OMSA and Whale Oil anti Muslim posts

Whale Oil has run a series of posts over the past months attacking and criticising ISIS and Muslims and refugees from the Middle East etc.

And they are also a member of the Online Media Standards Authority.

A post by Cameron Slater suggesting generally,ambiguously to “The only solution is to kill them before the kill us” – see Slater: “The only solution is to kill them…” – has kicked up a fuss on social media which led to Action Station starting a petition to the Human Rights Commission and promoting “Stand Up To Bullies and Hate Speech”.

Naturesong posted this comment at The Standard (and repeated here)

I am not accusing anyone of bullying.
I am not suggesting that hate speech laws or in fact any using any legal means to silence him or his blog.

The point I’ve obviously not articulated well enough, is that the blog WO is a member of OMSA.
As a member the blog agrees to a minimum set of standards.
I’m suggesting that the blog be held to them.

It’s a personal responsibility argument.

Also:

The Online Media Standards Authority is the self-regulatory body of which WO blog is a member.

Which is correct and brings up a good point.

Whale Oil is listed as a member of OMSA here.

And OMSA has a Code of Standards (for Online News and Current Affairs Content):

Introduction

The objective of the Code is to set out agreed standards for the publication of news and current affairs content published on the websites of OMSA members.

Freedom of speech and social responsibility underpin this Code the application of which operates within the principles of Natural Justice.

The Code operates in an online context – its application will always take account of the nature of the internet, which provides a forum for free speech, robust debate, multiplicity of views and user control.

It’s good to see freedom of speech rated as important, along with the balance of social responsibility.

Under Part C – Social Responsibilities:

Standard 5 Responsible content

Publishers should ensure news and current affairs content:

  • is responsible;
  • is not presented in such a way as to cause panic, or unwarranted alarm or undue distress; and
  • does not deceive.

It’s debatable whether the Whale Oil post complies with those points.

Under Guidelines: 5d. Where sponsorship, gift or financial inducement is received for content published it should be declared. – this is something Whale Oil may (or may not) breach but it may be difficult to prove. But this is a different issue.

Standard 6 Discrimination and Denigration

Publishers of news and current affairs content should not encourage discrimination against, or denigration of, any section of the New Zealand community on account of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, occupational status, or as a consequence of legitimate expression of religion, culture or political belief.

Guideline

6a. This standard is not intended to prevent the publication of material that is:

  • factual, or
  • the expression of genuinely held opinion, or
  • the reporting of legitimate humour, drama or satire.

Slater’s comment “The only solution is to kill them before the kill us” is presented more as fact than opinion although it is presumably an opinion.

It’s not humour, drama or satire.

But it’s possible a case could be made that Whale Oil, either through this one post or through a series of posts because they may “encourage discrimination against, or denigration of, any section of the New Zealand community on account of gender, sexual orientation, race, age, disability, occupational status, or as a consequence of legitimate expression of religion, culture or political belief”.

If you think it’s worth complaining here’s the OMSA Complaint Form which states:

Any person or an organisation within New Zealand can complain about any news and current affairs material published online by our members, which they consider breaches the Code of Standards.

A complaint must be lodged within 14 days of the content first being posted on the publisher’s website.

Seems like a more appropriate approach then the petition to the Human Rights Commission, if anyone thought that Slater’s post or posts that promote anti-Muslim feelings justified it.

Leave a comment

14 Comments

  1. Mike C

     /  31st October 2015

    @George

    “If you think it’s worth complaining … here’s the OMSA Complaint Form”

    Slater&Co are gonna love you. LOL.

    Reply
    • Sponge

       /  31st October 2015

      I am not a fan of encouraging people to complain about being offended and I certainly don’t like people giving advice on how to do so. That said, I feel that the post on WOBH was just another attempt to gain attention and they will be revelling in the outrage that has been generated from it.

      Reply
  2. Robby

     /  31st October 2015

    Having had a bit of time to think about it, I find myself wondering if the WO post in question was deliberately inflammatory. Some say that “Any publicity is good publicity”…. If his intention was to get more visits to the site, I suspect he has achieved his goal.

    Reply
    • Kevin

       /  31st October 2015

      To paraphrase Jello Biafra sometimes you have to use a bit of shock to get people to listen.

      Reply
      • Sponge

         /  31st October 2015

        True Kevin. Jello did some great stuff with the great Mojo Nixon too. I suspect that a few Mojo tracks would send the likes of the Bradbury fool totally off the deep end.

        Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  31st October 2015

      I don’t believe that any publicity is good publicity; businesses have closed because of adverse publicity.

      Reply
  3. Kevin

     /  31st October 2015

    Given the context and given time to think about it it’s clear “them” refers to Muslim extremists – i.e. in the context of the post those extremists who would brainwash their kids to kill.

    Reply
    • Robby

       /  31st October 2015

      Maybe Kevin, but when Cam used the term “We” in the statement in question, it appeared (to me anyway) that he was referring to himself and the reader. I seriously doubt he is planning on flying to the middle east in the near future to fight ISIL 😉

      Reply
      • Mike C

         /  31st October 2015

        @Robby

        Slater volunteering to fly over to the Middle East to fight ISIL 🙂

        He lasted about 30 seconds in the ring with Jesse Ryder … so how many seconds do you think Slater would last over there against them without being shot to death? LOL.

        Reply
        • kiwi_guy

           /  31st October 2015

          Slater was taking part in a boxing might charity fundraiser. Good on him, it was all good fun.

          You ever been in the boxing ring Mike C? – no, I didn’t think so.

          Reply
          • The bout should never have been allowed to take place. Slater was obviously so poorly equipped to handle it it was dangerous. It ended up just being embarrassing for Slater, but it could easily have been much worse. Slater was duped into thinking he was up to it, but the organisers were highly irresponsible allowing it to take place.

            Boxing between two competent fighters is bad enough, where the main intent is to inflict brain damage on their opponent.

            While I haven’t seen anything to suggest a relationship, Belt was taken on (or put on board) and Whale Oil started it’s slide soon afterwards.

            Reply
  4. unitedtribes2

     /  31st October 2015

    Im just really happy that whoever that politician was about 20 years ago decided we were part of Asia and now we have lots of very nice, productive, fitting in, helping out, assimilating.
    Asian people as part of our community. I was a bit worried then. But thank God now.

    Reply

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