Us Mob online: the perils of identifying as Indigenous on social media

Bronwyn Carlson*, Tristan Kennedy

*Corresponding author for this work

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Social media is a highly valuable site for Indigenous people to express their identities and to engage with other Indigenous people, events, conversations, and debates. While the role of social media for Indigenous peoples is highly valued for public articulations of identity, it is not without peril. Drawing on the authors’ recent mixed-methods research in Australian Indigenous communities, this paper presents an insight into Indigenous peoples’ experiences of cultivating individual and collective identities on social media platforms. The findings suggest that Indigenous peoples are well aware of the intricacies of navigating a digital environment that exhibits persistent colonial attempts at the subjugation of Indigenous identities. We conclude that, while social media remains perilous, Indigenous people are harnessing online platforms for their own ends, for the reinforcement of selfhood, for identifying and being identified and, as a vehicle for humour and subversion.
Original languageEnglish
Article number52
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Early online date24 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2021. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • Aboriginal
  • Indigenous
  • social media
  • identity
  • hate speech
  • community
  • online


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