Authoritarian Ardern

The people who have been wishing we had a president who is more like New Zealand’s prime minister must be into authoritarianism. The broad is downright scary:

In the wake of the attacks, the prime minister promised to keep the murderer “nameless,” and the internet promptly obliged by flushing the perpetrator’s identity down the memory hole. New Zealanders’ access to online material about him was blocked. In what has become standing operating procedure after mass attacks, social media accounts connected to the perpetrator disappeared. Internet service providers in New Zealand blocked access to sites like 4chan, 8chan, LiveLeak, and the file-sharing site Mega if the sites did not take down material related to the shooting.

This is worse than what Putin ever did in the aftermath of any terror attack or even state-sponsored murder.

The inane suggestions that this will somehow prevent similar crimes make no sense. What’s next, banning shooter video games because they “promote violence”? Violence comes from inside people, not from online material. The internet doesn’t “radicalize” anybody. Have you heard about Stalinism? Hitler Germany? The Khmer Rouge? Peter the Great, who slaughtered 20% of his country’s population? The Aztecs? How much time did they spend on 4chan?

This is all a dumb excuse for instituting censorship.

8 thoughts on “Authoritarian Ardern”

    1. For some reason, everybody noticed the ban but nobody wants to talk about the censorship. I support the ban but we need to look at everything that’s happening.


  1. Obviously, New Zealand’s constitution has no First or Second Amendment protections equivalent to those rights in America.


  2. From Buiness Insider
    “The gunman who shot up the Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch last Friday broadcast live footage of his attack to Facebook. The video was later reposted on multiple platforms, including Facebook and YouTube. ”


    “Internet service providers in Australia blocked platforms including 4chan, 8chan, and LiveLeak after the sites were found hosting footage of the New Zealand mosque shootings that killed 50 people last week. ”
    Whoa, I wonder what legal precedent they are leaning on, did they declare it terrorist recruitment propaganda? Are there laws against distributing images of real murder under obscenity law or something else?


    1. I’m Australian. I have not tried to find the video of the massacre in Christchurch, just like I never watched Islamic State burn a captured Jordanian pilot alive. Nonetheless, a few days ago I heard that such sites were being blocked, and went to their homepages, and indeed they were. To be in my home, accessing Internet through a major ISP, and find that sites like Zero Hedge, LiveLeak, 4chan, etc., were now unfindable according to my browser, in their totality, was a spooky experience. And I wondered how long the block would continue.

      Nonetheless, I simply didn’t feel too bad about it. These are exceptional circumstances. That video records the massacre of fifty innocent people by a joker who, so I’m told, advised his audience to “subscribe to PewDiePie” in the middle of the act. If we are lucky, nothing as bad as that will happen again in Australia or New Zealand for a long long time. Unlike the unfortunate USA, mass murder by ideologues and random psychotics is not a commonplace event here.

      In any case, all the sites were available again, the next day – at least, the ones that I tried. We still face formidable tensions, e.g. between those who think the killings were de-facto due to Islamophobia, and those who think the killings were de-facto due to multiculturalism and mass immigration. But I don’t consider us worse off for the temporary national censorship.


      1. It always starts with “exceptional circumstances.” Always. And then there is another excuse to strengthen authoritarian measures, and another. That’s how it always works.


  3. A New Zealand bookstore banned 12 Rules for Life after the attack and I’m just…puzzled. I’m halfway through now and there’s nothing about immigration or race in that book.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.