I updated this talk [download slides] from last summer (time flies!), offering some personal thoughts on surviving a sometimes-hostile social media environment. [The sound gets better after I decide to hold the tiny mic rather than have it stuck in my shirt.]
I was talking to my peers this time, so the mood is somewhat different. I’ve included more on “nurturing a healthy communications environment”, and the special responsibilities we have as sort-of public figures for doing that. I’m trying to get better at this, even when my cynical tendencies start to kick in.
I’ve also highlighted the unusual position that we at the Met Office find ourselves in as scientists-with-sometimes-bad-news, civil servants, representatives of our employers and private citizens all at once.
Of course, the #metoo movement kicked off since I last gave a version of the talk, so I thought it was appropriate to acknowledge that social media is easier for me (white, straight, male, career established) than for many others.
And perhaps most importantly, I talked about how important it is to be safe online – to know where help is available, and when to step away.
I think it’s important to link this with the first point though – much of the conversation about safety or harassment online is about what the victim can do to avoid it. Really, we should be having more conversations about what we can all do to help reduce it.