The Online Hate Prevention Institute regularly comments on racism in social media against Indigenous Australia. Most recently we discussed this topic with Hack on Triple J. We have an archive of our past work on this topic and our report into Aboriginal Memes brought the topic to the attention of UNESCO. With a few exceptions, the racism targeting Indigenous Australians in our examples comes from Facebook. We were recently approached by a researcher asking for examples from Twitter. This briefing includes a selection of what we found.
You can help by reporting these Tweets to Twitter. You can also let us know you reported them by also reporting them to our online tool FightAgainstHate.com. We would also very much welcome report of new examples of racism against Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, these too can be reported to us via FightAgainstHate.com.
The Online Hate Prevention Institute notes that Twitter has improved its policies and does now prohibit “Hateful conduct” which should cover the examples below. The Twitter rules now say “You may not promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease. We also do not allow accounts whose primary purpose is inciting harm towards others on the basis of these categories.”
Unfortunately the reporting facility itself has not been updated to implement this, so there is no specific way to report hateful conduct from within Twitter. In our instructions below we suggest reporting it as “abusive or harmful” and within that category as “disrespectful or offensive”. This is not ideal, but it is what best fits the reporting system. There is also a separate reporting form for abuse behavior but the closest thing on this form is for “abuse” which Twitter defines on the form very narrowly as being violations of the rule that “Users may not make direct, specific threats of violence against others”. This language is taken from US law and very few examples of abuse would meet the standard of being both direct enough and specific enough.
Recommendation: Twitter should alter its reporting system to match the categories of reports under its current rules.
Until this is done, it is unsurprising that Twitter would have difficulties implementing their rules. There is a disconnect between their technology people and their policy people and that gap needs to close.
Table of contents
- Examples of the racism from Twitter
- How to report racism to Twitter
- How to report Twitter based racism to FightAgainstHate.com
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Examples of the racism from Twitter
Each of the following examples is presented both with text and with an image of the Tweet. You can see live version of the Tweet, then report it if it is still online, by clicking on the image. Further instructions are available at the end of this briefing.
1. “@joneudaimonia @Bernies4_Trump @farwzaz your problem is you believe the made up nonsense. There was no mass murder of Tasmanian Abos Never”
4. “A bloke is driving across outback Australia and runs over a family of Abos eating road kill. He picks them up,… http://fb.me/N8C2c4Wg ” The link goes to a Facebook post which reads: A bloke is driving across outback Australia and runs over a family of Abos eating road kill. He picks them up, digs a hole at the side of the road, and buries them. When he gets to the other side of Australia, he wants to do the white thing, so he reports what he did to the police, who ask him, “Are you sure they were dead?” Bloke: “Oh yeah, some of reckoned they weren’t, but you know what lying bastards they are.”
5. “@EDdotSE @intelligent50 @adezero Australia never needed to use guns to defend anything. Your only resource is petrol sniffing abos.”
6. “British built Australia, the Abos invented a stick and have an IQ of barely 60. Whites create! Abos, blacks & Muslims take! #TeamAustralia”
7.”What a shit country we live in. Stupid abos gettin involved coz they want their face on the news. Grow up & realise your a knobhead.”
8. “Just shook an abos hand I feel dirty and violated”
9. “omg dirty abos! maybe if they didnt act like scum people wudnt treat them like scum!”
If you haven’t yet done so, please help us share this briefing so others can join our efforts to report this hate.
How to report racism to Twitter
- Visit the post. With the examples above you can do this by clicking on the images.
- Click the “more” option which shows up as “…”
- Click the “Report” option
- Selection the option “It’s abusive or harmful” then click next
- Selection the option “It’s disrespectful or offensive” and click next
- Selection the option “Someone else” and click next
How to report Twitter based racism to FightAgainstHate.com
- View the Tweet you wish to report. If it is in a stream of tweets, click on the date of the tweet to go to the specific address. Copy that address.
- Visit https://fightagainsthate.com/ and click the “Login with Facebook” button
- Click in the blue box on the top left where it says “New Report”, then paste and click “Submit Report”
- Select “Hate targeting Indigenous Australians”, then select how confident you are that you are right, and click next
- You will see a yellow bar on the reporting page showing your report have successfully be added to the system.