Social media censorship of traditional moko images

Social media censorship of traditional moko images

Media reports censorship of moko images on Facebook and Instagram but some misunderstand which organisation can assist.

In one article by Māori Television it states that the Ministry of Culture and Heritage have been approached for comment and it states:

Te Kaea is awaiting a response from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage to see whether they will force these social media outlets to rethink their community guidelines.

This reiterates the need gap that online Māori have with no Māori representative cyber safety group or representative within NetSafe who can deal with specifically Māori and Indigenous issues such as the censorship of moko.

NetSafe are the government Approved Agency under the Harmful Digital Communications Act to manage and assist internet users with cases of online harassment and general cyber safety for all New Zealanders. They are proactive and do an amazing job and they have proven relationships with and influence with providers such as Facebook. I do recall asking for their assistance on this same topic several years ago.

Māori are disadvantaged with cyber safety for many reasons and no organisation has ever addressed the issue. It may be that a non affiliated government approved agency that has more flexibility to lobby and seek community support would be better to initiate a process and then to work with NetSafe.

The Ministry of Culture and Heritage do not have any authority to enforce a private conglomerate or company to change their community guidelines.

The most effective way to seek change from Facebook is to publicly lobby them for change. The famous Napalm photo was banned until public outcry lobbied Facebook successful for change and so did breast feeding mothers.

Facebook state in several posts that photos are mainly banned because of end user complaints. I suspect that there are still automated processes to pick up some images.


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