In other words, the reaction of the government has been to punish the vast majority of its citizens for the actions of a single madman.
Because Tarrant live-streamed his attack on social media, the video immediately became available to anyone around the world who had access to the platform. That’s a big deal in New Zealand because of a law known as the Films Videos and Publications Classification Act,” which relates to the censorship of books, films, videos, and other publications.
According to the New Zealand government website, the law targets for censorship any materials that, if published, would “be injurious to the public good.” Such material includes any that depicts “harm to a person’s body whether it involves infliction of pain or not…or self-inflicted death,” and “conduct that, if imitated, would pose a real risk of serious harm to self or others or both.” among other provisions.
Fine. New Zealand is a sovereign country. It can pass its own laws. That said, the country’s legal jurisdiction should end at its own shores, but in the ‘connected’ world, that’s not the case.
Because New Zealand forbids anyone to host or share Tarrant’s video, somehow that prohibition applies equally to American video hosting services as well — like Brighteon, the free-speech, anti-censorship platform built by Natural News founding editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger.
In recent days, as Adams noted in a statement, Brighteon has been threatened with destruction if all versions of the video posted there were not immediately removed. The question is, why?
Is the video chilling? Yes. Does it portray unspeakable violence and death? Yes. Is it sadistic and cruel? No doubt. But it’s hosted on an American site, not a New Zealand site, so that shouldn’t be an issue. While New Zealand doesn’t have a First Amendment, America does and so as long as the end hosting site is on American soil, there should be nothing a speech Nazi from half a world away can do about it. (Related: Government authorities begin prosecuting Internet users who shared the New Zealand mosque attack video.)
What’s flagrantly ironic and hypocritical about this is that Netflix and other streaming services that use the same global Internet infrastructure can host and show similar content all day, every day. Whether the content that is being hosted and offered for streaming is fiction or real, Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and others aren’t facing global Internet censorship for it.
Does that kind material exist on the servers of “mainstream” video and streaming services? You bet it does. A person can view photographs of Civil War dead on Netflix; on YouTube, you can see actual footage of fighters in Syria the moment they are shot and killed; on Amazon, you can download or stream hundreds of graphic, violent movies or war documentaries; and so on.
So what’s the problem? Is it that the Leftist New Zealand government doesn’t want to upset Muslims? Okay, but on YouTube, you can see actual footage of Islamic State fighters executing captives by shooting them in the head. Is that okay?
Granted, you will encounter a “graphic content” warning for many of these videos, but the point is YouTube hasn’t been threatened with being shut down or destroyed like Brighteon was over hosting Tarrant’s video. What’s the difference?
“The excuse we are being given is that hosting or sharing the videos is ‘promoting violence’ — an absurd claim on its face,” Adams noted, adding that users can even see videos of Nazi soldiers torturing Jews in World War II concentration camps online.
“Have we really reached the point where videos that show Jews being mass murdered are perfectly okay, but videos that show followers of Islam being murdered are criminalized?”