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Digital witchcraft: the rise of the virtual coven

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Technology has driven witchcraft from the fringes, right into our Instagram feeds

If you’ve seen tarot, crystals or meditation pop up on your TikTok ‘for you page,’ it’s likely that you’ve stumbled across #witchtok. As interest in traditional religion dwindles, young women are using this space to reclaim their spirituality.

The unexpected rise of #witchtok

The ‘witchtok’ hashtag has racked up a total of over 11 billion views since it kicked off on TikTok in 2019. Since then, the community has established an impressive following on other social platforms like Instagram and Twitter.

https://www.tiktok.com/@witchtokboy/video/6967155116147215621?lang=en&is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6968266470396872193

So what is witchcraft, and why is it so popular online?

David Garland from Pagan Awareness Network says anyone can do witchcraft. He says it’s a craft you can develop with practice, much like knitting.

“Witchcraft is the act of invoking change using your environment.”

David Garland, Pagan Awareness Network

Garland says the Pagan community should embrace #witchtok. “If it makes people think and consider spiritual alternatives, then it’s not a bad thing,” he said.

Spirituality without the rules

The interest in witchcraft driven by #witchtok comes at a time where young people are increasingly turning away from traditional religion.

Danae Moon Thorpe, owner of Spellbox and self-proclaimed witch says many young people are drawn to the community’s founding ideas of empowerment and self-determination. 

“We live in a world that’s increasingly turning away from spirituality,” she says.

“Religion often brings dogma and rules. This is like a philosophy, a way of connecting. It’s a way of being. And it’s different for everyone.”

Danae Moon Thorpe

Rise of the wellness industry

Another reason for the sudden interest in digital witchcraft might even be the rise of the wellness industry.

Wellness is a $700 billion industry and expected to grow to nearly a trillion by 2021.

To me, self care is being real. And being authentic. Often, we lose ourselves so witchcraft is always about connecting with nature and others,” says Danae Moon.

The feminist reclamation

There’s a reason the new witches are primarily young women – experts say witchcraft can be a profoundly feminist practice.

“The major religions of the world are patriarchal and worship men,” says Skye Alexander, author of more than two dozen books on spirituality, including The Modern Guide to Witchcraft. 

“This stimulates an interest in goddess-based spirituality, where it’s all about feminine energy and power.”

Natasha is an Associate Producer at ticker NEWS with a Bachelor of arts from Monash University. She has previously worked at Sky News Australia and Monash University as an Online Content Producer.

Business

Instagram introduces new process to crack down on underage users

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The majority of social media platforms have an age limit of 13 years old, but how is this really being regulated?

Instagram is exploring new ways for teenagers to verify their age and comply with platform rules.

The gram is turning to video selfies to crack down on minors editing their date of birth to make them appear over 18.

The Meta-owned app is testing video selfies with facial analysis software as a new age-verification method.

For a U.S. teen who wants to join insta, they will need to upload ID, ask three adult users to vouch for them or take a video selfie.

Meta says it hopes the new methods will ensure teens have an “age-appropriate experience” on the content sharing app.

Video selfies have become a popular way for digital platforms – such as online banking apps – to verify users’ age or identity.

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Crypto

Gucci goes big in metaverse with new Vault Art Space

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Forward thinkers who love fashion, this exhibit is for you

Luxury brand Gucci has opened a Vault Art Space as it continues to explore the art world and the metaverse

Gucci inaugurated the gallery in a partnership with NFT marketplace SuperRare

The debut exhibit is titled “The Next 100 Years of Gucci”

Spring Cry by Alanna Vanacore

Keep your eye out for a special selection of NFT artworks, each a collectible fragment of Gucci’s heritage.

The artworks are showcased and auctioned off directly on Vault’s website in three drops between now and the end of July.

All sales will be in Ethereum.

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Tech

Samsung penalised for misleading Galaxy phone users

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Samsung Electronics Australia will pay $14 million after admitting that it misled customers about its phone’s waterproof capabilities

The false or misleading claims were made about the water resistance of several phones, including the S7, S7 Edge, and Note 8 Samsung Galaxy phones.

It’s understood there were more than 3.1 million of these Galaxy phones sold in Australia.

The company says if the phones were submerged in pool or sea water there was chance of the charging port being corroded and stop working if the phone was charged while still wet.

“The phones would display a warning message to discourage consumers from attempting to charge the phones while water was in the charging port,” the company said.

“The phones also had inbuilt systems to minimise the prospect of corrosion if the phones were attempted to be charged while water remained in the charging port.”

SAMSUNG

Australia’s consumer watchdog says they reviewed hundreds of complaints from customers who experienced issues with their Galaxy phones.

“The case only relates to a prospect of corrosion of the charging port (if charged while pool or
sea water remained in the charging port), and only following submersion in pool or sea
water. It does not relate to water resistance generally,” the company explained.

Affected customers are urged to contact Samsung.

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