Sunday, May 29

I was five years under the July 22 terror. Today I am 15 years old and AUFs. And get hate messages.

  • Hedda Buom (15)

    2nd Deputy Chairman, Holmestrand AUF

The photo was taken at AUF’s summer camp on Utøya in 2015, four years after the terrorist attacks on 22 July.

No one should be intimidated away from politics.

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“Utøya 2022, it will be the year!”

“Take care now, so maybe you can live.”

“You should have been there, then we would have let you go!”

These are examples from my own comment field on Tiktok.

I was five years old when the terrorist attack on the Government Quarter and Utøya took place. At AUF’s summer camp on Utøya, there were 564 people 2011. Of these, 69 were killed. Every third Utøya survivor struggling mentally Today.

Today I am AUFs. And get hate messages. Such messages that I get on Tiktok, get young AUFs on various platforms and inboxes almost all the time. Young activists and members of other youth parties also receive hatred.

Hedda Buom (15).

Such messages that I get on Tiktok, get young AUFs on various platforms and inboxes almost all the time. Young activists and members of other youth parties also receive hatred.

Utøya survivors get provoked

One out of three survivors of the July 22, 2011 terrorist attack receive hate messages. Examples of messages they have received are:

“Those who were killed and injured are traitors.”

“I think it would have been best for us if you had stayed on Utøya and not survived. Too bad Breivik did not hit better. ”

‘Look around the corner. Next time I’ll stand there with a magnum and then you’re dead, fucking pig! ”

Many are scared away

The reactions among us who receive these hate messages, varies. Some withdraw from politics, others respond and counter and some just ignore.

I am part of the third category. Unfortunately, there are many who belong to the first category, those who withdraw from politics.

Many who receive hatred and threats are scared away from politics. Is that how we want it?

Hate messages must not be normalized

No one, and then I mean no one, should be scared away from politics. Neither adults nor young people. But it happens. It happens too often. Adult politicians delete social media after death threats and incitement against themselves and those they love.

Young people end up breaking with politics completely. This may be due to repeated death threats or unreasonable comments. And that’s far from okay.

We all have a responsibility for what we say and do. We must prevent hate speech from being normalized.

No one should have to deal with hatred and threats in everyday life. No one should have to be afraid to stand up and tell how it feels to receive such statements and threats.

Freedom of speech is abused

Those who spread hatred use freedom of speech as a shield. But when does it go too far? Yes, when the message offends others. Threatening people’s lives is both illegal and offensive. It’s scary and not okay.

Being engaged is positive, especially when you are young. Therefore, I ask the person who is tempted to send a provocative message or something even worse: If you read something that makes it tingle a little extra in the fingers, then go away, calm down and think again.

Do not be the reason why young people are scared away from democracy.

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