Founders of racist Facebook groups and Facebook itself have been put on notice by the Federal Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, this week, with the government discussing new legislation and procedures to combat their particular brand of hate speech.
When asked by a press gallery journalist today about how the Racial Discrimination Act would affect Facebook groups that preach hate against other ethnic groups, Attorney General Dreyfus said that there were mechanisms in place to stamp them out.
[When talking about] hate speech appearing on Facebook or elsewhere on the net, the Racial Discrimination Act provides a complaints procedure. Section 18c of the Act — the section that the Liberal and National parties want to repeal, which i think is disgraceful — is the section which protects against that kind of hate speech.
Anyone concerned about [hate speech] on the net should raise their complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission. That process starts informally but ultimately it can lead up to the Federal Court of Australia, and that's reserved for serious cases, some of which have been brought over to our attention over the last 18 months.
We want to send a clear message in Australia that there is no place for this kind of hate speech.
Hate speech, be warned.
Have you come across a racist Facebook group? How did you deal with the issue?