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Australian Agency Rules Facebook Pages Responsible For Comments

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the names-will-never-hurt-me dept.

Advertising 141

jibjibjib writes "The Australian reports that brands in Australia could be forced to abandon their social media campaigns, after the Advertising Standards Bureau ruled that they were responsible for comments posted on their pages. According to the article, the ASB is poised to release a report attacking Carlton & United Breweries for derogatory comments posted on one of their official Facebook pages, despite CUB monitoring and removing those comments twice daily. Legal expert John Swinson commented on the decision, saying 'You simply can no longer have two-way conversations with your customers.'"

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Good. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892707)

I am an advocate of organisations having a degree of responsibility for anything they intend to profit from - so I think Facebook should be party responsible for everything posted on Facebook, and organisations with Facebook pages should be partly responsible for anything posted on their pages.

It is not as if they're going to spread the gains they receive to "the people" when commeting/behaviour goes in their favour.

The laws of Western countries are very much set up to capitalise profit and socialise losses.

Re:Good. (4, Insightful)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892745)

Why should anyone share responsibility for what you say? In the same vein, should the local government, the builder company and the maker of a cardboard box be responsible for anything I shout while standing on said box on a street corner? Is London responsible for whatever anyone says on Speakers' Corner?

Re:Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892785)

Why should anyone share responsibility for what you say?

Why should anyone profit from what you say?

In the same vein, should the local government, the builder company and the maker of a cardboard box be responsible for anything I shout while standing on said box on a street corner?

Yes, to the extent each party knowingly continues to benefit from it.

The whole point in government, being a body representing the people, is that it holds a degree of responsibility for what the people do. Bad government implies bad citizenry, and vice versa.

Is London responsible for whatever anyone says on Speakers' Corner?

Of course. Try spending a minute calling everyone around you to "kill dirty niggers and kikes, especially that Jamal Rosenberg guy at number 27" and see what happens.

Most political speech is necessary, though - which is why the government is responsible for protecting rather than prohibiting it.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892809)

Why should anyone profit from what you say?

Why not? It's their website. You agreed to it. But they don't advocate doing anything illegal. Don't use their website if you don't like it.

Of course.

The answer is "no." You're responsible, not other people.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892825)

Of course. Try spending a minute calling everyone around you to "kill dirty niggers and kikes, especially that Jamal Rosenberg guy at number 27" and see what happens.

What happens, is you (hopefully) get arrested for inciting violence. It's fuck all to do with Speaker's Corner or London.

Re:Good. (4, Interesting)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892837)

Why should anyone share responsibility for what you say?

Why should anyone profit from what you say?

I fail to see how the company profited from derogatory slurs...

In the same vein, should the local government, the builder company and the maker of a cardboard box be responsible for anything I shout while standing on said box on a street corner?

Yes, to the extent each party knowingly continues to benefit from it.

The whole point in government, being a body representing the people, is that it holds a degree of responsibility for what the people do. Bad government implies bad citizenry, and vice versa.

It doesn't, not in the slightest. The government holds responsibility for its actions towards its electors, but not for all the actions of its people. Otherwise, I could sue your state for any given thing, like trying to slander me. Bad government implies bad politicians, but it has nothing to do with the populace in general.

Is London responsible for whatever anyone says on Speakers' Corner?

Of course. Try spending a minute calling everyone around you to "kill dirty niggers and kikes, especially that Jamal Rosenberg guy at number 27" and see what happens.

Most political speech is necessary, though - which is why the government is responsible for protecting rather than prohibiting it.

That's simple hate speech, prosecutable under law. Connecting this to the article, someone targeted by the "hate speech" on the page could file a complaint and have the court investigate it, but certainly not Facebook or the company itself (who was not a target).

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892891)

That's simple hate speech, prosecutable under law. Connecting this to the article, someone targeted by the "hate speech" on the page could file a complaint and have the court investigate it, but certainly not Facebook or the company itself (who was not a target).

Sorry, but websites have a very clearly understood social responsibility for the content they host. If not them, then who would take responsibility? Especially if they're making a profit. You can't escape social responsibilities. Stop rationalizing.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892909)

Then please do quote the applicable clause from the Facebook terms and conditions.

Social responsibility is not legally enforceable. Not following it may mean you're an asshole, and people may not use your services. This certainly doesn't seem to be the case with Facebook, so I think it's safe to say people do not give a shit about social responsibility.
As for who takes responsibility? The commenter, naturally. Again, who takes responsibility for something you say on Speakers' Corner, who gets arrested for hate speech? You or Boris Johnson?

Re:Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892949)

You're just deflecting. You don't want to take responsibility for what's hosted on your website. That's a serious case of entitlement, and you're trying to rationalize your way out of it.

Re:Good. (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892965)

No, you made the accusation: "websites have a very clearly understood social responsibility for the content they host", you have to support your point with evidence and citations. I can support mine that people don't give a crap about social responsibility by showing Facebook usage figures.
As for taking responsibility for my website's content, you're right: I don't take any responsibility, since I do not have a personal site (other than a Facebook profile, but that's debatable if it's "personal" as in "my own").

Re:Good. (2)

Bengie (1121981) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893153)

Social web sites are a communication medium. Are you saying that the phone company is responsible for hate speech going over its lines? Are you saying ISPs are responsible for illegal communications over its lines? Are you saying that US citizens are responsible for people using their voices to say hateful things through the air because air is publicly owned?

What if I say "I don't like politicians" and the company is so scared about "hate speech" that they remove my post out of fear to get fined. Suddenly a private company is behind held responsible to not only enforce removing hate speech, but defining what hate speech is as they must be conservative to make sure they don't lose any more money.

The government has indirectly removed my right to free speech by aggressively enforcing vague rules.

The phone company isn't in on the conversation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893291)

If you make comments from your company's official letterhead, is your company responsible for your words?

YES.

Re:The phone company isn't in on the conversation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893333)

And if you put up a message board on the side of your building for the public to leave public comments on you're responsible when someone posts a swastika and you only check it twice a day?

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40894021)

Social web sites are a communication medium.

Actually, they're more of a publishing and advertising medium. You can use them for communication (ie sending private messages), but you can't compare hosting a public message on a social website to telephone communications. By that logic you could say television broadcasters are protected by the same common-carrier rules as telephone companies. That's just ridiculous.

Re:Good. (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40894329)

Entitlement?. How the hell am I feeling entitled to anything? Am I asking for something for free?

Re:Good. (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893325)

But how quickly does that responsibility start? Is the site liable as soon as something is posted, or is there a 'reasonable' period in which they have to remove it if it's found to be objectionable? Should a site be punished for taking a few hours for removing a post?

Re:Good. (2)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893627)

You are a complete and total asshole. It would be right and proper for Slashdot to you release any information they have on you in order to allow us to hunt you down and torture you, your cats and your hamster.

There. Go sue Slashdot for allowing such an abusive an incite-full comment.

Re:Good. (1)

bhagwad (1426855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40894323)

There's no such thing as legal "social responsibility". Just because you wish it doesn't make it so. There's no "society". We're just a bunch of individuals living together. That's it.

Graffiti (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893869)

If I write a slur on your building, or your cardboard box, you're responsible for it! LOL!

Re:Good. (4, Funny)

bug1 (96678) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892793)

"In the same vein, should the local government, the builder company and the maker of a cardboard box be responsible for anything I shout while standing on said box on a street corner?"

Whilst lying on the ground as a result of trying to stand on the cardbox box, will you think someone other than yourself responsible for your fall ?

Re:Good. (2)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892977)

I see it as more like a drinking establishment getting shut down due to what the clients are doing.
That doesn't mean I think it's fair, just that I think that's how the legal system sees it.

Re:Good. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893037)

I see it as more like a drinking establishment getting shut down due to what the clients are doing.
That doesn't mean I think it's fair, just that I think that's how the legal system sees it.

No. It's more like shutting down a sports stadium and prosecuting the owners for hate crimes because one fan got pissed off and called one of the players a nigger, then got kicked out by security.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893259)

has happend many time before; clubs/stadiums getting fined, playing on neutral ground, playing for empty stands, points deducted for not controlling their fans

Re:Good. (1)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40894045)

This is exactly what happened in the most recent Eurocup. National football associations were fined for the behavior (hate speech) of their fans.

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893877)

I think it's more like a drinking establishment getting shut down due to what some delinquent teenager spray paints on the front of their building. At least the bar would have an option to stop and prevent entry to troublemakers before hand. With Facebook particularly, there is no way to prevent someone from 'liking' and posting on a business wall until they have done something that lets you determine they are troublemakers, which is after-the-fact.

If Facebook were to add a 'poster quality' feature by which business sites can add some sort of 'troll rating' to a person and use that to predetermine if they can just like and comment willy-nilly, then it could be more fair. That's totally just going to be abused and gamed somehow, though.

But I digress, it is the responsibility of the prosecuting agency to manage what is and isn't objectionable content, not that of the people who are the victims of said content.

Re:Good. (2)

jpapon (1877296) | more than 2 years ago | (#40894111)

If I host a message board, I am responsible for policing its content. I must at least show that I have made a reasonable effort to ensure that illegal content isn't being posted. What constitutes a reasonable effort will vary by jurisdiction and court-room.

If people are coordinating criminal activity on my message board, you can be damned sure the police are going to be mighty interested in talking to me.

Re:Good .... but what's the right analogy (1)

miketheanimal (914328) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893131)

Alternatively, suppose I run a company newsletter, which is posted out, and includes customer commends, and someone submits a comment "ThunderBird89 is a dirty paedo, go torch his house with him in it". Could I reasonably claim that I have no responsibility? BTW, this isn't a rhetorical question - the whole area is horribly complicated.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893653)

You missed the main point above, the word "profit", its evil on this site even though the jerk offs on here get paid (if they have a job) based on profits. So basically the idiot tried to cover their bias of profits by adding more content, but basically its all about a company making evil profits and being punished anyway possible.

Slash dot really has a lot of bigoted idiots.

Re:Good. (4, Interesting)

Eyeball97 (816684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892789)

I am an advocate of organisations having a degree of responsibility for anything they intend to profit from - so I think Facebook should be party responsible for everything posted on Facebook, and organisations with Facebook pages should be partly responsible for anything posted on their pages.

What kind of twisted reasoning could possibly lead you to that conclusion?

I disagree wholeheartedly but I'm open minded enough to argue WHY you think anyone should be responsible for someone else's comments.

By your logic, Slashdot is (partly?) responsible for THIS comment? And yours? Where do you draw the line? Why should the fact that Slashdot (presumably) makes one off running the site make a difference, why the distinction whether it's for-profit or non-profit?

Re:Good. (1)

Eyeball97 (816684) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892799)

"makes MONEY" I don't know what happened to the m and the y, keyboard fart.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893063)

Obviously the companies that profited from the cooper wires that were responsible for delivering facebook comments are liable. Excuse me, there's a kangaroo in my backyard that I need to choke with some copper wire.

Where to draw the line (2)

Kergan (780543) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893477)

By your logic, Slashdot is (partly?) responsible for THIS comment? And yours? Where do you draw the line? Why should the fact that Slashdot (presumably) makes one off running the site make a difference, why the distinction whether it's for-profit or non-profit?

Can't speak for the OP, but I like the way the line is drawn in Franch law.

Websites are responsible for what gets published on them. Much like written print publications, they're expected to excercise editorial control. They distinguish between pre- vs post- moderation, however. If you pre-moderate comments, your ass is on the line -- always, and in full. If you post-moderate comments, your ass is on the line too, but the law is such that the author becomes responsible if you can identify him and proactively remove the offending material.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893567)

Hmm, well i kinda identify Slashdot like a park, while those facebook company profiles are like shop frontage.

Re:Good. (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892845)

pre-censorship of the comments?

fuck you.

Re:Good. (1, Insightful)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893079)

"Your comment has been held for moderation". There, see, that wasn't so hard now was it? If they are going to delete offensive comments every 12 hours, why not instead approve the non-offensive ones every 12 hours?

Re:Good. (3, Insightful)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893223)

Because that way everyone has to wait 12 hours to post a comment, rendering realtime conversation impossible, and facebook have to run a (maybe impossibly) massive moderation team to process every single post, whereas the other way they have a much smaller team that just responds to complaints/flags from other users.

Re:Good. (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893791)

Not to mention that (in the US at least... and yes I know the article is talking about Australia) the "moderate first before posting" system would open them up to *MORE* liability. If Facebook just posts a comment that someone makes, gives tools to report inappropriate comments, and responds to these reports in a timely fashion (say, 1 business day), then they can claim they aren't responsible for what people say and they do their best to keep the inappropriate stuff offline. If they moderate first, though, then if anything slips through (and something *WILL* slip through) they are the ones who approved that comment. Alternatively, they might kill perfectly valid comments "just in case" and be accused of censorship. (Perhaps not something with legal repercussions, but people don't tend to like being censored.)

Re:Good. (2)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893911)

Does slashdot do that? I have posted some pretty objectionable stuff in my days here, and I have never once seen that.

Regardless, it is not the same thing to have an automatic filter. I can eloquently phrase and word in prose a threat to dismember you violently, using a rather dull cutting instrument, and a filter wouldn't remotely pick up on it. Expecting everyone with a facebook page to sit there and sift through their viewers' comments for things which random people may or may not find offensive is a ridiculous proposition.

Re:Good. (2)

Dr. Evil (3501) | more than 2 years ago | (#40894541)

This comment has been held for moderation

Re:Good. (2)

KingMotley (944240) | more than 2 years ago | (#40894593)

I don't know. I'm totally with you on that one. It's also illegal to shout fire in a crowded theater, so we should pass a law that every movie goer needs to put on a special mask that has a microphone attached, with noise cancellation technology. Then stream whatever the user says over WIFI over to a network to a crack team of censorship specialists in the backroom of the theater (and the NSA) who will then approve or deny what was said with 12 hours. If it gets approved, then it can be went back wirelessly and played through a corresponding speaker.

It's important to save us and should be inacted immediately. Maybe we should just implement that across the board and stop all offensive content.

Next up: variably transparent clothing to prevent nudity in improper places!

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892921)

"The laws of Western countries are very much set up to capitalise profit and socialise losses."

This is extremist hyperbole. If you added up all the losses of corporations for the last 100 years the percentage of them that were "socialised" would probably be a miniscule fraction.

Re:Good. (1)

biodata (1981610) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893359)

Citation needed. I say the opposite - the losses that have been socialised in the past few yeas (trillions) likely dwarf the losses that have been privatised over the last 100 years. Which of us is right?

socialized loss (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893501)

but growing

Re:Good. (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893067)

I am an advocate of organisations having a degree of responsibility for anything they intend to profit from

- sure, that's fine, that's what liability is about, your business should be responsible for what it does and how it does it, and the business is responsible.

The business is responsible to the customers first, it's responsible to the owners, shareholders, whoever the investors are.

However it's NOT what this ruling is about. This is not about a business having to be responsible for WHAT IT DOES. This is NOT what the business does.

Anybody, a client or not a client of a business can come and post a comment. Anybody, a client or not can come to a store front and write shit on the doors and windows and the walls.

IF the writings on the wall are such, that they prevent CLIENTS from coming into the store, if it hurts the bottom line, then the business knows that it is held responsible for not cleaning up the mess that somebody else left.

However this does not meant that the government (or whatever ruling body in this case) should be walking street to street, store front to store front and looking for 'offensive' writing and images (offensive in quotes, because what is offensive to one person in one case is not something somebody else cares about).

This is a way to shut down business that has no resource at the moment (or at all maybe) to clean up writings on the wall, but this does not mean that the business is bad. Maybe it is very efficient and that's how it provides lowest prices and best choices and people disregard the writing on the wall and they shop there because to them low prices are important.

So the business IS responsible to the clients and the clients can easily stop going there. Isn't it what 'Chick-fil-a' controversy is about - it IS being held responsible BY THE CLIENTS who may not go there again, and in that case it was the president of the company I think who made remarks, and it's a franchise, so he hurt independent owners of the restaurant.

So the company is being held responsible by the discriminating clients, and what more do you want? Do you really want mayors of cities to stop the restaurants from being opened?

What do you want, to throw the guy in jail for his opinions? He just may cost himself untold amounts of money by being a dumb ass, isn't that a PERFECT EXAMPLE of FREE MARKET REGULATIONS?

Isn't this a much more serious regulation than a government could ever impose on a company?

So you want responsibility, that's fine, why do you want government to decide on what is 'right' and what is 'wrong'? You don't think the people themselves can decide and held others responsible?

Re:Good. (2)

grumbel (592662) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893305)

I am an advocate of organisations having a degree of responsibility for anything they intend to profit from

Thinking like this leads straight to cooperation enforced censorship, as companies like to avoid risk and thus stuff like the Anonymous Coward function you used to post this, would very likely be the first things to go. Easy account creation as well, so welcome Facebook login everywhere. That's not even theoretically speaking, over here in Germany we have tons of shitty rules like this, one of the results of that is that free anonymous Wifi essentially does not exist over here, because it's simply to risky to offer it.

Re:Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893641)

Cheers, mate! Here's to the new dark age. Enjoy your politically correct utopia.

You don't hold a person responsible for what another does, much less what he says. Or maybe you just don't believe in free will.

Re:Good. (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893815)

Right? Why should police and people whose job it is to locate and remove dangerous or threatening content actually have to work? It's totally a better situation for them to just make a law that says everyone has to police themselves, and then just collect their paycheck anyway.

Saying people should be responsible for things other people post on their third-party internet services is like saying you should arrest a building owner for vandalism when someone tags his store sign.

Whaaa (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892743)

"The Australian reports" only if you define the term very loosely.

Good on them (1)

shione (666388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892763)

I am an Aussie and I am glad if this will get these companies off facebook and run their own services. I am sick and tired of companies blackmailing their customers for a "like" to get their advertising.

Re:Good on them (3, Insightful)

million_monkeys (2480792) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892883)

I am an Aussie and I am glad if this will get these companies off facebook and run their own services. I am sick and tired of companies blackmailing their customers for a "like" to get their advertising.

Well now you've got a way to blackmail them back. If they force you to 'like' their page, just hop over and post a comment describing how their product is the perfect way to give people the energy needed to oppress minorities (or whatever it is that will get them in trouble). Then file a complaint with the appropriate government agency. Be sure to send a note to the company letting them know that you'll stop if they stop.

Re:Good on them (3, Insightful)

sg_oneill (159032) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892903)

What you think "opressing minorities" would be considered a negative in australia. Boy do you have some things to learn about this messed up country.....

Re:Good on them (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893561)

What, you really consider implementing US-style public schools up there? Oh, minorities, not minors... my bad.

Re:Good on them (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893929)

Hey, Jack, we're from the US. Nothing surprises us when it comes to governments belittling and oppressing their own citizens.

Re:Good on them (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892899)

Fair enough you don't like it, but is that really something one should wield government to deal with?

Re:Good on them (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892951)

Why should they be less liable on their own services? If companies are responsible for comments posted on their Facebook page, I don't see why they shouldn't also be responsible for comments posted on their blog.

Re:Good on them (1)

MacGyver2210 (1053110) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893953)

I know! They should also completely be responsible for the content of any pages that use images of them, or by them, and for all Yelp reviews of their business, and for any threats they may receive in the mail, as that is also a public-facing service....

Don't be stupid. They can't control what some asshole is going to post on their page. It's not their job to police their comments, even if they're hateful. They probably want to, just to preserve their image, but it doesn't need to be a legal matter(aside from maybe sicking authorities on the poster).

Re:Good on them (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892983)

I'm one of those sheep that joined up to Facebook in the first place just to get a discount on a phone. Personally I think that stuff is the least of many problems with Facebook which is one reason I haven't logged onto it this year.

Re:Good on them (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893655)

You've been blackmailed by a corporation? You are a sad little man. Maybe 'boy' would be more accurate?

Seriously. How does anyone blackmail you into giving them a 'like' on a social media website?

Re:Good on them (1)

PlusFiveTroll (754249) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893821)

--Seriously. How does anyone blackmail you into giving them a 'like' on a social media website?

They hacked his private photos and told him they'd release them to all his friends if he didn't like them.

Humour (4, Informative)

quenda (644621) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892765)

Apparently the humour of some posts has gone right over the heads of the Advertising Standards Bureau.
You see, the VB brand has a bit of a bogan image, ie redneck, lower socioeconomic. So when the posters mentioned sluts and poofs, they are not mocking women and homosexuals, but the brand and the stereotypical people perceived to drink it.

Re:Humour (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892941)

Apparently the humour of some posts has gone right over the heads of the Advertising Standards Bureau.
You see, the VB brand has a bit of a bogan image, ie redneck, lower socioeconomic. So when the posters mentioned sluts and poofs, they are not mocking women and homosexuals, but the brand and the stereotypical people perceived to drink it.

(Slurs and poofs)= rednecks?

Did you know (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892783)

Graham Smith of Chelmsford is a homosexual

Then again... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892805)

This is the same country that holds the owner of a shopping centre liable if someone slips on a chip, and the area isn't cleaned every 20mins.

http://www.manningrivertimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/the-case-against-woolworths/2482031.aspx

tabloid headline (1)

Eth1csGrad1ent (1175557) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892831)

Try "Australian Ads Body Rules Companies Responsible For Own Facebook Content"

Free Speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892855)

When and in who's universe can anyone be responsible for anyone elses mindless rantings?

Oh sorry, welcome to the Orwellian Collective. It's quite sick, in fact not Quite, Very!

Hang onto your guns, independance and freedoms, Yanks, you may be the only hope, after the next election of course!

Nick from Oz.

P.S. Get your productivity sorted and debt, the world cannot afford a weak USA!

If you're an employee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893331)

then the company is responsible for what you say as an employee.

Terrible, just awful (4, Insightful)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892857)

This is just the worst that comes out of courtrooms.

Think about it - you start a business, it doesn't even have to be big or anything, maybe you are giving advice, maybe you are selling toy airplanes, hell, maybe you are giving away toy airplanes (I don't know why I chose airplanes here), and somebody posts comments on your forum that are 'derogatory'.

Well those comments just may be derogatory, but how can the person hosting the forum be held responsible for derogatory comments made by other people?

What about /.? It's a business, after all, people are getting paid to run it, there are ads here (I think), so what would happen if /. was held personally responsible for all the derogatory shit that people spill here?

"Fuck nigger cocksucker dyke blow me." - so somebody leaves comments like that or whatever on a forum and all of a sudden a person or a business hosting it is responsible and is liable to all sorts of lawsuits.

THAT stifles innovation. THAT prevents innovative people from starting businesses that rely on new ideas how to promote their business, it sure HELPS the monopolies (and that's how monopolies are created - with government interference in the market in the first place, and this IS government interference with the market, and this will prevent innovation and stifle competition and help monopolies).

ALL basic freedoms are important to have a vibrant economy, freedom of speech, association, private property ownership, speedy trial, not being thrown in jail without a trial, not being harassed by the government, etc.

Take one of those freedoms out and you stop the economy from innovating, and this is important. Think about the Mars mission with Curiosity. Is it important to have a vibrant economy to be able to freaking afford a mission like that? Is Zimbabwe running a mission like that?

Re:Terrible, just awful (2)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893101)

The ruling was by the ADVERTISING STANDARDS COUNCIL. They have NO jurisdiction over normal websites. The facebook pages they are talking about were being used AS advertisements.

Re:Terrible, just awful (2)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893129)

So what?
First: what's a 'normal' website? How is posting ads on /. different from FB or anywhere else where people can leave comments?

Second: what's 'advertising'? How about you mention your product or service on /. (in Australia) and then what, why would it be different? If this is specifically about FB, then it's camel's nose under the tent, gov't just needs one instance of regulation that covers something specific and then it expands it to everything. Aren't we all 'terrorists' and guilty by some gov't definition already?

Third: this is it [accc.gov.au] - why is this branch of government now forcing moderation of people's comments on websites?

Re:Terrible, just awful (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893163)

By the way, here is an ABC report on the shootings in a Sikh temple, read the comments [go.com] .

Half of the comments there could be considered 'derogatory' if not worse, one way or another. This is a news site, so it is one huge advertising vehicle for the news channel, isn't it?

So with this new law in Australia would the news sites be eventually liable for the comments that people leave? You think not? Isn't it getting very political, very fast? How about dissent, can't dissenting opinion be considered 'derogatory' to people in power? You don't think so?

Re:Terrible, just awful (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893197)

I think using the term "skinhead" in the article itself should get them in trouble before the regulators even scroll down the comments section...

Re:Terrible, just awful (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893241)

Why? They maybe absolutely wrong and not doing the reporting the 'right' way, maybe they are not even a news site, maybe they are just another 'yellow tabloid', masquerading as a news site, but why should they be in trouble with regulators? Why should there be regulators above them, not their audience, not their clients and investors, but government regulators?

Really, you think government is what is needed to regulate business behaviour? ABC is only catering to its audience, whatever their niche is, if the people are offended they can stop reading, stop watching and that business will wither and die.

But maybe there is a huge number of people who watch Jersey Shore for entertainment and go to ABC for news. Why should they be regulated by the government? When is it ever a good idea to have government power regulating the business and not its clients and investors and basically market - money? Profit is the best regulator, if they stop making profit they'll change or die.

Re:Terrible, just awful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893213)

There was no court case. The ASB is a non-government organisation. This is self-regulation, not government censorship. This is not government interference with the free-market as you have said, it is the free market providing a solution to a problem they have encountered all without government intervention. And in light of this, your post makes absolutely no sense.

Re:Terrible, just awful (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893283)

The ASB is a non-government organisation.

- well, you can call it what you want, but here it is [accc.gov.au] . accc.GOV.au It doesn't matter if they are 'self-regulation' or whatever kind of regulation, it's about licensing and regulations and it's backed by the government legislation. This is not free-market solution at all, with a free market solution people wouldn't be forced into any such 'self-governing' bodies.

FINRA is another so called 'self-governing body' in USA, but try and become a broker or an investment advisor, you are immediately under their governance, you can't get your licensing without being governed by them, and if you want to run a business helping people to invest, you can't do it without getting those types of licenses.

So you can call it 'self-regulation' all you like, but people can't do business legally without being regulated by these organisations, and these organisations have power of government legislation behind them.

Re:Terrible, just awful (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893253)

The ruling is a bit more subtle than that.

The Facebook pages in question are adverts. They are there to sell more beer. In your example a forum is not an advert so reactively moderating it should be fine. But these guys are using their Facebook page for promotion so it falls under advertising rules, and it sounds like they need to be approving posts before they appear on the page.

Advertising is generally not considered free speech and is not protected in the same way. In fact it is often strongly regulated to prevent companies lying or misleading consumers, or in this case offending them in the pursuit of profit. Not saying I entirely agree, but comparisons with sites like Slashdot are flawed.

Re:Terrible, just awful (1)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893293)

Yeah, well I also compared it to a news site [slashdot.org] , ABC in this case, where they are running a story about Sikh temple shooting, read the comments, there are all sorts of things there that can be classified as 'derogatory' etc. [go.com] Should ABC be forced to moderate the forum and should a government legislation exist to make ABC news specifically liable for what people post there? How much time before 'derogatory' means you talking smack about Obama or Bush or Romney or any political event, etc?

There are countries where you can be thrown to jail for a very very long and unpleasant time for leaving 'derogatory' comments about people in power.

The problem is where does this end (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892907)

The problem is where does this end? What about forums like slashdot? What about grafitti on a building - where cleaning twice a day would be almost unheard of

Does the ASB have facebook? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40892911)

No reason, just curious...

Funny thing about two-way conversations... (1)

klingers48 (968406) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892933)

'You simply can no longer have two-way conversations with your customers.'" Idiot bogans aside, the truth of it really is that these companies don't like what the customer on the other end of the conversation is now able to say to them.

Re:Funny thing about two-way conversations... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893165)

'You simply can no longer have two-way conversations with your customers.'"
Idiot bogans aside, the truth of it really is that these companies don't like what the customer on the other end of the conversation is now able to say to them.

There's some justice in what you're saying... they should work harder and make the customers so happy that nobody would even dream of posting derogatory comments. Until then, they must be held responsible.
Is that your point?

(I don't like VB either)

New proof... (1)

MitchDev (2526834) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892947)

that Australia is still just a big dumb penal colony? (at least its "leaders". Getting as bad as the US)

Re:New proof... (4, Informative)

dbIII (701233) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892993)

It's funny how you smug insulting Americans know so little of your own history. Australia only became a penal colony because England could no longer use America for that purpose.

Re:New proof... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893277)

Hey, we are proud of the fact that we were founded by religious fanatics and criminals. How else do you think we got to be as nutty as we are? Just look at the gene pool we had to work with...

Re:New proof... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893169)

The only things that you can do to annoy Australians so much that they won't stop saying bad things to you and about you--is to talk about their country, history, or sports teams.

Re:New proof... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893205)

that Australia is still just a big dumb penal colony? (at least its "leaders". Getting as bad as the US)

No longer penal and no longer colony. Otherwise... spot on.

(ducks)

Public vs. Private (1)

jamesl (106902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40892953)

You simply can no longer have two-way conversations with your customers.

You simply can no longer have public two-way conversations with your customers.

Re:Public vs. Private (1)

Mirvnillith (578191) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893045)

You simply can no longer have two-way conversations with your customers.

You simply can no longer have public two-way conversations with your customers.

You simply can not have public two-way conversations with your customers (i.e. it's not that they have gotten worse, it's just that they haven't been this public before).

Re:Public vs. Private (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893221)

You simply can no longer have two-way conversations with your customers.

You simply can no longer have public two-way conversations with your customers.

You simply can not have public two-way conversations with your customers (i.e. it's not that they have gotten worse, it's just that they haven't been this public before).

"You simply cannot" would be just enough.

At least that's what ASB and other such govts agencies tell us everyday.

Re:Public vs. Private (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893187)

Don't give them such a hard time. They probably grew up in Generation N (for Narcissism) where there is no such thing as anything in private.

Something similar on Twitter (2)

Sooner Boomer (96864) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893013)

People are using the anonymous cover of Twitter to hide behind and post abusive and hateful, even threatening messages. This was highlighted last week by the arrest of a young man in England who posted about Olympic diver Tom Daley. There are increasingly louder calls for Twitter to censor the messages. Excellent article examining recent problem related to the Olympics; http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/pressure-grows-on-twitter-to-curb-abusive-trolls-8007756.html [independent.co.uk]

Re:Something similar on Twitter (0)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893035)

Perhaps Twitter should just ignore the calls for censorship much like people should probably just ignore the trolls.

Re:Something similar on Twitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893175)

Oh too bad, Twitter is ruined. But wait, it has never had much value even at its best.

Re:Something similar on Twitter (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893391)

Oh yes, I'm glad that dangerous criminal was apprehended. He said something mean about somebody important, we can't let that stand. Now let's see them apply that law to all everyone else who gets offended on the internet, and see how fast the system gets choked up.

Re:Something similar on Twitter (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893397)

FTFY:
"People are using the anonymous cover of pen and paper to hide behind and post abusive and hateful, even threatening messages. "

Big Deal (1)

zblack_eagle (971870) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893043)

Advertising Standards Bureau [adstandards.com.au] :

The Advertising Standards Bureau administers a national system of advertising self-regulation through the Advertising Standards Board and the Advertising Claims Board. The self-regulation system recognises that advertisers share a common interest in promoting consumer confidence in and respect for general standards of advertising.

Self regulation, eh? So the whole decision is effectively meaningless anyway. And if the Australian advertising world at large decides that it's a load of bollocks, then chances are the ASB will change its tune anyway. With it being pretty insane to label public comment on an "open" forum advertising

Re:Big Deal (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893179)

With it being pretty insane to label public comment on an "open" forum advertising

Hmmm.... yes, the C&UB opened their FB page just for the purpose of, you know, social networking... I guess they were feeling lonely and bored and decided to make some friends and have a way to show their mothers how the grandchildren grow.

Australian Rules Facebook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893297)

Did anyone else read the headline as "Australian Rules Facebook"?

Sure, ya pansies have your Facebook with your "likes" and "pokes." In Australian Rules Facebook if we're fond of ya we stick crocs in your underwear drawer. Don't ask what we do when we DON'T like ya!"

Re:Australian Rules Facebook? (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893643)

No, you didn't get it right - it's about some important Australian, who rules over the whole Facebook. I've always knew that MZ was only a cover-up!

ASB trying to scare their customers off Facebook? (2)

CuteSteveJobs (1343851) | more than 2 years ago | (#40893323)

What's strange about this is that the ASB are a self-regulated *COUGH* *COUGH* group from the advertisers which are infamous for dismissing complaints by the public. The scuttlebutt with self-regulation of advertisers, medical professionals, lawyers, anybody, is the hope that if you pretend to do the job yourself the government won't do it for you. Their investigations inevitably end with: "Further finding that the advertisement did not breach the Code on any other grounds, the Board dismissed the complaint."

But don't take my word for it. Their determinations are online here:
http://www.adstandards.com.au/casereports/determinations/standards?browse [adstandards.com.au]

There have been many stories published accusing the ASB of being biased towards advertisers:
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-04-29/advertisers-blamed-for-increasing-child/2701322 [abc.net.au]
http://vimeo.com/2788853 [vimeo.com]
http://mumbrella.com.au/asb-investigates-lynx-dry-ads-featuring-women-who-look-hot-wet-27383 [mumbrella.com.au]
http://www.abc.net.au/cgi-bin/common/printfriendly.pl?http://www.abc.net.au/pm/content/2008/s2287201.htm [abc.net.au]
http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3029145.htm [abc.net.au]
http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s2598826.htm [abc.net.au]
https://www.google.com/search?q= [google.com] "media+watch"+"advertising+standards"&site:abc.net.au

The crazy thing is the standards are voluntary so there is no penalty even if they do catch you out. Here they did catch Subway for passing off manufactured meat as fillet, but the penalty was, ummm... nothing. Subway said they would change the menus. That was it. (This article says it could be referred to the ACCC, but they are a statutory body and can do that anyway without the ASB. You can complain directly to the ACCC anyway. The ASB has the same legal status that you and your footie mates head out to a game.) http://www.ausfoodnews.com.au/2012/06/27/food-companies-asked-to-apply-for-government-money-2.html [ausfoodnews.com.au]

Advertisers take advantage of the weak penalties by doing such bad taste ads they're bound to get reported and get a 6:30PM news story asking "Has XYZ gone too far with this sexy ad? stay tuned and we'll show you after the break." Most infamous was the blow jobs for shoes ads: http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/240602_s4.htm [abc.net.au]

So why on Earth has the ASB come down hard on Facebook? For a fervently pro-advertiser organisation this is quite weird. I doubt it's because they're suddenly "siding with the consumer". I think there is something more going on here. Perhaps it's because advertisers hate losing ad revenue while firms start advertising directly on the Internet? Perhaps this is an chance to scare wayward customers back into their arms?

And there is the punchline: The ASB has no power anyway, so despite the buzz this news story has created Carlton Breweries can flip them the bird and keep using Facebook. Must suck when Self-regulation comes back to bite you, eh, ASB? ;-)

ho80 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40893373)

and exciTing; the wind 4ppeared posts. Therefore
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