Harmful communications

The Harmful Digital Communications Act (HDCA) sets out to deter, prevent and mitigate harm caused to individuals by harmful digital communications.

The HDCA is made up of a list of communication principles, all of which apply to digital communications (which means any form of electronic communication). All Trade Me members are expected to abide by these principles.

While it’s also the right thing to do, it’s now outlined in law that members must respect others and conduct themselves honestly and in good faith at all times. If a member breaches these principles or their content is deemed harmful and/or offensive, we may take action by removing specific content.

What can I do if I’ve received harmful communication?

If you’re subject to a harmful communication from another member on Trade Me (e.g., this could be through the Q&A of a listing, feedback you’ve received, a message board post or a listing itself) you can report this by clicking the ‘Report harmful communications’ link below.

Once we’ve received a complaint we will assess whether to remove the content based on our own terms and conditions, or, if it’s not clear that it’s in breach of our terms, we may get in touch with the person who posted the communication to see whether they stand behind it (known as the ‘safe harbour’ process under the HDCA).

What is the ‘safe harbour’ process?

The safe harbour process means that we will notify the author of the content complained about within 48-hours – scrubbing any personal information if requested. If we cannot notify the author within the initial 48-hour period, we will remove the content from the site.

Once notified, the author of the content must make a decision within the next 48-hours to stand by the content and dispute the complaint, or request for the content to be removed entirely. If the author doesn’t contact us after notification, we’ll remove the content from the site.



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