Image of media logos on black backgroundVICE, FBi Radio, Broadsheet, PEDESTRIAN.TV, MTV and Junkee are making one big push for the SSM youth vote.

Usually, VICE, FBi Radio, Broadsheet, PEDESTRIAN.TV, MTV and Junkee would be in fierce competition for the market share of young Australian media consumers. Plus, they make their revenue from advertising sales.

However, some things are more important than competition and money – things like marriage equality, and equal legal status for all citizens under the law.

As such, tonight, between 5 and 8 pm these sites will unite in an unprecedented show of solidarity. During the three hour window, VICE and FBi Radio will blackout their sites, blocking access to their content and running a simple message urging readers to spend their time registering and/or checking their voting details instead of with their content. PEDESTRIAN.TV and Junkee readers who click through to the sites will be met with blacked-out ad units and full-screen, over-the-top placements again directing them to the AEC. All content uploaded during the three hour period will relate to LGBTQIA issues. Broadsheet will run a takeover across its five-city websites directing readers to the AEC before all pages.

The combined Facebook subscription to these websites is over one million people – mostly young Australians, who are the demographic most likely to move between homes more frequently, live between countries and navigate the rental economy. As such, they are a demographic which, by design, postal votes will work against.

Said Maddison Connaughton, Features Editor at VICE Australia, “This is the first time Australia’s youth publishers have all banded together for the one issue.”

She continued, “We think this marriage equality vote is that important. We know the vote has been purposefully designed to disenfranchise young people. There are hundreds of thousands of people under 30 who aren’t enrolled to vote, and many more who don’t have a permanent address, or are travelling, or are overseas. But we don’t accept that as the end of the story. These young people can make or break this Marriage Equality Postal Survey. So our goal with this blackout is to get every young person in Australia signed up to vote.”

MTV Australia will also cease all regularly scheduled programming tomorrow, 24 August 2017. Between 6 am and 6 pm on August 24, MTV, MTV Music, MTV Classic and MTV Dance channels across Foxtel and Fetch will shut down normal broadcasts and instead play a special message encouraging people to enrol. The MTV website will also display an LGBTQ editorial takeover and host links to enrol.