Australians Rally to Take Down Facebook Page Filled with Racist Memes; “Controversial Humor” Debate Sparks Up
A Facebook page containing racially offensive memes targeting Australian Aboriginals was met with a fiery reaction from Internet users, as reported by SBS. The social network initially refused to pull it down, stating “we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”.
An online petition launched by Brisbane resident Jacinta O’Keefee calling for the page to be banned drew hundreds of online supporters. “[The page] potentially does insult and offend, but it probably does more than that. I think the depiction of these images on Facebook actually moves more in to vilifying,” said Dr. Helen Skoze, Race Discrimination Commissioner.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) launched an official investigation “upon receipt of valid complaints from Australian residents”, but found the analyzed situation does not fall under its jurisdiction. “It’s a policy area. Our jurisdiction lies in preventing terrorism, online child pornography, national security and educating the public on how to stay safe,” noted the ACMA spokesperson.
Next, Facebook adds “Controversial Humor” to the name of the incriminated page, only to apparently take the entire content down a day later. However, the fate of this Facebook page is still to be determined as potential government censorship accusations may prevent the application of drastic ban measures.