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Australian News

JobKeeper recipients halve in one month


Australia’s economic recovery from COVID-19 could be faster than expected after new figures revealed the number of JobKeeper recipients had halved in just a month.

Government figures released on Sunday showed the number of Australians on JobKeeper had dropped from 3.6 million in September to 1.5 million in October.

The government tightened eligibility for the program in September, with the data showing 450,000 businesses had also come off the scheme in the following month.

The effective unemployment also dropped from 9.3 per cent to 7.4 per cent between September and October.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg conceded not all businesses would see the other side of the pandemic, but the numbers showed Australia’s economic recovery was gaining momentum.

“There will be some businesses that don’t make it and some jobs that cannot be saved. But it’s our analysis the unemployment rate will come down next year and the year ahead even after JobKeeper comes off at the end of March,” he told Today.

“This builds on earlier positive data that we have seen … We know it’s going to still be a pretty tough time for many Australians as we recover from the big hit of COVID. But certainly these numbers are encouraging.”

The 2020-21 budget had assumed 2.2 million Australians would receive JobKeeper supplements in the December quarter, but that figure has been revised down by around 700,000.

The payment was reduced from $1500 to $1200 per fortnight in September. It is scheduled to drop to $1000 in January before ceasing in March.

Mr Frydenberg claimed several measures included in the delayed October budget, including tax cuts and instant asset write-offs, had prompted investment.

But Labor Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers downplayed the government’s role, saying serious economic dips were usually followed by steep recoveries.

“Josh Frydenberg will pretend that it is his genius that has seen that happen. But most economists know that from such an extraordinarily low base, of course there‘s going to be a substantial recovery,” he said.

“It’s good to see the numbers down, but it’s not surprising given in the last few months we have seen some substantial easing of restrictions around Australia, and there’s also tighter eligibility criteria for the payment.

“For the 1.5 million Australians who are still on the JobKeeper payment, the Morrison Government’s cuts will sting at the worst possible time.”

Victoria’s employment rate has bounced back, rising to just 1 per cent under pre-lockdown levels.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox said the national numbers were encouraging but warned against cutting businesses off from support too early.

“We should not think that we are out of trouble yet…The recovery clearly still has a long way to go and fiscal policy will remain critical to maintaining momentum,” he said.

“Both the Prime Minister and the Treasurer have indicated their willingness to consider further fiscal stimulus if the recovery begins to falter.

“Our fear is that many businesses who are struggling to maintain employment levels early in the new year will find themselves prematurely cut-off from JobKeeper and that this will dampen the recovery.”



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Business

The Age has record readership month



The Age had 5.39 million readers, making September the best result for the masthead since Enhanced Media Metrics Australia began.



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Local News - Victoria

Lockdowns stopped Finn working rurally. Next month, he’ll be deported


“In July I was offered two jobs in construction in regional Victoria. A week later, the second wave restrictions hit and the bosses said they couldn’t host anyone from Melbourne. I was pretty much trapped in the city.”

Months of nationwide border closures and 235 days of Victorian restrictions later, Finn hasn’t completed the 88 days of rural work needed to extend his visa.

Indeed, Victoria hasn’t had 88 consecutive days without lockdown since March. Just 57 days separated the post-first wave reopening and start of the second wave’s restrictions.

On December 23, Finn’s visa will expire and he will be forced back to the United Kingdom, giving up his only shot at a working holiday maker visa.

The federal government has offered working holiday makers who left Australia or could not enter due to the pandemic a chance to re-apply and start a new visa at minimal cost.

But for internationals like Finn, who has spent $17,000 of his $20,000 savings in Australia since Christmas, there is so far no second chance. Melbourne’s “four reasons to leave home” lifted on October 26, just 58 days before his visa expires.

“It seems kind of unfair,” says Finn, who started work in concrete production in Benalla last month.

“There’s so much uncertainty at the moment but I’m preparing to have to try and find flights to leave back to Scotland before Christmas.”

At the same time, Australia’s normally international-dependent rural workforce is, as National Farmers Federation Victoria president David Jochinke says, in flux.

Working holiday makers comprise up to 60 per cent of some farms' workforces in a regular year.

Working holiday makers comprise up to 60 per cent of some farms’ workforces in a regular year.Credit:Brian Cassey

An Ernst and Young report last month found 26,000 workers were urgently needed nationwide to support this summer’s harvest season for our everyday essentials: fruit, vegetables, grains, livestock production.

“Harvest season is now. It’s a now problem – like, now now. Not later,” says Jochinke.

A federal government Senate committee is currently investigating the working holiday program and stated in its interim report in September that between 20 and 60 per cent of Australian farms’ workforces are usually made up of working holiday makers. About 140,000 working holiday makers were in Australia in March. By June it had halved to 70,000.

Migration lawyer Sam Fitzsimons, who gave evidence to the committee in September, says she has heard of other cases like Finn’s – backpackers previously trapped in Victoria whose only chance to extend their working holiday visa has been stifled this year.

“I think it is a really good example of where it’s absolutely unfair, with the unprecedented nature of COVID,” says Ms Fitzsimons, co-chair of the Victorian Law Institute’s Migration Law Committee.

“Unfortunately the Immigration Department can’t just ‘extend’ a visa without introducing legislative change to allow exemptions for people like Finn. If we need regional workers, why aren’t we doing everything to keep the ones already here, including adapting the law to these COVID times?”

Recognising the shortfall in workers, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government has set about luring unemployed and young Australians to farms – including telling gap-year students the love of their lives could be awaiting them among the pastures. About 22,000 Pacific Island workers are also waiting to enter Australia, pending states’ approval and quarantine arrangements.

'We must do everything to hold on to people we have here already': Nationals MP Damian Drum.

‘We must do everything to hold on to people we have here already’: Nationals MP Damian Drum.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Yet federal Nationals MP Damian Drum, who sits on the Senate committee into working holiday makers, says it hasn’t been enough so far.

“I think it’s totally ridiculous if we kick out workers who are happy to work in the country, even if just for the summer,” says Mr Drum, who represents Victoria’s Goulburn Valley where fruit harvesting is urgently under way.

“The need is so extreme, it is so intense, that we absolutely must do everything to hold on to people we have here already.”

A Home Affairs spokesman said Finn could be eligible for a “COVID-19 pandemic event visa”, which requires sponsorship from an employer in a key industry such as agriculture, healthcare and aged care.

Finn says as well as gladly committing to 88 days of rural work he still holds out hope of travelling Australia, with working holiday makers contributing $3.1 billion to the economy in a normal year according to Tourism Australia.

“Back home in Scotland they’re in lockdown at the minute, getting 20,000 cases a day. It would be going back to a pretty grim situation,” Finn says.

“If my visa got renewed and I could start from scratch, or even if it was extended for a few months, I would go and do my 88 days straight away. It hasn’t been through a lack of trying this year.”

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Four children die in one month as Adelaide hospital called ‘second class’


Four children have died at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital (WCH) in Adelaide after a lack of access to cardiac facilities led a respected doctor to call the facility “a bit second class”.

The four children who died in the past month — one most recently on Friday, have had their deaths blamed on a lack of cardiac services in a South Australian public health services committee hearing, according to the Adelaide Advertiser.

In normal circumstances, the children would have been transferred to Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital to undergo heart surgery — however this is prevented due to the coronavirus situation in the state. The alternative, Westmead Hospital in Sydney, chooses patients on a case-by-case basis.

Obstetrician and Associate Professor John Svigos told the hearing the WCH had gone from being a world-class hospital to “a bit second class”.

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The hospital’s staff had presented the case for having paediatric cardiac services at the hospital last year, but were rejected by an independent report, which concluded there wouldn’t be enough cases to keep surgeon’s skill levels up.

The Advertiser said South Australia remains the only Australian state without paediatric cardiac facilities. Prof Svigos told the committee three children had died within the last month due to a lack of access to the services.

Bernadette Mulholland, the South Australian Salaried Medical Officers Association chief industrial officer then told the hearing a fourth had died last Friday. She said she’d been told some of the deaths were preventable.

“If we had that (cardiac) service here in SA that would prevent, and this is the clinicians’ view, the deaths of some of these children,” Ms Mulholland said.

She warned the staff had been left burnt out and demoralised.

Both witnesses said the families and staff had been “besides themselves” after not being able to save the children’s lives.

Prof Svigos said “there are consequences” to any delays or decisions to cut health services.

“Particularly in our current COVID situation where the usual process of referral to the Melbourne cardiac unit is no longer tenable and referral to Sydney is on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

“I’ve been given to understand that the Women’s and Children’s Hospital has sadly seen the deaths of three babies in the past four weeks who were unable to be transferred, who almost certainly would have benefited from on-site cardiac services.

“I shall leave it to you to imagine the profound effect of these deaths on the parents, their families and the dedicated medical and nursing staff dealing with these tragedies.

“The WCH Alliance would humbly ask how many more deaths of babies and young children will the community and staff be forced to endure?”

He said SA Health has budgeted $5 million per year for transferring sick children, but said creating a specialised unit at the WCH would cost $6 million to establish and $1 million a year to run — making it cost neutral within two years.

“If we are not self sufficient we are going to run into this problem again — it would be crazy to think we are not going to have another pandemic at some stage,” he said.

The WCH released a statement saying the hospital provides the highest quality care to all its patients and “South Australian children will always have access to the health services they need.”

“To ensure young South Australians receive the best possible treatment, some patients may need to travel to interstate due to the specialised nature of care they require.

“We transfer our patients who require complex paediatric cardiac surgery to the Royal Children’s Hospital, as it remains the safest option and offers the best care for our children and their families.

“We are working closely with our clinicians to develop a service proposal for the use of ECMO (a cardiac oxygen service) for children in South Australia.

“Paediatric cardiac surgery services are currently under review with the Network’s Board.

“The quality of the services we provide is always our number one priority and South Australian families should rest assured that our hospital continues to provide the safest care for our patients.”



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Australian News

JobKeeper payment slashed for Victorians this month


More than a million Victorians will have their JobKeeper payments slashed by the Morrison Government by $300 a fortnight this month while they remain in lockdown and banned from attending the workplace.

The extended coronavirus lockdown has sparked havoc with plans to reduce the payments from $1500 to $1200 a fortnight from September 27, a move the Morrison Government has argued is an extension of the original deadline to end the payments.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly defended the plan on the grounds that Victoria would be out of lockdown by the date that JobKeeper will be reduced, but the extended restrictions mean that’s no longer the case.

There are currently more than one million workers on JobKeeper in Victoria – an army of workers that is expected to rise to 1.36 million people next year.

The roadmap outlined by the Victorian Premier Dan Andrews on Sunday involves millions of workers still being subject to tough restrictions where they are effectively banned from attending work just as the JobKeeper payments are reduced.

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Restaurants and cafes remain banned from trading as normal with only takeaway and delivery allowed and retail outlets will remain restricted to essential or click and collect.

Thousands of Victorians are also expected to lose their jobs and be forced onto JobSeeker, which is also being cut by the Morrison Government this month.

Labor’s treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers told news.com.au that cutting JobKeeper for millions of workers makes no sense when the jobs crisis is getting worse, not better.

“It beggars belief that the Treasurer, as a Victorian, won’t reconsider his JobKeeper cuts even as the jobs crisis intensifies,’’ he said.

“Josh Frydenberg is leaving millions of Victorians behind in the worst recession in almost a century.”

The Treasury has predicted that around 400,000 Victorians will lose their jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

On Sunday, the Prime Minister Scott Morrison described Victoria’s decision to extend the lockdown arrangements as “hard and crushing news for the people of Victoria”.

In a clear criticism of the Victorian Government’s handling of the pandemic, Mr Morrison said the extended lockdown was a reminder of the impact and costs that result from not being able to contain outbreaks of COVID-19, resulting in high rates of community transmission.

“It is vital to the national interest to restore Victoria to a COVIDSafe environment, where we can reopen our economy and reasonably restore the liberties of all Australians, whether in Victoria or anywhere else,’’ he said.

“The proposed roadmap will come at a further economic cost. While this needs to be weighed up against mitigating the risk of further community outbreak, it is also true that the continued restrictions will have further impact on the Victorian and national economy, in further job losses and loss of livelihoods, as well as impacting on mental health.”

RELATED: Shock and fury as Victorians react to Daniel Andrews’ roadmap

Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra has expressed his shock that the road map being outlined was much longer than expected.

“The business community had high hopes that today’s announcement would signal the end of Stage 4 restrictions on 13 September and instead businesses are left frustrated and facing more weeks of lost revenue and mounting costs they can’t afford,’’ he said.

“Victoria’s economy is experiencing its biggest crisis in modern times with thousands of businesses unable to operate for most of this year, and the government needs to allow Victorians to get back to work while managing the health crisis.

“We will continue to do whatever we can and work with both the Federal and State Government to not only deliver hope, but to deliver jobs, by keeping your business alive.”

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton defended the toad map this morning arguing the alternative would involve a third wave and a third lockdown.

“The risk that’s been mapped out by the modelling suggests that if we open too early, and if we don’t follow these kind of thresholds for the next stage and the following steps, then we’ll be back in a situation that we’ve already been through in Victoria and we don’t

want to be there again,’’ he told ABC TV.

“We don’t want to be at a point where there is an epidemic curve where restrictions need to be put back in place. I understand how difficult it must be for businesses to see that it is not opening as early as they would have liked. But the risk, and it’s apparent in the modelling, is that going too early with too many cases on a daily basis, just puts it at serious risk of shutting down again in coming months.”



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Business

Repairs to critical Gorgon project components delayed by a month


“Chevron expects the repairs to the heat exchangers, where weld quality issues were discovered during scheduled maintenance in July 2020, to be complete and to restart production at train two next month,” a statement read.

“Following our ongoing technical work, we are further refining our approach and have decided some welds in targeted areas will require additional work.”

The US oil and gas giant will also shut down and conduct inspections of propane heat exchangers on trains one and three in October and January respectively.

“Insights gained from the train two repairs will contribute to more efficient inspections and potential repairs on trains one and three,” it said.

Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety dangerous goods and petroleum safety director Steve Emery said he was made aware of the delay, but remained satisfied with the current level of safety around trains one and three.



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Local News - Victoria

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton warned of hotel quarantine risks a month before first outbreak


Security guards and health workers at the Rydges on Swanston and the Stamford Plaza cited the same problems raised with Professor Sutton as the cause of coronavirus transmission at both hotels.

The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday moved to shake up the health bureaucracy amid the fallout from the hotels debacle, with deputy secretary Melissa Skilbeck stripped of responsibility for emergency management but maintaining her seniority.

Victoria recorded 66 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday as outbreaks that began in the state’s hotel quarantine system spread in the northern and western suburbs, where more than 300,000 residents are subject to renewed stage three lockdown rules.

Speaking at a media conference on Friday, Premier Daniel Andrews and Health Minister Jenny Mikakos both said the first they knew of problems in hotel quarantine system was when the first infection at Rydges on Swanston was diagnosed on May 26.

Mr Andrews told reporters: “Infection control is an issue that has been brought to my attention, and I think it’s fair to say that … the first infection-control breach that led to a positive case [was the first he had heard].”

The offices of Professor Sutton and Mr Andrews refused to answer questions about the April briefing. Both cited a judicial inquiry as the reason they could not discuss whether their offices were told of emerging problems. Ms Mikakos’ office asked that questions be directed to the Premier’s office.

Mr Andrews this week announced the inquiry into the running of the state’s hotel quarantine system. The government has appointed former family court judge Jennifer Coate to run the $3 million probe.

The Department of Health and Human Services on Friday confirmed to The Age there had been a restructure in the department’s senior ranks.

Health Department deputy secretary Melissa Skilbeck.

Health Department deputy secretary Melissa Skilbeck.

Those changes resulted in deputy secretary Melissa Skilbeck being moved out of the emergency management field. She retains her role as deputy secretary.

Professor Sutton, the public face of the state’s pandemic response, sits directly below Ms Skilbeck in the department’s organisational structure. Unlike his counterpart in NSW, Professor Sutton is not a deputy secretary, meaning he sits three operational tiers below Health Minister Mikakos.

Opposition health spokeswoman Georgie Crozier said Ms Mikakos should resign over the handling of the hotel clusters and an earlier Cedar Meats outbreak.

“If these reports are correct, it looks like a senior bureaucrat has been forced to take the fall for the health minister’s incompetence and continued pressure for her own resignation following the hotel quarantine bungle which has contributed to the continued increase of COVID-19 cases in Victoria,” Ms Crozier said.

More than 20,000 people have spent a mandatory two weeks in the hotels since the quarantine system began in late March.

Lax hygiene at Rydges on Swanston in Carlton has been blamed for infections among security staff and their contacts.

Lax hygiene at Rydges on Swanston in Carlton has been blamed for infections among security staff and their contacts.Credit:Getty Images

The Health Department instituted a review of hotel protocols in early June after poor hygiene practices, first reported by The Age, were blamed for the Rydges Hotel outbreak.

More than 20 Rydges on Swanston staff and their close contacts have been infected in the outbreak since it was identified on May 27. The Stamford outbreak started on June 17 and has grown to 35 cases.

Rydges on Swanston was initially a “hot” hotel to where people infected with COVID-19 were directed. In June, Rydges on Swanston stopped taking confirmed COVID-19 patients. The hotel’s first returned travellers were those who disembarked from the Greg Mortimer cruise ship from Uruguay.

Andrew Buntine, a supervising guard contracted to work at Rydges through security firm Elite Protection Services, said guards repeatedly raised concerns with Health Department officials in April and early May about substandard infection-control.

Guards, who Mr Buntine said received 10-minute inductions on hygiene protocols and worked 12-hour shifts, were asked to share elevators with infected returned travellers, some of whom were let out to communal areas including the swimming pool.

Elite’s contract was terminated on May 11. In the weeks before the termination, guards had also expressed concern about infected Cedar Meats workers who were allowed to leave their rooms because they were not subject to strict detention rules.

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Australian News

South Australia records its first new cases in a month


South Australia has reported its first new cases of coronavirus for a month with three infections detected among Australians who flew home from India on the weekend.

SA Health says a three-year-old girl and two women have tested positive after flying in from Mumbai on Saturday.

Chief Public Health Officer Nicola Spurrier says the cases do not come as a surprise considering the high rate of infections on the sub-continent.

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A plan for South Australia to lift border restrictions with Victoria is also “under a cloud” amid the continuing spike in coronavirus cases in Melbourne, Premier Steven Marshall says.

Mr Marshall has insisted that SA will not lift quarantine requirements for anyone arriving from Victoria if it is not safe to do so.

Under current arrangements, SA is due to lift those measures on July 20.

“So we’ve still got three weeks, but that is now under a cloud,” the premier said on Monday.

“We will look very closely at this and update the people of South Australia as soon as we possibly can.

“We are very concerned about the numbers coming out of Victoria at the moment, there’s no doubt about that.”

Victoria reported 75 coronavirus cases today after revealing 90 new infections over the weekend.

Police Commissioner Grant Stevens said he would take advice from the experts in SA Health in relation to the efforts in Victoria to contain the virus and to properly establish the extent of the spread into the Victorian community.

“The reality is, the numbers we’re seeing today relate to activities that occurred over the last two weeks, so we may see a much better performance from Victoria over the next few days,” Mr Stevens said.

“It’s important to everybody that Victoria gets this under control.”

From Wednesday, SA is also moving to a pre-approval system for all people entering the state as part of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions.

Anyone wanting to come to SA by road or air will need to apply through an online form, a process officials say will speed up access at the state’s borders.

People arriving from Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory will not be required to quarantine, but 14 days of isolation will continue for anyone from NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

SA reported no new coronavirus cases on Sunday, taking the state’s run of days without a new infection to more than a month.

However, 250 repatriated Australians arrived in Adelaide from India on Saturday and local health officials have warned that could result in some new cases.



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Football stadiums in Queensland to welcome crowds again from this weekend, theme parks to open later this month


Up to 2,000 fans will be allowed to watch the football in stadiums in Queensland from this weekend.

Health Minister Steven Miles said the decision was the result of football codes submitting plans to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spread.

“Some of the codes have requested this number [2,000] as a trial. That number might not be reached but it is an acknowledgement that the fans and the codes have done their part,” he said.

“We all want to get back to normal, that is the goal of our unite and recover plan.

“I’m proud the AFL and the NRL were able to return to play in Queensland stadiums.

“And today we add the missing ingredient — the fans.”

In the NRL, the Gold Coast Titans will play St George-Illawarra Dragons on Saturday at Lang Park.

Titans chief executive Steve Mitchell said a crowd rallying behind the team will help them win.

“The Titans are delighted to be the first Queensland team to be back playing in front of our supporters this weekend,” he said.

“There’s going to be a fair set of protocols when people come through. They’re in line with the protocols that have been developed with our biosecurity experts and the Chief Medical Officer in Queensland so everyone will be getting temperature checks and it’ll be great fun.”

In the AFL, the Brisbane Lions face off against the West Coast Eagles at the Gabba on Saturday evening, and the Suns take on Adelaide Crows at the Gold Coast’s Metricon Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

One new coronavirus case

The announcement came after the state recorded just one new coronavirus case in the past 24 hours.

A Gold Coast woman in her 30s, had returned from overseas and is in isolation in a hotel.

There are currently five active cases of COVID-19 in the state, with one in hospital.

Dreamworld sign on top of building of entrance of the theme park on Queensland's Gold Coast.
Dreamworld is waiting to get more information on Queensland’s border restrictions before announcing specific dates.(AAP)

Gold Coast theme parks to reopen

Village Roadshow has announced today that Sea World will reopen on June 26.

Movie World, Wet ‘n’ Wild and Outback Spectacular will follow in July.

As part of coronavirus restrictions, the theme parks are required to develop a COVID-safe plan for guests.

Village Roadshow said there will be more sanitisation measures in place and a requirement for guests to remain 1.5 metres apart.

Some shows will also be on hold and those that are open will have reduced capacity to maintain social distancing.

Guests will need to download the Village Roadshow app to book rides and show tickets to avoid human contact.

Ardent Leisure’s Dreamworld is waiting for more information on Queensland’s border restrictions before announcing specific dates.



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Pride Month: So bunt wird auf Social Media gefeiert


Vom ersten bis zum 30. Juni ist Pride Month. Die sozialen Netzwerke feiern ihre User aus der LGBTQ+ Community mit Stickern, bunten Hashtags und farbenfrohen Filtern.

Das Online-Magazin The Economic Times berichtete, dass User ab sofort die LGBTQ+ Community anstatt auf der Straße auf der Social-Media-Plattform feiern können. Denn Instagram rollt anlässlich des Pride Month zahlreiche neuen Features aus. Einige davon launchte das soziale Netzwerk bereits im vergangenen Jahr, andere sind komplett neu.

So sind die bunten Hashtags zurück. Alle Hashtags, die sich auf den Pride Month beziehen, werden ab sofort in Regenbogenfarben angezeigt. Auch in den Stories gibt es einen neuen bunten Filter. Außerdem können User bis zum 30. Juni auf neue Sticker für die Instagram Story zurückgreifen. Diese wurden um einige Motive erweitert und sollen so ein größeres Gender-Spektrum abbilden.

© Instagram/ The Economic Times

Zudem launchte Instagram einen Gesundheits-Guide für die LGBTQ+ Community. Hierin geht es hauptsächlich um die mentale Gesundheit der User und der Guide stellt verschiedene unterstützende Tools der Plattform vor. Da Paraden und Straßenumzüge anlässlich des Pride Month wegen der anhaltenden Coronapandemie nicht stattfinden können, möchte Instagram die LGBTQ+ Community mit den neuen Features unterstützen.

Bunt und stolz: Pinterest bringt die Suchanfragen in Regenbogenfarben zurück

Auch Pinterest möchte die LGBTQ+ Community im Pride Month unterstützen. Deswegen werdenwerden Suchanfragen zum Thema Pride vom Inspirationsportal ab sofort in Regenbogenfarben angezeigt. Die Plattform verkündete:

During this month, when users search for ‚Pride‘ on Pinterest, they will see the suggested searches in all the colors of the rainbow. This experience is available in six languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian) for all users accessing from desktop, iOS and Android devices.

© Pinterest

Pinterest launchte das Feature bereits im Juni des vergangenen Jahres. Anlässlich des diesjährigen Pride Month ergänzt die Social-Media-Plattform das Layout um farbenfrohe Themes unter der Suchleiste. Außerdem veröffentlichte das Netzwerk die häufigsten Suchanfragen, die sich auf die LGBTQ+ Community beziehen. Pinterest schrieb in einem Blogpost:

Searches for ‚transgender transition‘ began to increase in May ‘18 and reached their peak in August of last year. Searches then started to rise again during the pandemic, as we have noticed many Pinners have been exploring themselves during this time. There have been hundreds of thousands of searches for ‚transgender transition‘ and since April of last year, searches have increased 70 Percent.

Die von der Plattform veröffentlichten Daten zeigen, dass Pinterest eine große Insprationsquelle für Mitglieder der LGBTQ+ Community ist. Für Marken und Brands könnte dies ein wichtiger Hinweis sein, wenn sich diese zum Pride Month auf Social Media positionieren möchten.


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Pride Month: Nickelodeon outet Spongebob Schwammkopf auf Instagram

Auch Stars und Fernsehsender nutzen Social-Media-Plattformen, um die LGBTQ+ Community zu feiern. Das größte Aufsehen erregte hierbei sicherlich der Kindersender Nickelodeon. Denn in einem Post auf Instagram outete der Channel die beliebte Trickfilmserienfigur Spongebob Schwammkopf als homosexuell. Während einige Menschen diesen Schritt in den Kommentaren heftig kritisierten, fand der Großteil der User die Nachricht nicht überraschend und nahm die News sehr positiv auf.

Das Outing von Spongebob Schwammkopf auf Instagram sorgte für ein großes Medienecho. Auch wenn die Kommentare nicht durchweg positiv sind, ist dies ein erster Schritt in den Dialog. Denn nur so kann eine Gesellschaft entstehen, in der Menschen verschiedenster geschlechtlicher Identitäten und sexueller Orientierung friedlich miteinander leben können. Social Media kann hierbei eine wichtige Rolle spielen, um Vorurteile und Stereotype aufzubrechen.





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