SOCIAL JUSTICE | Coventry Youth Activists take on social media giant

When it comes to Social Justice, there is no more inspiring Grapevine story than that of Coventry Youth Activists (CYA). And that’s why we’re putting them forward for today’s Coventry City of Culture ‘energy’.

A group of young disabled people, their reason for being is to campaign for the right to a good life for themselves and others.

CYA perform together
CYA performs in Coventry city centre

Their cause has in the past seen them organising a fully accessible live music gig at The Tin Music and Arts in Coventry Canal Basin and performing on a bicycle-powered moving sofa to draw the crowds in Coventry city centre.

All with the aim of changing the disturbing statistic that one in three disabled young people spends less than an hour outside home on a Saturday.

The pandemic has brought so many social inequalities further to the fore than ever before. For these young people, spending more time online than ever, it magnified the level of abuse targeted at disabled people and the absence of any real action against offenders. Especially on Facebook.

So CYA gathered around the issue and launched a campaign that speaks directly to Facebook chiefs – including VP of Global Affairs, Nick Clegg.

They want Facebook to provide more accessibility and transparency around its reporting process, allow appeals when posts are not deemed to violate community standards and have disabled people on their Oversight Board.

A clenched fist with the word HATE on the knuckles with 'Facebook Has No Standards' and @Covactivists next to it
Facebook Has No Standards, by Coventry Youth Activists

#FacebookHasNoStandards attracted the attention of Coventry MP Taiwo Owatemi who helped organise a meeting between CYA and Facebook UK in May – watch this space to see what happens next!

CYA is funded by the Act for Change Fund and forms a key part of our Shifting Power action strand at Grapevine.

How you can help

CYA is petitioning the government to impose a specific duty on social media platforms to prevent and remove abusive posts targeted at disabled people. If reaches 10,000 signatures, the government must respond.

Every signature counts! Can CYA count on yours? Click here to sign.