In the wake of last week’s terror attacks at two New Zealand mosques which left 50 dead, several websites which either reported on the incident, hosted footage of the attacks, or have simply allowed people to engage in uncensored discussion such as Dissenter or Zero Hedge, have been partially or completely blocked in both New Zealand and Australia for the sake of “protecting consumers,” according to the CEOs of three New Zealand telcos.
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting – which was broadcast over Facebook Live by accused gunman Brenton Tarrant to an initial audience of just 200 viewers (none of whom reported it) and had 4,000 overall views before it was taken down – Facebook deleted 1.5 million videos of the attack, of which 1.2 million were blocked at the time of upload.
A video of the attacks is still freely available to anyone who wishes to download it from bittorrent.
Twitter has also been aggressively censoring content related to the Christchurch shooting – perhaps most egregiously forcing journalist Nick Monroe to delete a large number of tweets as he covered the incident in real time, just one of which had links to footage of the shooting. Document hosting website Scribd, meanwhile, has been deleting copies of Tarrant’s 74-page manifesto.
In addition to documenting the incident, Monroe has been noting the mass censorship surrounding the shootings – as well as things such as the New Zealand herald stealth editing a March 15 article to remove mention of a “well known Muslim local” who “chased the shooters and fired two shots at them as they sped off.”
Zero Hedge banned… again.
Less than a week after Facebook ‘mistakenly’ banned us for two days with no explanation following several reports which were critical of the social media giant, we learned that Zero Hedge has now been banned in New Zealand and Australia, despite the fact that we never hosted video footage of the Christchurch attack. We were not contacted prior to the censorship. Instead, we have received a steady flood of people noting that the site is unavailable in the two countries unless a VPN is used.
And while Australia and New Zealand account for a negligible amount of traffic to Zero Hedge, the stunning arrogance of NZ and OZ telcos to arbitrarily impose nanny-state restrictions on content is more than a little disturbing, and should – at least in a so-called democracy – be subject to majority vote.
“As key industry players, we believed this extraordinary step was the right thing to do in such extreme and tragic circumstances. Other New Zealand broadband providers have also taken steps to restrict availability of this content, although they may be taking a different approach technically,” the letter continues.
So while the telcos have defended their decision to censor a wide swath of material in order to shield people from dangerous information – and have encouraged social media platforms to commit to European-style information control, Kiwis and Australians will only get to know what the technocracy approves in order to ‘protect consumers.’
Unless they set aside 15 seconds and use a VPN.
Full article: After Blocking Zero Hedge And Others, NZ Telcos Demand Big-Tech Censorship Surge To “Protect Consumers” (ZeroHedge)