Auckland Mayor Phil Goff calls out 'disgusting' Facebook commenters

Author
NZ Herald,
Section
National,
Publish Date
Monday, 27 May 2019, 8:56PM
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has called out Facebook commenters after hate speech was posted on his timeline. (Photo / Greg Bowker)
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has called out Facebook commenters after hate speech was posted on his timeline. (Photo / Greg Bowker)

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has called out "disgusting" Facebook commenters after his post about visiting a West Auckland mosque attracted hate speech.

On Saturday, Goff posted about his visit to the Ranui Mosque on Friday evening with Jacinda Ardern and local MP Phil Twyford.

"We got a warm reception from the people there with wide-ranging questions from the aftermath of the terrorist attack to transport initiatives in Auckland.

"Great to see the women at the mosque inspired by the role model our Prime Minister is for them," he wrote.

But it was subsequent responses that left what the Mayor said was a bad taste in his mouth.

"It was such a positive occasion, and everyone was incredibly thankful for the support they received from the wider community following the attack, but then these derogatory comments started coming in," Goff told the Herald.

"I thought there is no place for this. I had to delete the most aggressive ones."

Goff also took to Twitter to express his shock at the response.

"This is the moderation I had to do today to clean up my FB page," he wrote alongside an image of hidden comments.

"The amount of vitriol and hate was disgusting. I thought we were better than this."

Goff said what struck him most about the comments was how soon they came after 51 people were killed in the Christchurch terror attack.

"People who abuse others based on faith or ethnicity need to be called out," he said.

"They need to know this is not welcomed or accepted, and will not be tolerated."

Goff said while the recent attack had brought out the best in the majority of New Zealanders, it had also brought out the worst in a small amount of others.

"While I support free speech, I do have a problem with people who express hate and bigotry," he said.

"I can't understand people who think like that, and they have no place in our country."

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