The complaints facility was established to resolve complaints about possible breaches by Signatories of their commitments under The Code.
The Complaints Policy explains the types of complaints that the Programme Director and Oversight Committee can handle under the complaints facility that is established under The Code. It includes information about:
(a) The aim and scope of the complaints facility
(b) How complaints about breaches of the Code are handled
(c) The role and powers of the Oversight Committee in relation to eligible complaints
Overview of guidelines for submitting a complaint/complaint process
This form can be used to make a complaint about a breach of the Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Practice for Online Safety and Harms by signatories to the code.
Please note that we only accept complaints from the Aotearoa New Zealand public where they believe a signatory has materially breached the code’s commitments. We cannot accept complaints about individual items of content on signatories’ products or services, and ask that these be directed to the signatory via their reporting mechanisms or otherwise.
Please allow time to complete the form, and note that your responses will not be automatically saved before you submit. Before commencing the form, know that it covers:
- Your eligibility to issue a complaint under the Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Practice for Online Safety and Harms. Please familiarise yourself with The Code before making a complaint.
- Nomination of a specific signatory, and their specific commitment under The Code that you believe has been breached.
- Correspondence that you have had to date with the signatory, along with supporting documentation.
- A description of where you believe the signatory has breached the commitment you have nominated, along with supporting documentation.
How to lodge a complaint with the signatories
The Code will not be able to accept complaints about individual items of content on signatories’ products or services, which should be directed to the signatory via their reporting mechanisms or otherwise. We have included general information about how to report content on signatories’ services below, however often the ability to report content exists on the URL where you are viewing it.
To report inappropriate videos, channels and other content on YouTube, users should follow the relevant instructions for their device at: https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2802027?hl=en&ref_topic=9387085&sjid=7011111297249166280-AP.
Instructions to make a privacy complaint or report a legal issue can be found at https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2802057?hl=en&ref_topic=9387085&sjid=7011111297249166280-AP.
Users may report content in-app by following the instructions in the Facebook Help Centre or the Instagram Help Centre.
To report potentially violative content, including videos that may contain harmful misinformation, TikTok users can:
1. Go to the video they wish to report.
2. Press and hold on the video.
3. Select Report and follow the instructions provided.
Users can also use this online form to report content on TikTok.
You can report Tweets, Lists, and Direct Messages that are in violation of the Twitter Rules or Twitter’s Terms of Service. Examples of violations you can report are Tweets, Lists, and Direct Messages for containing abusive or harmful content, spam, impersonation, copyright, or trademark violations.
To report a Tweet:
1. Navigate to the Tweet you’d like to report.
2. Tap the 3 dots icon located at the top of the Tweet.
3. Select Report Tweet.
To report a list:
1. Lists can be reported from the detail page of a List, or from the Notifications tab.
2. Navigate to the List you’d like to report.
3. Tap the 3 dots icon at the top of the List.
4. Select Report List.
For more information, including on how to report direct messages, please visit https://help.twitter.com/en/safety-and-security/report-a-tweet.
There are a number of ways to submit a report on Twitch. Reporting is safe and anonymous, and every report is sent to a member of Twitch’s moderation team for review. You can find more information here, including a list of helpful tips and best practices.
• When on desktop, you can report a channel by clicking on the 3 Vertical Dots at the bottom right of your screen, below the video player. On mobile devices, tap the 3 Horizontal Dots at the top right corner of your screen, and click ‘report.’
• To report another user in chat, on desktop, click on the user’s name in the chat. Next, click the 3 Vertical Dots at the bottom right of your screen, and select ‘report.’ If you’re on a mobile device, tap on the username in the chat column, then select ‘report.’
• To report a whisper, on desktop, click the cog wheel icon located in the top right of your Whisper window. Then, click ‘report.’ To report on mobile, click the cog wheel icon next to the username, then select ‘report.’
Report harmful content
Here are some other organisations who can help you.
Department of Internal Affairs
The Department of Internal Affairs investigates complaints, enforces compliance with labelling requirements, seizes objectionable material and monitors websites. Report harmful content here.
The Privacy Commissioner’s role is to decide if there’s been a breach of the Privacy Act and help both the groups come to a decision. If you haven’t been able to work out your privacy issue with the business or organisation you complained to, then you can complain to the Privacy Commissioner. Make a complaint to the Privacy Commissioner here.
Netsafe helps people and schools in New Zealand experiencing harmful content online. Their service is free and confidential and they provide specialist online incident advice. Report harmful content here.
CERT NZ works to support businesses, organisations and individuals who are affected (or may be affected) by cyber security incidents. They provide trusted and authoritative information and advice, while also collating a profile of the threat landscape in New Zealand. You can their our online tool to report any cyber security issue you are experiencing – they’ll help you identify it and let you know what the next steps are to resolve it. Report an issue here.
The Classification Office helps people in Aotearoa make decisions about what to watch, play and read. They don’t exist to suppress voices but instead, when necessary, reduce harm. The Classification Act guides them on their journey, walking this fine line. If you have a question about classification, or you’re concerned about a rating you’ve seen, contact the Classification Office here.
New Zealand Police
Police have the power to seize publications and investigate illegal activity, including activities involving the sexual exploitation of children and sharing illegal content. Contact Police here.
What happens if a signatory is found to be in breach of The Code?
The Oversight Committee can decide the resolution of a complaint about potential material breaches of The Code based on the severity of the breach, taking steps that range from public statements, investigations and withdrawing a company from The Code. However, the aim of the complaints facility is to actually resolve the complaints, so as to have a positive impact on internet users' experiences of Signatories services in Aotearoa New Zealand. As such this will involve working constructively with Signatories on the steps they can take to improve compliance with their code commitments.
Why can’t people make complaints about specific pieces of content?
The aim of The Code is to drive improvements and transparency on the measures that signatories take to deal with child sexual exploitation and abuse, bullying or harassment, hate speech, incitement of violence, violent or graphic content, misinformation, disinformation in Aotearoa New Zealand. The complaints facility’s approach is consistent with that aim. We will accept complaints from the Aotearoa New Zealand public where they believe a signatory has materially breached the code’s commitments. Complaints about individual items of content on signatories’ products or services should be directed to the signatory via their reporting mechanisms or otherwise. The Code requires all signatories to have such reporting mechanisms.
What structures have you put into place to prevent conflicts of interest for Signatories in this governance arrangement?
Self-regulatory codes of practice developed by industry associations are used in a range of industries, including the media, advertising and telecommunications. To manage conflicts of interests about complaints, the Signatories are unable to exercise a vote on a complaint about themselves, and will be removed from all processes involving the investigation and decision about the complaint.
How will the independent review of the transparency reports be undertaken?
The Independent Reviewer will verify claims in each Signatory’s transparency report going forward, including whether they have published and implemented policies and processes that comply with their obligations, and verifying that those initiatives are accessible to Aotearoa New Zealand internet users. If the Independent Reviewer can’t attest a claim, it advises the Oversight Committee comprising independent representatives and Signatories. The Signatory must either amend and resubmit the reports to the reviewer for further assessment or provide written reasons as to why they dispute the reviewer’s assessment, which would be published with their transparency reports on The Code website.