Friday, March 22, 2019

You could almost think the NZ authorities are happily using this horror

to extend control over what people are allowed to hear and see.
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.

Ardern then announced that the government would consider further policing social media, saying, “We will look at the role that social media played and what steps we can take, including on the international stage and in unison with our partners.”
And places like Fecesbook and Twatter couldn't wait to fall into line.  For the public good, of course.

1 comment:

markm said...

There is something to be said for burying the names and political manifestos of assassins and terrorists, if that was practical in a free society. E.g., the only motivation for the Reagan assassination attempt in the 1980's and the Wallace attempt circa 1968 seems to have been to make the assassins (in)famous; if it had been clear that their names would never be published and they would have been tried and sent to prison as "Crazy Loser #3" and "Crazy Loser #6", it almost certainly would have discouraged these two, and probably some of the other crazy losers.

Then there's the short story "Very Proper Charlies", published in science fiction circles a few decades ago. The FCC Commissioner, network executives, and a comedian who played a moronic loser under the name Charlie George conspired together to bury any terrorist's name and motives under ridicule. Charlie George changed his character to a moronic terrorist, and devoted most of the air time of his TV show to ridiculing terrorists. _And the network news cooperated_; e.g., one terrorist attack was reported as, "How about that Charlie who shot at a missed a little girl at close range?" "He must have thought she knew too much; she was almost four." Nice dream, but would the media have ever cooperated?

But that was back when terrorists came in many political persuasions. These days, if the terrorist is a Muslim theocrat, many politicians and so-called "journalists" are already ready and eager to hide his motives - not too suppress his message, but to conceal the fact that 90% of present-day terrorism comes from just one -ism. And that's not the way to find effective defenses.