Human Rights Commission to investigate racist Aboriginal memes Facebook page

The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched an investigation into a Facebook page dedicated to to racist memes about Aboriginal people.

The page has attracted thousands of complaints over the last 24 hours. However, Facebook has so far refused to remove it or to comment on its stance.

The page, entitled “Controversial Humor Aboriginal memes” had gained 4,477 fans since being started in June. There are now petitions on Facebook, on Change.org and on other social media activist sites requesting the page be removed. The petition on change.org is urging Facebook users to report the offensive page to the website.

SBS reported that it believes the page is owned by a 16-year-old Perth schoolboy.

As well as the racist content, the site is even more offensive to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people because of the use of images of people who may be deceased.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority told Mumbrella it had received a complaint and was investigating it.

The statement from ACMA:

“The ACMA is currently investigating specific online content noted below (after receiving complaints yesterday and today).

“The ACMA investigates online content at specific URLs upon receipt of valid complaints from Australian residents or a body corporate that carries on activities in Australia. Investigations are conducted using powers under schedule 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992.

“As part of the ACMA’s investigation, the content is being formally submitted today to the Classification Board for classification.”

Mumbrella understands that the page is also being investigated by the Australian Humans Rights Commission’s Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Helen Szoke. The Human Rights Commission is responsible for investigating alleged infringements of Australia’s anti-discrimination legislation.

Facebook’s own terms of use state that “Facebook does not permit hate speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, it is a serious violation to attack a person based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.”

Earlier this year Facebook suffered a backlash after it blocked the accounts of women who posted photographs of themselves breastfeeding.

Comments


  1. Anne Miller
    8 Aug 12
    6:54 pm

  2. There are hundreds of similarly racist videos and comments on YouTube. I report them … but nothing ever happens. American-based websites seem to have a hair-trigger response to racism when it is expressed against their own population, but provide a platform for rednecks in other countries to spread their bile.

  3. Blue
    8 Aug 12
    7:44 pm

  4. Page appears to have gone now.

  5. Irene Bolger
    9 Aug 12
    1:18 pm

  6. This page is still on FB. Now called Abo Memes.

  7. Red
    9 Aug 12
    6:50 pm

  8. So having a go at some aborigines isn’t ok but making fun of bogans is fine because they’re white?

  9. Green
    9 Aug 12
    10:58 pm

  10. @Red

    Who says Bogans are white?

  11. Mel
    9 Aug 12
    11:24 pm

  12. Red, don’t be ridiculous. Few white people have any idea what it is like to be humiliated based on their skin colour. So, that is a dumb analogy. Find a better one.

  13. Green
    10 Aug 12
    10:08 am

  14. Bogans, come in all colours, shapes and sizes.

    Whilst the common image of a bogan would be a bloke with a mullet in a wife beater, drinking VB and stringing out his / her words such as “faaaaaaark ya’s all”. Could be black, white, brown, any colour (just like Christians can be any colour…)

    Do people say all Collingwood fans are bogans?

    Nice detail on Wikipedia:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bogan

    Here is a famous bogan from Sydney’s Northern Beaches:
    http://www.facebook.com/muzzaa.show

  15. Irene Bolger
    10 Aug 12
    12:18 pm

  16. The racist website has Bogans, but also some more educated and well-spoken people, as, of course, racists come in all classes, working, middle and upper.

  17. Sam
    13 Aug 12
    10:26 am

  18. Cant trust the system to provide justice, What disgusting people, an embarresment to the human race, someone wipe them of the face of the earth please, how illogical, being a slimy little pussy hiding beind a keyboard while trying to belittle people, theres some backward scum in the west, Im only going off examples

  19. Vill
    16 Aug 12
    9:07 pm

  20. The very fact you think censorship on a private page is up to u and even acceptable is embaressing. Im ashamed to even be partially genetically related to the most of you opinionated few. The very type of person who thinks their opinion should be forced onto any1 is disgusting if people who genuinely bleed for land and home not just in wars gone but in the foundation and u dont even care ur happy to sell it all away in the name of stupid peace of mind thats false anyways rofl.