UrbanDictionary.com lables Maori as thieves, bludgers and liars

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TangataWhenua.com Eds: keep in mind that this is a publicly editable online resource, however the owners of the site have a policy that people can not publish demeaning or derogatory remarks, I guess they just don’t follow their own guidelines.

However, what is more worrisome is that several NZ companies, including Telecom, TSB, ASB, TradeMe use the Google Ad function, which displays their banners all over the internet, including on this page directly below one of these racist remarks, hmmm, maybe these companies should take a more proactive approach on where they advertise…

UPDATE: We’ve just spoken to TSB and let them know what is happening, they were very concerned and said they will look at putting UrbanDictionary.com on their black list of Google Ads (which means they won’t be spending any advertising dollars on their site). If you can, call any of the companies, whose banners are there and let them know what is happening.

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(Stuff.co.nz) Maori have been labelled as thieves, bludgers and liars in entries posted on an online dictionary, which a new petition is calling to have removed.

The petition urges urbandictionary.com to remove the derogatory comments, some which date back as far as 2005 and which more than 1000 people have supported.

The posts linked Maori to theft, exploitation and a low intelligence.

“Maori have been trying to seek revenge on the white man by selling him crappy tinny’s, taking his shoes, and generally stealing everything that isn’t nailed down,” one post reads.

One said Maori were the “dumbest people in New Zealand” and another post said they were “the tough people of New Zealand who smash up Pakeha folk”.

About 40 people have signed the petition, which reads: “The Urban Dictionary is a good reference of colloquial slang, but it is also a melting pot of ignorance.They are not definitions, they are racist views and should be labeled correctly.”

The petition urges the site to remove six posts. There are 32 posts on the word ‘Maori’ and many are positive, and are in response to the negative posts.

“The proud, indigenous people of New Zealand who unfortunately are the victims of the idiotic reasonings of many a misinformed Pakeha,” said one post.

“Maoris are hella cool people who are the pride and joy of new zealand. Through years of evolution they have gained super human powers,” another one said.

Some even criticised Pakehas, calling them “ugly”, “uneducated” and responsible for introducing “slutty woman packed with herpies and aids”.

But ‘Maori’ is not the only word to be linked to derogatory comments on the site.

‘Aboriginals’ have an “unbelievably bad personality”, Pakeha were Europeans who travelled from England “after deciding England was full of enough rapists and the country was too shitty”, and Indians are “stinky, ugly, disgusting, and filthy”, according to the online dictionary.

It seems that no matter what your heritage is, it’s likely someone has posted a negative definition of it on www.urbandictionary.com.

Anyone can add a post to the online dictionary and ask for one to be removed, but it appears that permission has to be granted before changes can be made.

The site’s owners could not be reached for comment, but there is a disclosure on the site saying it cannot check every post and is not responsible for every post.

It stipulates in its terms and conditions that a person may not post content which is defamatory, abusive, misleading or inaccurate.

Ruben Ayers started the petition, but did not want to comment when approached by Fairfax.

The Oxford Dictionary describes Maori as “a member of the aboriginal people of New Zealand” and “the Polynesian language of the Maori, with about 100,000 speakers”.

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