May 2, 2024 2 min read

6 Music series puts spotlight on how artists are impacted by social media abuse

A series of programmes on 6 Music later this month will put the spotlight on the impact online abuse has on artists. The station will also launch a new code of conduct to tackle negativity and hateful content on its own social media profiles

6 Music series puts spotlight on how artists are impacted by social media abuse
Image credit: BBC

BBC 6 Music has announced a series of programmes exploring the impact that online abuse has on the lives of artists. Called Change The Time, the initiative - kicking off on 13 May and backed by Help Musicians’ Music Minds Matter service - will also see the radio station launch a new code to tackle negative and hateful content on its own online channels and communities.

“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”, says 6 Music boss Samantha Moy.

“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”.

Various artists will discuss their personal experiences with social media as part of the series, including Lauren Mayberry from Chvrches

A programme called ‘I Change Shapes’ will look at how her band’s success thrust Mayberry “into an exciting new world” that also had “a darker side”. The musician will recall how “the narrative around her success was often centred on gender and image, rather than musicianship, and how she frequently faced abuse online, including misogynistic comments and violent threats”.

Says Mayberry, “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”.

Other presenters and artists set to appear in the series include Nemone, Rebecca Lucy Taylor, Nitin Sawhney, Sherelle, Afrodeutsche, Deb Grant and Jamz Supernova.

6 Music’s code of conduct for its own social media channels has already been published and begins, “This is a space to reflect our shows and celebrate musicians. We encourage our social channels to be a warm and uplifting community”. 

It continues, “6 Music plays a wide range of music. You don't need to like all of it. Scroll past if it's not to your taste. Our community shouldn't have to tolerate hate - including on the basis of age, disability, gender, race, religion, sex or sexuality”. 

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