A Facebook page displaying racially abusive material about Indigenous people has been taken down, but Communications Minister Stephen Conroy wants more cooperation from Facebook.

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The Facebook page displaying racially abusive messages about Indigenous people was taken down, after a barrage of complaints.

SBS on Tuesday reported on the page, which contained posts with racially abusive “memes” about Indigenous people.

The page was temporarily removed, before re-appearing with the tag “controversial humour”.

The page was then removed at about 6:00pm AEST on Wednesday following a barrage of complaints to Facebook, the Australian Communications and Media Authority and the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Federal Communications Minister Stephen Conroy condemned the page and said his office was in conversation with Facebook.

“We don’t want to live by the same standards that Facebook does,” Mr Conroy said.

“Our views have been strongly made to Facebook in the US but at the end of the day it’s a US company operating under US law.”

He said in the past court orders had been ignored in the US so the key was obtaining “co-operation” from Facebook.

“We’ve had a lot of debate and discussion with Facebook. They’ve now finally employed an employee here in Australia. We’re in conversations with that employee,” Senator Conroy told the ABC last night.

Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Helen Szoke yesterday warned the page could be a breach of the Racial Discrimination Act.

“[The page] potentially does insult and offend, but it probably does more than that. I think the depiction of these images on Facebook actually moves more in to vilifying.”

OUTRAGE OVER ABORIGINAL MEMES

The page used internet jokes or “memes” to racially vilify Indigenous Australians, with text referencing colonialism and substance abuse placed against photos of Indigenous people without their consent.

SBS believes the site was created by a 16-year-old Perth boy. A post by the site’s moderator read “this page aint racism, its the truth, keep passin the petrol cuzzins”.

On Tuesday night the words “(Controversial Humour)” were added in an apparent attempt to comply with Facebook rules. The page gathered more than 4,000 “likes”.

Hundreds of users had expressed outrage over the content and reported it to Facebook.

One user, Mike Gurrieri, said he reported it to the social network via the “report” tab.

“I reported the page for hate speech against a race, and I think the page should be taken down immediately,” he said.

The social media site responded to complaints with the message: “After reviewing your report, we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.”

When contacted by SBS, Facebook responded with this email message on Wednesday:

“We have nothing to share at this time but will let you know if that changes,” Facebook spokesperson Mia Garlick replied.

Brisbane resident Jacinta O’Keefe started a change深圳桑拿, petition.

“It is an openly racist page that is encouraging hate towards Aboriginal people. I find it incredible that Facebook would refuse to remove this page,” says Jacinta.

ACMA INVESTIGATION

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) on Wednesday said it had launched an investigation into the page and the content was formally submitted to the Classification Board for classification.

“The ACMA is currently investigating specific URLs that contain the online content noted in the SBS story after receiving a complaint yesterday,” an ACMA spokesperson told SBS.

“The ACMA investigates online content upon receipt of valid complaints from Australian residents or a body corporate that carries on activities in Australia. Investigations are conducted using powers under schedule 7 of the Broadcasting Services Act 1992,” the statement said.