences. Mental health professionals will also talk about the effects that personal attacks online can have on individuals and their lives.

Music Minds Matter, the sister charity of Help Musicians, which supports the mental health of everyone working in music in the UK, is partnering the Change the Tune initiative.

On air will include a Journeys In Sound special on Monday 13th May, 11pm-12am, presented Nemone, who is also a psychotherapist. It will feature Rebecca Lucy Taylor from Self Esteem, Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES, Nitin Sawhney CBE and SHERELLE.

Lauren Mayberry: I Change Shapes, a 15-minute documentary for BBC iPlayer, will go live from 6am on Monday 13th May.

The social media initiative across 6 Music’s platforms from 10am on Monday 13th May will see the station share a clear code of conduct with a new means of reporting comments of concern, and films from AFRODEUTSCHE, Craig Charles, Deb Grant, Jamz Supernova and SHERELLE, as well as Gossip and Hak Baker about their own online experiences.

Lauren Mayberry says: “The internet has been such an intrinsic part of my career, positively and negatively.

“Social media was really baked into the way that CHVRCHES first got discovered but there were consistent side effects to that which I don’t think I would ever have anticipated.

“We know a lot more now in terms of the impact that can have on people but I’m not sure how we change that behaviour, or the conversation around it.”

Guy Garvey says: “Our social media is for celebrating artists. It celebrates the people listening as well. By tuning into 6 Music, you’re already part of this community. I’d say the rule should be, support good ideas, and if you don’t like something, keep it to yourself.”

Nemone says: “It’s been really thought-provoking speaking to artists about their lived experience with social media and to hear first-hand about the impact that online comments of a personal nature have.

“It brought home to me how important it is for us all to reflect on how we show up online and the kind of community we want to shape.”

Samantha Moy, Head of BBC Radio 6 Music adds: “6 Music has always aimed to be a positive and uplifting place for artists and fans alike, where we celebrate the widest range of music possible, both on-air and across platforms.

“With Change The Tune, we want to give musicians the space to share their online experiences, the good and the bad. At the same time, we will put measures in place that we hope will make our corner of the internet a kinder, encouraging and more supportive place for musicians’ work.

“I’d like to thank all the artists, presenters and our colleagues across the music industry who have contributed so openly to Change The Tune, as well as to Music Minds Matter for their support.”

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