Wippa campaigning to raise social media age, BBC radio steps away from Facebook and X

Nova 96.9 Sydney breakfast show host Michael ‘Wippa’ Wipfli (pictured on the right with co-hosts Fitzy and Kate Ritchie) is campaigning to change legislation to increase the age when children are legally able to use social media from 13 to 16. Wippa has partnered with the CEO of production company FINCH, Rob Galluzzo, to create the initiative 36 Months toward this goal, as well as using his radio show, getting the support of NSW Premier Chris Minns this morning.

This move is contrary to BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 6 Music in the UK who have decided they will no longer post on Facebook or X, focusing on TikTok and Instagram instead. BBC Radio 2’s audience is skewed towards adults over the age of 35 (82% of listeners), which is largely similar to those who use Facebook. TikTok’s users are more often under 35, and particularly 18-24s (13-18 year old usage is not measured). The two BBC stations have double the followers on Facebook and X as they do currently on Insta and TikTok.

As for Australian radio stations and presenters’ presence on the various social platforms ongoing I thought I’d look at Taylor Swift‘s followings on each. On X she has 95 million followers, Facebook 80 million, TikTok 33 million and a giant 283 million on Instagram. She doesn’t follow anybody and posts some different content on each. Imagine if she decided she would step away from Facebook, or TikTok and the implication it might have for those aged 13-16 who use it?

My own teenage son had to create a Facebook account to receive information from and about his sporting club. I can’t imagine, if Australian legislation is changed, how it would be patrolled or implemented when it is so easy to create an account even when, the instance of my child, it was not something he actively wanted.  I’ve been wondering the same about gambling ads and the like on podcasts and their regulation too.

Our feelings towards social networks like Facebook are changing. It will be interesting to see if Australian stations follow suit in walking away from certain socials, or finding a way to limit access for those aged under 16.

Jen Seyderhelm is a writer, editor and podcaster for Radioinfo
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