POLITICS

Australians Share Racism Horror Stories After 18c Changes

'My mother in her own shop being called an "immigrant bitch" by a school kid'.

21/03/2017 3:26 PM AEDT | Updated 21/03/2017 4:01 PM AEDT
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CANBERRA -- Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced plans to amend the Racial Discrimination Act, arguing that amending the controversial section 18c will simultaneously support freedom of speech while giving more protection to those at risk of discrimination and abuse.

Government members agreed to changes which would remove "offend, insult and humiliate" from 18c, and replace them with "harass" and "intimidate". Turnbull claimed the changes would strike a better balance between freedom of speech and protection from abuse.

In the wake of the announcement, Australians from diverse backgrounds are sharing horror stories about copping racial abuse under the Twitter hashtag #FreedomOfSpeech.

Writer Benjamin Law started the push on Tuesday afternoon, sharing a series of his own experiences.

Soon, dozens more stories filled the hashtag.

Former Labor senator Nova Peris, who received vile racist abuse online during her time in parliament, shared several instances of her own.

As did broadcaster Faustina Agolley.

Other ordinary Australians kept adding to the hashtag through the afternoon:

The 18c changes are set to be put before the Senate, but will face stiff opposition with Labor, the Greens and crossbenchers already voicing their outrage over the push to water down the Racial Discrimination Act.

Check out all the stories on the #FreedomOfSpeech hashtag.

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