Minimising the harm from online hate

Whilst ignoring racist behaviour online won’t automatically make it go away, those trying to quash it through legal threats should recognise their actions may actually make matters worse. The SMH today reports that: “The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has threatened legal action against a widely read but controversial US-based website over an article that encourages racial hatred against Aborigines. … In a letter to Joseph Evers, the owner of Encyclopedia Dramatica (ED) – a more shocking version of Wikipedia that contains racist and other offensive articles dubbed as “satire” – the commission said it had received 20 complaints from Aborigines over the “Aboriginal” page on the site. (SMH 17/03/2010)” As online rights group EFA points out in the same SMH article, trying to censor […]

Competition for Audiences – Platforms v Programs

One of the common challenges faced by both telco and media operators is managing the introduction of new products that cannibalise existing cash cows. The telecommunications sector faces a number of examples of this such as the substitution of mobile phones and VoIP for traditional PSTN lines and calling. Introducing new products that position the company for the future, whilst maximising the profits from established products, is a delicate balancing act. It’s also one that has the potential to create internal conflict, as the Seven network appears to have discovered recently.

Time for TIO Complaint Rankings

I’d like to make a complaint. It’s about the way the ┬áTelecommunications Industry Ombudsmen (TIO) reports its complaint statistics. Around October each year, the TIO publishes it’s annual report that almost invariably reports a rise in complaints. For instance in the latest reporting year (2009) we’re informed “the highest increase in complaints was among mobile phone users (79% rise), followed by internet (57%), landline (40%) and mobile premium services (13%).” (TIO 23/10/2009). The report also provides a detailed breakdown of complaint data by service provider. This tends to be popular with the IT media, who use it produce headlines such as “Telstra records highest telco complaints“. My concern is that by using complaint volumes as it’s key metric, the TIO may be creating inaccurate perceptions […]