BZPower’s Language Usage Policy
This policy is a strengthening and clarification of BZPower’s policies for language and acceptable content when posting on the site.
In light of the recent events with regards to use of certain Maori-derived words, this policy is in effect immediately and will be strictly enforced by BZP staff.
1. This is a web site to discuss toys. As such, the audience is primarily young, in the 8-14 year old range, although many adults also read and post. All
content must be appropriate for school-age children to read and respond to.
2. BZPower has always enforced a “no-hate” policy, which forbids the espousal of derogatory, racist, and defamatory sentiments. What this means in practice:
- There will be NO anti-Maori posts allowed. The Maori as a people have done nothing to BZPower, and they deserve the respect accorded any other group of people.
- Those who disagree with the use of some or all Maori terms on this board: There will be NO outbursts or rants of “Western domination”. Each individual is obviously entitled to their opinion, but BZPower is not a soapbox for use to spread such sentiment. Discussion must be relevant to the subject of Bionicle. Polite discussion is encouraged about why the use of Maori language is an issue; verbal attacks or abuse of those who don't agree is against the rules of this board (see above).
3. Use of Maori words on BZPower: LEGO reached accommodation with cultural representatives last year and reportedly implemented a code of conduct when dealing with indigenous cultures. This code of conduct is between LEGO and Maori/Polynesian representatives. Since LEGO continues to use the following words in existing products and within the mythology of Bionicle, their use is de facto approved by cultural representatives of the Maori and as such any criticism of their use here or by LEGO should be directed at appropriate Maori representatives, NOT members or administrators of BZPower, LEGO, etc. The list below is not a complete representation, but serves as a sample.
- Some words that LEGO continues to use, and are therefore “approved” and may or may not have Maori origins:
- Mata Nui
- Words discontinued by LEGO: The following word was replaced by the word “Matoran” and is no longer used in official LEGO material. If/until it is proven this word violates #2 above, its use on BZP is not prohibited. Polite discussion regarding why this word should or should not be used by BZP members is encouraged. Impolite discussion will be terminated.
- Maori words generated by online translators: Moderators of BZP are not familiar with the Maori language and as such will not be expected to monitor their usage. If, however, it is discovered any translated word is used in a derogatory, inflammatory, or insulting manner (as defined by BZP administrators) or otherwise crosses the “no-hate” policy (see #2 above), the post will be removed and the original poster disciplined appropriately. Polite discussion regarding why online translators should or should not be used by BZP members is encouraged. Impolite discussion will be terminated.
The BZP administration neither endorses nor restricts use of Maori-derived words (outside those currently used by LEGO, which are endorsed), except when they do not follow rules of usage (See #2 above). It is left to each individual to decide whether or not to use such words or language in their posts. BZP understands the use of such words may offend a percentage of pro-Maori readers, but BZP will not restrict use until we receive notification from authorized Maori representatives that such use is a ) illegal, b ) restricted by international law, or c ) restricted by copyright or trademark law as recognized by the United States of America. BZPower administration does not believe that use of a language in and of itself is an act of disrespect or theft, and therefore places no ban on use of non-English languages, so long as the content of the post follows these guidelines.In a nutshell:
BZPower will continue to require material posted on this board be suitable for a wide audience. Any discussion about language use should be polite and applicable to Bionicle. All viewpoints are encouraged, including those of the Maori, however all posts need to be on topic, and no attacks on any culture or group of people will be permitted.