Urban Dictionary Has Deleted Its Racist Definitions Of “Aboriginal”
Dozens of offensive definitions have been scrubbed from the website.
Urban Dictionary, a website that provides user-submitted definitions for slang words, has deleted its most popular definitions of the word “Aboriginal” after an online campaign pointed out how racist they were.
Up until today the first three pages of definitions for “Aboriginal” on Urban Dictionary consisted of extremely offensive, racist and derogatory comments. The top-rated definition, provided by a user called bundiii in 2010, described Aboriginals as “Filthy black humans who inhabit Australia, abuse drugs and alcohol, sniff petrol and any other chemical they can get their hands on”.
“They do not work, they don’t need to as the government give them money every fortnight for doing nothing. Thy’re not required to look for work, because thy’re fkn special. Who would employ the smelly pricks anyway? When they get arrested, Aboriginal affairs steps in and gets them off,” it read.
The definition had more than 300 up votes and nearly as many down votes, but remained the top rated definition meaning it was the first thing users saw when they visited the website.
The second definition referred to Aboriginals as thieves, while the third said they had a “foul appearance”. The site included dozens more racist definitions.
Earlier this week the Blackfulla Revolution Facebook page posted the racist definitions and urged its followers to submit their own accurate definitions and contact Urban Dictionary to request they remove the existing ones. The issue was also covered by the Welcome To Country website.
A Change.org petition calling on Urban Dictionary to remove the offensive definitions received more than 7,000 signatures.
“It is not possible to flag the most popular definitions on Urban Dictionary as problematic, so we are petitioning the owners of the site to remove these hurtful and dangerous entries,” the petition said.
Junkee contacted Urban Dictionary yesterday to ask for the site’s policy on racist entries, and whether it was aware of the online campaign focused on the definitions of Aboriginal. We didn’t receive a reply, but this morning the website had wiped all of the racist definitions.
Currently there are seven definitions for Aboriginal on Urban Dictionary and all of them were written in the past week. None are racist or offensive.
Urban Dictionary is yet to publicly comment on the incident but the changes to the site strongly suggest they were aware of the online backlash and campaign, and have responded to it.
We’ll update this article if we hear back from Urban Dictionary’s administrators.