The ban, issued on Saturday, means anybody caught with the document on their computer could face up to 10 years in prison, while anyone caught sending or forwarding it could face 14 years. Some say the ban goes too far and risks lending both the document and the gunman mystique.
Decent people of all faiths and political persuasions will have been appalled at the carnage at a mosque in New Zealand, where a lone gunman and confessed Nazi-sympathiser opened fire on worshippers. Subsequent media analysis has inevitably focused on the activities of far-right extremists and white supremacists, whose targets in recent years have included Muslims, Jews, and teenagers at a summer camp in Norway in 2011. They are motivated by the belief that Western civilization, embodied by a biologically pure white race, is threatened by the immigration of other races, most notably Muslims and Jews, and that violent resistance is necessary.
New Zealand authorities have reminded citizens that they face up to 10 years in prison for “knowingly” possessing a copy of the New Zealand mosque shooting video – and up to 14 years in prison for sharing it. Corporations (such as web hosts) face an additional $200,000 ($137,000 US) fine under the same law.
Social media platforms including Facebook are facing harsher scrutiny after a shooter accused of killing 40 people in two mosques in New Zealand appeared to livestream the murders over the internet.
While platforms including Twitter and YouTube said they moved fast to remove the content, users reported it was still widely available hours after being first uploaded to the alleged shooter’s Facebook account. The video, which shows a first-person view of the killings in Christchurch, New Zealand, was readily accessible during and after the attack – as was the suspect’s hate-filled manifesto.
Watch as the calls for a benevolent totalitarian censorship rise.
Way back in the old days, the Left used to accuse conservatives of being against free speech and open debate. They would say the Right was in favor of burning books and heresy laws. When conservatives rose to power in the 1980’s, it was time for them to “own the libs” by pointing out that the Soviets banned books, threw dissidents into gulags and banned speech critical of the state. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn became a celebrity among conservatives, as an example of how the communists suppressed speech.
Sebastian Walsh expressed his controversial opinions during class seminars and the University of Central Lancashire decided to suspend him after they received several complaints about his behaviour.
Censorship of conservatives isn’t limited to social media. Financial platforms are also guilty.
Right-wing provocateur Laura Loomer was banned from Paypal on January 4. “PayPal just banned me for no reason whatsoever,” she declared. Loomer made a controversial name for herself as an activist and performance artist whose demonstrations to expose leftists have gone viral.
The EU has launched a comprehensive Action Plan against Disinformation. Its purpose, according to a recent press release from the European Commission, is apparently to “protect its democratic systems and public debates and in view of the 2019 European elections as well as a number of national and local elections that will be held in Member States by 2020”.
In June 2018, leaders of EU member states had met in the European Council and invited the European Commission “to present… an action plan by December 2018 with specific proposals for a coordinated EU response to the challenge of disinformation…” It is this action plan that the Commission presented to the public on December 5.
Former bartender-turned-Democratic House Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Communist-N.Y.) is upset that Facebook, Google, and other tech giants are sponsoring an upcoming conference about climate change that – gasp! – will feature speakers on both sides of the climate debate.
Twitter has spent years assuring the public that it will crack down on trolling, harassment, and violent threats. It’s also pledged to tackle “misinformation” and “unhealthy conversation,” using these loaded terms as excuses to ban a wide range of anti-progressive dissidents from the platform.
Ward, a popular Quebec comedian, is appealing a Quebec Human Rights Tribunal ruling that his performances included discriminatory comments about a young disabled singer, Jeremy Gabriel. The tribunal ordered Ward to pay $35,000 in moral and punitive damages to Gabriel and $7,000 to his mother.
On December 3, the European Commission hosted a “high-level conference to address intolerance, hate speech and discrimination affecting Muslims in the EU”. According to the EU press release, “By sharing good practices, the aim of the event is to identify key actions at all levels to address intolerance, racism and discrimination against Muslims in the coming years”. The event brought together over 100 “representatives of national authorities, civil society, academia, the religious community, EU agencies and international organisations.”
There is, according to the European Commission, a “need for action”, as “unfavourable views of Muslims appear to have surged in the past few years”.
Facebook is trying to control political speech, but it’s doing it inconsistently and arbitrarily. A Facebook employee has given The New York Times over 1,400 pages from its rulebook on regulating political speech. He said he feared Facebook was exercising too much power.
Sam Harris, the polemical atheist neuroscientist known for his popular podcast “Waking Up,” was making tens of thousands of dollars a month from fans who donated to him through Patreon, a crowdfunding site.
That stopped this month. On Dec. 6, Patreon kicked the anti-feminist polemic Carl Benjamin, who works under the name Sargon of Akkad, off its site for using racist language on YouTube. That same week, it removed the right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos a day after he opened an account.
The moves prompted a revolt.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled that criticism of Muhammad constitutes incitement to hatred — meaning that in Europe, criticizing Muhammad is no longer protected free speech.
What the court has actually done, however, is rule out the possibility of any debate in which a range of various experts and members of the public could take part. Now, it seems, the only views that will be respected in the public forum are those of devout Muslims.