Helen Slater’s husband is suing Facebook over the platform’s anti-slavery policy
The husband of former NRL star Helen Slater has launched a legal action against Facebook over its alleged support of a racist website that promoted “slash cheese board” campaigns.
Key points:A complaint has been lodged with the Federal Court accusing Facebook of breaching its legal obligations, including by “inciting hate and discrimination”Key points Facebook has denied the claims, and has said the platform is working on ways to prevent such sites from spreadingMore than 200 people have joined a Facebook group to discuss the matter in Melbourne, where a similar dispute has already resulted in a judge declaring a “no-show”.
The Facebook page “Slate Cheese Board” was created in March last year, and had been promoted by a man who claimed to be an Australian Rugby Union player.
It was deleted shortly after its creation, but it resurfaced several months later after Mr Slater appeared on a national talk show.
In his complaint, posted on Friday, the former NRL player said the man’s account was registered in April 2016 and the page was active in September that year.
“The Facebook pages of other Australian Rugby League players, including Mr Slater, are also being used by racist, misogynistic, homophobic and transphobic content,” the complaint said.
“Mr Slater was targeted by this content in March 2016 when his profile was created.”
He has been targeted by the same content again and again.
“In this time, the content was shared on the social media platform, and subsequently shared on Facebook and other social media sites.”
In its response to the claim, Facebook said: “Slater was not a player in the NRL, nor is he a member of any clubs.”
His page is not a member and is not affiliated with any club.
“The statement added that “a number of individuals in the RLU have reached out to us over the years and have shared their concerns about the content of his page.
“Facebook said it was working on tools to make it easier for people to report hateful content.”
We are working to identify and remove hate speech and offensive content, and we will do so in a way that respects the rights of others,” it said.