30 Apr 2019

Complaints about 'harmful' posts on Kiwi-run Facebook page

7:46 pm on 30 April 2019

Netsafe has received several complaints about a Facebook page administered by New Zealanders which encourages followers to livestream themselves.

No caption

Photo: 123RF

The page, administered by New Zealanders, has more than 16,000 followers.

But many say they have seen extremely harmful content on it - including physical abuse, drink-driving, and parents giving alcohol to their young children.

Netsafe has received several complaints about the page.

Chief executive Martin Cocker said it was yet another example of how harmful the live streaming service on Facebook can be.

"If you are promoting irresponsible alcohol culture then that is harmful," he said.

"It's yet another use of live-streaming services that is not positive."

An average of 10 livestreams are posted there a day, and on weekends its much more.

One Facebook user told RNZ he found the page through a friend, and said what he saw there shocked him.

"I just started to see all this crazy stuff. Underage kids were drinking on school days, people driving drunk and just the same people every day on there drinking and then I just started seeing kids on there in the background while their parents were going live."

"There was a mother who was giving her kid, who was about two... a sip of her 7 percent can of vodka."

Mr Royce is calling on Facebook to take some responsibility for the harmful content it hosts on its site.

"The funny thing is that when you play music on a live they jump on you straight away if it's copyright, and they'll shut your live down," he said.

"Yet people can go on there and drink and drive and abuse their kids. I really do think Facebook needs to start monitoring all this sort of stuff."

The government has urged Facebook to regulate the livestreaming of videos on its site after a gunman filmed 17 minutes of the Christchurch terror attacks.

Another Facebook user told RNZ the harmful content on the page was often not taken down by the admins.

"The domestic violence that were starting to come up, they were starting to get shared more than anything else on the page.

"The people who admin that page... to get a few extra likes seems to be all they're worried about."

He said police needed to get involved.

"I really do think they should at least monitor it in some cases. It gets shared fairly quickly. It's not like they try and hide these videos.

Police wouldn't say if the page is on their radar.

But they urge anyone with concerns about possible illegal activity to let them know.