New Zealand Law Society - Online regulator finds Radio NZ material generated offensive comments

Online regulator finds Radio NZ material generated offensive comments

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The Online Media Standards Authority has upheld complaints about user-generated comments on Radio New Zealand's Checkpoint with John Campbell Facebook page.

The Authority is a self-regulatory body which handles complaints about news and current affairs published online by any of its members. Its seven-member Complaints Committee is chaired by retired Court of Appeal Judge Sir Bruce Robertson.

The complaint about the Facebook page, Lawrence and Others v Radio New Zealand (16/004) related to a news item shared on the page between 19 and 21 February 2016.

The item was a video interview with Prime Minister John Key and included the question: "Is it appropriate for John Key to wear the challenger flag when representing the country?".

The item resulted in a number of offensive comments. Radio New Zealand removed these and raised its Facebook "profanity filter" to help in automatic moderation.

The Complaints Committee has found that the steps taken by Radio New Zealand were not sufficiently timely, and it has upheld the complaints under Standard 5 of the OMSA Code of Practice. The publisher, Radio New Zealand, was found to have failed to ensure the content was responsible.