Urban dictionary

Stuff reports:

have been labelled as thieves, bludgers and liars in entries posted on an online dictionary, which a new petition is calling to have removed.

The petition urges urbandictionary.com to remove the derogatory comments, some which date back as far as 2005 and which more than 1000 people have supported.

The posts linked Maori to theft, exploitation and a low intelligence.

“Maori have been trying to seek revenge on the white man by selling him crappy tinny’s, taking his shoes, and generally stealing everything that isn’t nailed down,” one post reads.

One said Maori were the “dumbest people in New Zealand” and another post said they were “the tough people of New Zealand who smash up Pakeha folk”.

About 40 people have signed the petition, which reads: “The is a good reference of colloquial slang, but it is also a melting pot of ignorance….They are not definitions, they are racist views and should be labeled correctly.”

The petition urges the site to remove six posts. There are 32 posts on the word ‘Maori’ and many are positive, and are in response to the negative posts.

The complained about definition is here. I’m not sure the petition will achieve anything though. Wikipedia says about the UD:

Publish racial and sexual slurs but reject racist and sexist entries. Entries can document prejudice and slurs but not endorse it.

I’m not sure of the difference between a racial slur and a racist entry. It is arguable UD should have rejected some of the entries, but now they have:

Individual entries cannot be edited by the registered users en masse.

Definitions already in the dictionary can be voted thumbs “up” or “down” by any site visitor.

Once a definition is included in the dictionary, editors may review it and remove it if it is against the guidelines. However, those definitions which have proven popular by voting cannot be removed, and an editor may only recommend removal of five definitions per 24-hour period.

My suggestion would be to vote down the definitions that you don’t like, and vote up the useful factual ones.

I’d point out that it is not only the Maori entry that has racial slurs associated with it. The Pakeha definition includes:

Europeans who travelled to Aotearoa by boat, brought muskets, tobacco, alcohol, diseases, pigs, sodomy and blankets. 

Traded or stole land from the Maori people, brought over guns and cannons and declared war on a land who’s combat was with sticks and stones yet got their asses kicked by so-called savages and had to settle their defeat with a treaty where the Maori people were duped when the Pakeha translated it into English. 

Most Pakeha will say most of their best friends are Maori as a cop out to their racist comments, also Pakeha have a general dis-like for Pacific Islanders, due to physical intimidation and their own wish for superiority.

And even better:

The Europeans that call New Zealand home. 

After deciding England was full of enough rapists and the country was too shitty, they came to New Zealand. 

Loaded with booze, drugs, dirty woman, homosexuals, pedophiles, rapists and tobacco they ventured throughout New Zealand, growing tobacco, getting drunk, rapeing children and built a government that is synonymous of Pakeha, built on lies, greed and thieft which they justify because they are Pakeha.

So maybe the solution is simply just not to believe everything you read on Urban Dictionary. It is pretty easy to work out which definitions are fairly factual and which are rants.

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