A tablet sits on a desk, surrounded by a coffee cup, pen and papers.
A web page is on the screen that shows people posting images and chat online.
Do you manage a website, blog or social media page?
The screen scrolls down to reveal a picture of a naked woman that someone has posted online. One of the people chatting turns red with anger and the chat becomes nasty.
A warning sign appears.
Did you know that if people use your pages to bully, harass or defame others, you can be held responsible?
The screen changes to show a ribbon with a shield of protection.
But there is a way you can let people have their say, without you having to take the rap if they go too far.
An arrow moves across the ribbon, punctuated with dots along the line. The dots pulse in sequence.
If you follow a specific process when you receive complaints, you can’t be prosecuted for harmful or illegal content that other people post.
The words ‘safe harbour’ appear below the arrow.
On the shield a see-saw appears and swings until it finds its balance point.
That process, called safe harbour, recognises that everyone has a role to play in helping prevent and deal with cyberbullying and other forms of harassment. It balances the need to remove harmful content with people’s right to free speech.
The screen and safe harbour symbols slide away.
It’s optional whether you use the safe harbour process or not. And you might not be able to because of the time and effort it takes … so let’s look at what you have to do.
The scene changes to show Sarah working at a computer on her desk. She has movie posters on the wall. Sarah is swinging her leg and clicking her computer mouse.
Meet Sarah. She runs a movie review forum where other people can post reviews and links.
The video zooms into Sarah’s screen where we can see an angry person bullying or abusing someone else.
If Sarah turns a blind eye to people using her forum to abuse others, she could be prosecuted.
The safe harbour arrow pulses through the steps.
If she wants to be able to claim safe harbour protection Sarah has to prepare, then take certain steps within certain time limits.
The screen changes to show text with a complaints button on it.
First, she changes her website so it’s easy for people to contact her to make a complaint.
Icons show some of the information people have to provide when they make a complaint; name, phone number and address.
She also explains what information people have to provide when they complain, such as their name and contact details.
On the screen a star on an online calendar vibrates like an alarm.
Next, she sets up a reminder to check her site and emails often. That way she can respond to complaints within the time limits she has to meet.
The safe harbour ribbon and shield reappears and pulses. Because Sarah is now ready to follow the safe harbour the shield is checked.
Now Sarah can follow the safe harbour process when she wants to.
We see Sarah’s website rules page. As Sarah moves her mouse over the update button it pulses.
She doesn’t have to, but Sarah also updates the terms and conditions that people agree to when they post comments and reviews.
The red abusive person appears back on screen, then fades.
Her update makes it clear that if people breach her rules, she can choose to take down their content straight away.
Sarah is seen back on her forum with the safe harbour shield of protection ready for when she wants it.
Safe harbour is optional. If you have the time and ability to update your social media page or website and to check often for complaints it could be right for you.
The website URL appears:
The Ministry of Justice logo is below it.
The video closes with the Ministry of Justice logo on screen and then the safe harbour website address, www.justice.govt.nz/safeharbour
This page was last updated: