HOI LAW AGAINST NEW ZEALAND HERALD
Case Number: 3198
Council Meeting: FEBRUARY 2022
Verdict: No Grounds to Proceed
Ruling Categories: Social Media
CASE NO: 3198
RULING BY THE NEW ZEALAND MEDIA CO0UNCIL ON THE COMPLAINT OF HOI LAW AGAINST THE NEW ZEALAND HERALD/FACEBOOK
FINDING: INSUFFICIENT GROUNDS TO PROCEED
DATE: FEBRUARY 2022
This complaint relates to a New Zealand Herald Facebook stream published on January 29, 2022.
The stream was shut down with a post saying:
Comments off. It’s late. Herald Social guy wants to sleep. Sad to see people celebrating anyone possibly catching Covid, whatever your political persuasion. Sadly, we also always expect to see the same tired jokes and misogyny on posts about the PM. Get better material. Also, Omicron is not the flu, it’s a variant of a coronavirus – the clue is in the name. Stay safe, kia kaha, better living everyone.
Hoi Law said the editor lacked professionalism by blocking comment he disagreed with and by mocking readers. The media group should be a role model for free speech.
The Media Council can find no case has been made to show how the Herald’s moderating of its Facebook comments section that evening breached any Media Council principles. Editors have responsibility for what appears in their publications and their social media feeds – that is their role. The range of comments carried on the site that evening seemed to cover the wide range of viewpoints that might be expected.
There were insufficient grounds to proceed.