The Online Hate Prevention Institute published an article looking at Will.i.am’s tweet making an allegation of racism during his visit to Australia and some of the comments that appeared on Twitter in response. The article discussed naming and shaming as an anti-racism tactic. We do not believe public naming and shaming is the right approach, but we respect other people’s right take a different position on that – particular when they are the victim of racism.
There were a number of comments made on our Facebook page which we will be deleting as part of our moderation under our No Platform Policy. As is our usual practice, we will share the comments we remove here (with the posters details redacted). The posters of these comments will also be banned. To understand why we do this, please see the post on our No Platform Policy.
The first person made two posts. The first called OHPI’s post / article “dumb shit” and went on to say naming and shaming can’t occur until something has been proven in court. They also attack the Australian Human Rights Commission saying it shouldn’t exist.
The post misunderstands the role of the Australian Human Rights Commission which seeks to reconcile the parties to a complaint – a point we had explained. Saying naming and shaming is an invalid tactic unless someone has first been found guilty by a court essentially rejects the idea of social pressure to create change. It also rejects the idea there should be any form of social consequences for bad behaviour that is not illegal. In general it is social pressure that enforces “norms” which act as a deterrent to poor behaviour that stops short of making it illegal.
We disagree with much of what this person has said, but that is not why they were banned. Instead it is their membership of a range of problematic pages which leads to us banning them under our no platform policy. They support the “Patriots Defence League”, a page against the Bendigo mosque, Halal Choices (an anti-Muslim page), two pages opposing gun control on automatic weapons, and a range of right wing political parties that have been associated with racism / hate speech including: Rise up Australia, Online Nation, and the Australian Liberty Alliance.
The following images are from the users list of liked pages, and in one case we have added the cover photo for a page which makes clear its objective:
The second person we banned wrote that “Will i am will be sued for defamation. He tried to play the victim card and it failed.” Their profile is locked up so tightly there was no information at all beyond their name, profile picture and cover photo. Such accounts are usually used for trolling.
In this case we were able to find other content posted by this person. The comments we found were in response to a positive post on channel 7 where Changkuoth Jiath paid tribute to his parents for moving from Africa to Australia to give him a better opportunity.
Person Two’s response to this (red is used to hide their name) was to call highlighting the players background as a refugee “reverse racism and segregation”. A number of other users challenged him on this to which he responded “you are a racist”.
Another post to the AFL Footy Show gratuitously stereotyped Collingwood supporters.
In response to a Herald Sun article about an out of control party and the youth involved who the article says a witness described as “all aged in their 20s and of African appearance”, Person Two comments “haven’t you been culturally enriched yet. Getting stomped on is payback for colonialism”. The comment uses far-right anti-immigrant language.
In a post on ABC News about Mack Horton refusing to share the podium with a competitor he called a “drug cheat” and who has previously been suspended for doping. Person Two’s response to a post in which someone congratulated Mack for “Upholding Australia values” was suggest those values were “being racist towards Asians” and to add “Thought lefties were tolerant”. The post promotes false information imputing that Mack is a “leftie” for taking a political stand against cheating and possibly also accusing Mack of being a racist. Given the reason for the protest had nothing to do with race and was clearly explained, this post is simply trolling.
We can find other examples of Person Two, but it seems clear they are at minimum a right wing troll. Our no platform policy also applies to trolls. The user was banned.