Australia hits out at Facebook over 'racist' page

Australian Communications Minister Stephen Conroy has hit out at Facebook over its failure to immediately take down a page that stereotyped Aboriginal people as hopeless petrol-sniffing drunks.

While the content could not be viewed Thursday, Conroy said Facebook should have shut down the site as soon as it was brought to its attention and urged more cooperation from the social network.

"I think it's absolutely inappropriate," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation late Wednesday of the page "Controversial Humor Aboriginal Memes".

"We don't live by American laws here in Australia, we live by Australian laws and this is an Australian who is using the fact that Facebook is based in the US to get away from Australian laws."

An online petition against the page on change.org had by Thursday attracted nearly 17,000 supporters and the Australian Media and Communications Authority said it was investigating.

Conroy said he was in touch with Facebook more broadly about inappropriate content.

"We've had a lot of debate and discussion with Facebook. They've now finally employed an employee here in Australia. We're in conversations with that employee," he said.

"Our views have been strongly made to Facebook in the US but at the end of the day it's a US company operating under US law."

Facebook could not be reached Thursday but in a one-line statement to The Australian newspaper it reportedly said: "We don't have anything to share on this but if that changes, we'll let you know."

Asked if Australia had any power to take down a site down generated in Australia, Conroy said they had tried before and got nowhere.

"In the past there's been a whole range of pages, not just on Facebook but on other sites where people have made complaints," he said.

"We've gone to the courts, the courts have issued notices, the police have gone to enforce them over in the US and in the past we've got nowhere."

Race Discrimination Commissioner Helen Szoke said if people felt offended by the page they could also complain to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

"In the last three years we have had an increasing number of complaints which related to cyber racism," Szoke told reporters.

"I have had a look at the images, and I do think they're quite insulting to Aboriginal people.

"There's a tipping point between humour and even controversial humour and material that's just offensive and just insulting."

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Honda Launches the New Generation BeAT Fi
    Honda Launches the New Generation BeAT Fi

    Honda Philippines Inc. (HPI) recently unveiled its latest offering, the New Generation BeAT-FI eSP Series at the Music Hall of the SM Mall of Asia. Daiki Mihara, President of Honda Philippines, Inc., is confident of the potentials of the New Generation BeAT-FI eSP Series in the local scooter market. “The New Generation BeAT-FI eSP Series is a reflection of Honda Philippines’ continued commitment to provide powerful, safe, fun, and worthwhile driving experience to the growing market of …

  • US to China: Stop reclamation now
    US to China: Stop reclamation now

    The United States yesterday called for an “immediate and lasting halt” to reclamation works in disputed waters in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea, saying Beijing’s behavior in the area was “out of step” with international norms. To that end, there should be an immediate and lasting halt to land reclamation by all claimants,” US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter told a high-level security conference in Singapore. …

  • Pinoys urged to observe Flag Day
    Pinoys urged to observe Flag Day

    Filipinos are urged to commemorate the significance of the national flag as the country commemorates Flag Day from May 28 to June 12, the nation’s Independence Day. The Philippine flag was first unfurled after the Philippine Revolutionary Army defeated Spanish forces in the Battle at Alapan in Imus, Cavite on May 28, 1898, according to the Official Gazette. “The national flag was yet to be formally announced on the day of that battle. …

  • House urged to probe ‘wash sale’ of treasury notes
    House urged to probe ‘wash sale’ of treasury notes

    Congress should look into what could be the anomalous wash sale of P14.3 billion worth of treasury notes last year by officials of the state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate said yesterday. In a statement, Zarate said the questionable wash sale, covering 28 transactions, might be a fund-raising effort of the Aquino administration for the 2016 elections. The DBP Employees Union (DBPEU) on Friday filed a graft complaint with the Office of the …

  • Qatar court to rule on case of Pinoys charged with espionage
    Qatar court to rule on case of Pinoys charged with espionage

    Qatar’s Court of Appeals is set to deliver a verdict today on the three Filipinos charged with espionage and economic sabotage. One of the three Filipinos who was employed by state-owned Qatar Petroleum was sentenced to death, while the two others who were working at a military base were meted life sentence. The prosecution said the three Filipinos spied by transferring to Philippine officials military and economic information related to the types of aircraft and tanks to be used by the armed …

  • 16 hurt in Jolo police camp blast
    16 hurt in Jolo police camp blast

    Security forces launched a massive hunt for the bombers that set off Friday night two explosives near a mosque inside the Philippine National Police (PNP) Camp Asturias in Jolo, Sulu, injuring 11 police officers and five civilians, including three children. The attack appears to have been well-planned as attackers first lobbed a grenade and waited for responding policemen to arrive before setting off a bigger improvised explosive device (IED). Four of the victims are still in grade school, …

  • POEA seeks close monitoring of Saudi’s situation
    POEA seeks close monitoring of Saudi’s situation

    The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has instructed all recruitment agencies sending Filipino workers to Saudi Arabia to closely monitor the situation in the country because of the escalating hostilities in adjacent Yemen. The POEA issued an advisory instructing recruiters to keep a close watch on the Saudi provinces of Najran, Jizan and Asir, which are situated on the Saudi-Yemen border. The POEA also directed the recruitment agencies to submit a list of all the workers …

  • Army to provide treatment for corporal behind bus hostage incident
    Army to provide treatment for corporal behind bus hostage incident

    The Philippine Army promised mental health treatment for an Army corporal who took at least 20 bus passengers hostage in Camarines Sur on Friday, even as police filed a complaint for slight illegal detention before the Prosecutor’s Office. “If proven that he is mentally unstable, we will not abandon him. Rene Prajele showed signs of being mentally disturbed while in detention at the Del Gallego police station in Camarines Sur, adding that the officers who interviewed him could not get a clear …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options