back to article New Zealand cops cuff alleged jackasses who shared mosque murder video, messages online

New Zealand police have started arresting some of those who allegedly shared a livestreamed video of the mass murder of 50 people in Christchurch last week. The footage was broadcast live on Facebook by the killer as he gunned down dozens of innocents, and it was removed approximately an hour later by the antisocial network. …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    arrested for sharing a video.

    Bring on the fucking comet.

    1. corestore

      Arrested for sharing and describing the actions of the terrorist as "excellent!"

      After having made a video where he says "bring on the cull!" (of Muslims).

      This is who we're talking about.

      https://twitter.com/comradewest/status/1106893256724344832

      1. Dabbb Bronze badge

        Today it's people who don't like muslims, tomorrow it could be people who don't like people who don't like muslims.

        I mean you can be on a receiving side as well, so think how same laws can be applied to yourself.

        1. ratfox Silver badge

          I mean you can be on a receiving side as well, so think how same laws can be applied to yourself.

          The day I gleefully reshare a video of people getting killed, whoever they are, I want to be arrested.

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            >The day I gleefully reshare a video of people getting killed, whoever they are, I want to be arrested.

            And jailed for 14 years? Is that appropriate to the crime of video sharing?

            Perhaps it is the intent and the thoughts behind the sharing which warrant 14 years in jail. 14 years for thought crime. Are you sure you know the intent? Many people do things just because they are deemed unacceptable. Perhaps the comments are flippant and designed into annoy. Is that worth 14 years?

            1. jmch Silver badge

              "And jailed for 14 years? Is that appropriate to the crime of video sharing?"

              Nope, but think about what the sentence should be for incitement to violence and/or incitement to murder. Multiple aggravated counts of that should be worth at least 14 years in my book.

              1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

                The maximum sentence is one thing, but refusing bail is another, very troubling, issue. Basically, these people are being treated as very serious criminals and being kept in gaol pending trial. In the UK, this is very rare, and regarded as punitive. I do not applaud the NZ courts for this, since it is punishment without trial, and should never be used without *very* clear justification.

                1. flayman

                  That's a good point and I agree in principal. We don't know much of the facts in these specific cases. It would be wrong to remand someone unless the nature of the offence suggested a clear risk to the public or if they were a flight risk.

                2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                  "I do not applaud the NZ courts for this, since it is punishment without trial, and should never be used without *very* clear justification."

                  I suspect the justification is that so many people don't see it as a crime and so "short sharp shock" like tactics are being used to drive the point home. I'm not in NZ so have only seen some of the reports, but it appears that the ones arrested and refused bail are not just people who thought it might be a bit funny to share this video. They appear to have form in their racist/supremacist online presence.

                  I don't necessarily agree with the bail refusals, bbut I don't know enough about the specific cases to argue against it. I hope it's not going to be SOP, even in this case.

            2. flayman

              Not a thought crime

              14 years is a maximum sentence. Degrees of intent will have an impact on that, as would various other mitigating factors. It's a lot to be potentially faced with, but I'd posit that a defendant who is genuinely remorseful will get off lightly. The seriousness of the offence is arguably appropriate. The sharing of this type of material is not acceptable. It is a matter of human dignity.

              Action goes beyond thought. You can think what you like about the live captured video of mass murder. What you can't do is share it and glorify it.

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: Not a thought crime

                One can get less of a maximum sentence for rape or bank fraud. Being a callous insensitive jerk isn't worth the taxpayers money to hand out three hots and a cot and put their families on the dole.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Not a thought crime

                  No, the maximum sentence for rape is 20 years. So you can't get "less of a maximum for rape". You might, depending on the circumstances, get a shorter sentence than 14 years for rape, but the starting point for rape is 8 years and you're unlikely to get less than 6 years.

                  But 14 years for distribution of offensive material is only for the very worst of offenders, and Parliament designed it to be a deterrent for, say, someone who filmed a murder or rape but didn't actually commit the act. Because the law they've been charged under covers making, possession and distribution of offensive material, not just distribution. It is unlikely that the 18 year old will receive a custodial sentence, but Arps is an unrepentant white supremacist with previous related to racially aggravated offences.

              2. hereward

                Re: Not a thought crime

                lol, "human dignity" is a meaningless subjective term authoritarian leftist thugs use to silence dissent.

                How would you like it if you lived in an authoritarian right wing state that said promoting homosexuality was an offence against "human dignity"? We know of course, leftists were all for free speech when they were attacking the old conservative establishment, but now that they have power that stance is shown for what it was; utterly false.

            3. ratfox Silver badge

              And jailed for 14 years? Is that appropriate to the crime of video sharing?

              Relax. 14 years is the maximum possible sentence, just like the maximum sentence for stealing is 7 years. Technically, if you find money in the street and you take it, it's stealing. Are you afraid of going to jail for 7 years for doing that?

            4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              "14 years for thought crime."

              Look on it as 14 years for accessory after the fact.

        2. corestore

          People who "don't like Muslims"???

          Today it's people who support and praise terrorists who butchered fifty of us.

          Today it's people who called for Muslims (and indeed all non-whites) to be "culled".

          If I ever say anything similar about anybody then please, go ahead, arrest me, I'll deserve it.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Dabbb Bronze badge

            Well, if you chose to wander into "us" vs "them" territory, just a humble reminder that tally is not in your favor now so you can hardly claim moral ground here.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_terrorism_in_Europe

            1. jmch Silver badge

              "if you chose to wander into "us" vs "them" territory, just a humble reminder that tally is not in your favor now"

              Here's the problem... now it's Islamic terrorism, before that it was the nationalist separatists (IRA, ETA), before that it was the left/communist anarchists (Brigate Rosse / Baader Meinhof). Intermingled with all that are the racist / nationalists of all stripes... and one of the first justifications these morons come up with was "But they started / did worse etc". Supposed grownups still mentally stuck at age 6.

              Forget about tallies. They're just excuses used by nasty people to justify their nasty actions (Besides the fact that no-one "keeping score" actually does so properly / objectively anyway).

            2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

              Muslim here.

              "Islamic" terrorism can only die when people stop calling it Islamic.

              I'd suggest you'd read this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_military_jurisprudence#Ethics_of_warfare (long quote ahead):

              Fighting is justified for legitimate self-defense, to aid other Muslims and after a violation in the terms of a treaty, but should be stopped if these circumstances cease to exist.[3][4][5][6] The principle of forgiveness is reiterated in between the assertions of the right to self-defense.[3]

              During his life, Muhammad gave various injunctions to his forces and adopted practices toward the conduct of war. The most important of these were summarized by Muhammad's companion and first Caliph, Abu Bakr, in the form of ten rules for the Muslim army:[7]

              O people! I charge you with ten rules; learn them well!

              Stop, O people, that I may give you ten rules for your guidance in the battlefield. Do not commit treachery or deviate from the right path. You must not mutilate dead bodies. Neither kill a child, nor a woman, nor an aged man.* Bring no harm to the trees, nor burn them with fire, especially those which are fruitful. Slay not any of the enemy's flock, save for your food. You are likely to pass by people who have devoted their lives to monastic services; leave them alone.*[7]

              ______

              * Tell that to the guy claiming to be Muslim and bombing X where X is a restaurant/subway station/other civilian location.

              ** Tell that to the ISIL guy beheading Christians.

              1. Dabbb Bronze badge

                Well, you just confirmed my point.

                When "they" attack "us" they attack all of "us".

                When one of "us" attacks "them" it has noting to do with "us".

                Who is "us" or "them" is largely irrelevant.

                1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

                  What you are saying is this, if we apply the example of the NZ attack and Muslims:

                  When Muslims attack Western interests, they attack the whole Western society.

                  When a Westerner attacks Muslims, it has nothing to do with Western society.

                  Or is it the other way round?

                  When a Muslim attacks Western society, it has nothing to do with us Muslims.

                  How does that make sense? Can you please clarify your use of the pronouns?

                  1. Dabbb Bronze badge

                    Sure.

                    Who is "us" or "them" is largely irrelevant and depends on which side you are.

                    Better ?

                    p.s. It's interesting how you reduced victims of Islamic terrorism in Europe to "Western interests", as if they were not people at all but some abstract values.

                    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                      Who is "us" or "them" is largely irrelevant and depends on which side you are.

                      "Us" is the general public.

                      That makes whoever attacks the public or some subset of it one of "them".

                      Muslim terrorist, white supremacist, UDA, PIRA? All "them".

                    2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

                      p.s. It's interesting how you reduced victims of Islamic terrorism in Europe to "Western interests", as if they were not people at all but some abstract values.

                      Says a lot about your reading comprehension skills. I used the label "Western" to denote the location, not the values of the West, and certainly not to reduce anybody or anything into abstract values, as you claim.

                      Should we not use the label "Middle Eastern" when referring to victims of ISIL in Syria or Iraq simply because that would reduce them from being victims or people, but some abstract values, as you say?

                      After all, the whole takeaway message of the New Zealand massacre is that people died. Innocent people, regardless of their faith.

                2. Yes Me Silver badge
                  Headmaster

                  They are us

                  Well, since "we" (who can read this discussion, possibly with the help of Google Translate) are all animals of the same species, with the ability to interbreed and a correspondingly small amount of genetic variation, I have a fundamental difficulty in understand these categories "them" and "us". Modern genetics has made it very clear that are no such things as human "races" and there's certainly no genetic marker for Islam, Judaism, or Christianity (they all accept converts). All white supremacists are descended from Africans. Their families simply lost the ability to make enough melanin, so their descendants look pasty and turn bright red in the sun.

                  1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge
                    Devil

                    Re: They are us

                    No sir!

                    The absolutely infallible, modern science of craniometry has proven beyond doubt that the species of white man is evolutionarily superior to that of black man!

                    In fact, black men are actually lesser-evolved primates!

                    (/s)

                    All white supremacists are descended from Africans. Their families simply lost the ability to make enough melanin, so their descendants look pasty and turn bright red in the sun.

                    Well-played.

                    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                      Re: They are us

                      "All white supremacists are descended from Africans. "

                      I had an interesting thought that I don't think science can answer (yet). With evidence strongly pointing to modern humans originating from Africa, were those progenitors dark skinned? I have never seen that question raised and I'm not sure it can presently be answered.

                      On a different track, the attack seems to have been targeted towards a group of people because of their beliefs rather than their ancestral heritage. Islam is very popular in the Philippines as well as non-middle eastern Africa. Does that change much with regards to sect?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                "Islamic" terrorism can only die when people stop calling it Islamic.

                While I agree with you, the problem is that the people doing the terrorism claim to be Islamic. Until there is some sort of official rejection of these groups by the Islamic community, there will be "Islamic" terrorism. A long time ago those in charge of Judaism did the same thing when that darned Jesus sect got too troublesome.

                1. greatfog

                  Re: "Islamic" terrorism can only die when people stop calling it Islamic.

                  Is there such a thing as "the Islamic community"?

                  Consider Sunni and Shi'ah (for a start.)

                  Consider "the Christian community". Does it include the Roman Catholic Church, the Latter-day Saints, and Westboro Baptist Church?

                  1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

                    Re: "Islamic" terrorism can only die when people stop calling it Islamic.

                    Yes. Sects is Good.

                    In the first century CE Judaism had Pharisees, Sadusees, Zealots, Essenes and Jesus Freaks and probably some others. They got somewhat more homogeneous after the failed Jewish rebellion and destruction of the second temple.

                    The Christian community would include Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Coptic (yes, they're still around), various Protestant denominations which, sadly, includes the Westboro Baptist church. The only reason the Westboro bunch isn't chucked out is because it's mostly one inbred family and ain't worth the effort. It does not include the Mormons as they are polytheists or the Jehovah's Witnesses as they do not believe Jesus is God.

                  2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

                    Re: "Islamic" terrorism can only die when people stop calling it Islamic.

                    Consider Sunni and Shi'ah (for a start.)

                    Actually, that's it. Sunnis and Shiites. And the two only differ in what's actually superficial issues, but the basic tenets are the same. The schism is not as wide as in other religions.

                    Under the Sunnis, you have four "sects", but you can't really call them that, because they are not at all incompatible, but rather different complementary answers, just like how in math, you can have different proofs for one problem.

                2. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

                  Re: "Islamic" terrorism can only die when people stop calling it Islamic.

                  While I agree with you, the problem is that the people doing the terrorism claim to be Islamic.

                  Imagine an American dressed in a traditional Chinese outfit. Is it correct to call him Chinese?

                  It is not, because that individual, while having the look of the Chinese, doesn't conform to our known definition of a Chinese person.

                  To solve this, as we solve issues with any definition, let's define the term Islamic.

                  There are two primary sources of Islam: the Quran and the Hadith. The latter means anything that the Prophet Muhammad said or did, all of which was written down and passed down by a strict system of "validated narration chains", which is outside the scope of this topic.

                  These two sources define what is Islamic and what is not.

                  Looking at the primary source I quoted above for instance (which is one example of many many more), it is very clear, even to a casual observer, that the acts of ISIL et al are in clear contradiction with Islamic rules.

                  Therefore, ISIL et al are not Islamic.

                  1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

                    Re: "Islamic" terrorism can only die when people stop calling it Islamic.

                    The flaw in your analogy is that beliefs have no physical markers, unlike ethnicity.

                    As most people are too busy living their own lives to devote any time to comparative religious studies, any nutcase can claim to do something in the name of whatever sky-fairy they like and none of us would be the wiser. This is why there must either be a groundswell of people like yourself clearly pointing out why the looneys are wrong or a group of really important clergy denouncing such violence.

                    Thank you for the information posted, it is a step in the right direction and I hope it encourages others to speak up.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "Arrested for sharing and describing the actions of the terrorist as "excellent!"

        After having made a video where he says "bring on the cull!" (of Muslims).

        This is who we're talking about."

        Are people being charged for sharing the video or the audio commentary or both?

        I haven't seen or heard this video file and I might find the commentary offensive, insensitive or downright callous, but that's my problem. There is plenty of content on the intertubes that isn't very nice. Welcome to the real world. I don't want any government censoring this sort of thing to protect my delicate soul. It's lasted decades on its own, thank you very much.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. macjules Silver badge

      The alleged crime – breaking the nation's 1993 Films, Videos and Publications Classification Act – carries a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

      Mark Zuckerberg is meanwhile on holiday ...

    4. Pan Narrans

      Arrested for sharing a video of **people being murdered**.

      I'm cool with arresting sick fucks like that

      1. Dabbb Bronze badge

        So what do we do with footage of JFK assassination ? Wipe all tapes and delete all documentaries ?

        Or is it only those who share video that YOU don't like are criminals ?

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Do we wipe the videos of the holocaust camps. Do we ban visits to the Killing Fields?

          1. 45RPM Silver badge

            Again, disingenuous. We need to remember the dead, learn from the tragedy and mourn the loss of innocent lives. These materials are necessary, educationally, to help disprove the lies that these holocausts didn’t occur. If it was possible to arrest people who get some kind of sick gratification from watching these films though you can be sure I’d support that.

            1. Gritzwally Philbin

              Okay. Education it is. And when the lesson is one of being aware of the situation and location one is in? I saw the video early on when it came in on one of the sites I go to.. the gruesome tally happened in part the way it did (useless sack of shit asshole with firearm notwithstanding) as the mosque had no rear emergency exits or windows for the victims to escape through. There were no doors I could see or walls with alcoves, to step into, no place to hide. Only ONE way in and out.. through the front door where the assailant was shooting from and he had a clear view the length of the rooms to both rear corners and a hallway down the center of the building that was - and this is a shit thing to say - like a shooting gallery. The next time something like this happens, it could be in a movie theater, a shopping mall, a sports venue.. an office. Basically anywhere. With that as a given, it's certainly a wise move from now on for ALL of us - each and every one - to be mindful of where we are and the ways to escape if things go bad. For sure I am now going to be keenly aware of spaces I go into and if there's only a single way out, I will avoid them.

              1. flayman

                I don't know why you'd need to watch this video to appreciate that. It's a given. In places where it's easy to acquire weapons of mass murder, there's a passing chance of being murdered that way as you are going about your business. It is certainly a good idea to be mindful of your avenues of escape wherever you are and whatever you happen to be doing. I guess we also learned, as though this weren't already known, that buildings with only one exit are not particularly safe. It's a very hard lesson to learn for those who were unfortunately involved, but that also doesn't really require watching a video. Recommendations should certainly flow from this.

              2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                "With that as a given, it's certainly a wise move from now on for ALL of us - each and every one - to be mindful of where we are and the ways to escape if things go bad. For sure I am now going to be keenly aware of spaces I go into and if there's only a single way out, I will avoid them."

                Why? In most countries, you're more likely to die in a road traffic accident than you are of being murdered. Likewise, in most countries, buildings must have fire escapes so there should always be another way out. I'm rather surprised that the Mosque in NZ didn't have fire escapes, likely more than one based on the maximum capacity of the building. Most countries define the number and types of escape routes based on the size and maximum capacity of the building.

                Having lived through the era of IRA bomb attacks on civilians in the UK, I'm aware of things, but it's not changed how I live my life. Allowing atrocities like this to change your life means the bad guys win. I've also seen the more recent "Islamist" attacks in the UK. But that doesn't make me frightened or suspicious of anyone who looks a bit "brown".. (especially since colour is no indication of religion anyway)

                1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  "Most countries define the number and types of escape routes based on the size and maximum capacity of the building."

                  Sort of. The maximum capacity of a building is usually determined by the number and configuration of exits. In the design stage, a maximum capacity is usually part of the brief and exits are configured to meet current code, but that can be modified by inspectors or changes in the code.

            2. MachDiamond Silver badge

              "If it was possible to arrest people who get some kind of sick gratification from watching these films though you can be sure I’d support that."

              Why? Is it worth the time and money?

          2. LDS Silver badge

            If there were videos of Nazis happily killing people in extermination camps, and inciting people to do the same telling what they were doing was good, sure, they should be banned.

            The videos we have are from the people who freed them - and documented what happened - something that could have been hard to believe, otherwise.

            If someone can't spot the difference, they have a problem.

            The JF Kennedy murder film actually tells nothing - but for some forensic analysis - and if it wasn't shown would have not been an issue, how he was killed it's mostly a matter for investigations. But it was already an era when TV was looking for ways to increase what now are "clicks".

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              The difference

              "If there were videos of Nazis happily killing people in extermination camps, and inciting people to do the same telling what they were doing was good, sure, they should be banned.

              The videos we have are from the people who freed them - and documented what happened - something that could have been hard to believe, otherwise.

              If someone can't spot the difference, they have a problem."

              I can spot the difference and I think the former are arguably more powerful in refuting deniers than the latter. Furthermore, they are also arguably more powerful for inspiring revulsion. I get that such videos will be shared due to a lurid fascination and do have the potential to inspire more violence. But widespread dissemination could be just what we need to bring home the vivid reality to vast numbers of placid observers for whom the manifestation of hatred is a comfortable abstraction.

              1. flayman

                Re: The difference

                You're forgetting about the immediacy of this video compared to the historical nature of the hypothetical footage of gleeful Nazi killings. Dissemination of the Nazi examples would not encourage more gleeful Nazi killing and recording of that. The content refers to people long dead. There is footage I have seen of the execution of a Viet Cong prisoner. It is not going to be regarded as as an "objectionable publication" because of the overriding historical significance. It is not a snuff film produced for perverse enjoyment. This live shooter video has been produced for something like that, and the anticipated consumption and reactions are part of what fuelled the event and future events of this nature. The sharing leading to reactions of glorification also needs a strong deterrent in order to disincentivize these acts.

                There are also various rights in play, some of which are probably not well defined but are understandable with a common sense approach. I'd argue that family of the dead have the right to preserve the dignity of their loved ones and to be protected against further trauma. The dead themselves may have or have had rights engaged that are violated by the public dissemination of this video.

            2. Cederic

              re: "If there were videos of Nazis happily killing people in extermination camps"

              There are. They've been broadcast on ITV. I even have a copy on DVD.

              But apparently in New Zealand that'd be illegal. Good job I didn't take that DVD to New Zealand.

          3. rmason Silver badge

            @R Lee

            No, we don't ban videos of the holocaust.

            Apply thew same scenarios. These people shared the videos with "bring on the cull" or being happy about the body acount etc etc.

            I'm pretty sure you'd come a cropper of those same laws were you to share a video of the holocaust with similar messages about bringing on the cull of jews etc. Not so if you were shown them at school, for example.

            1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
              Childcatcher

              No, we don't ban videos of the holocaust. Apply thew same scenarios. These people shared the videos with "bring on the cull" or being happy about the body acount etc etc.

              This points to the importance of accounting for intent and context in evaluating these acts rather than relying on content alone. While censorship can be and often is abused, using this to push the agenda of the person who killed these people is equivalent to yelling Fire! in a crowded theater.

            2. rg287 Bronze badge

              Apply thew same scenarios. These people shared the videos with "bring on the cull" or being happy about the body acount etc etc.

              I agree entirely, which is where the NZ actions are coming over a bit strongly. By all means finger the collars of those gleefully sharing such footage with dispicable comments, or in the context of inciting further violence, but statements such as:

              He added: "Every New Zealander should now be clear that this clip is an illegal, harmful and reprehensible record created to promote a terrorist cause. If you have a record of it, you must delete it. If you see it, you should report it. Possessing or distributing it is illegal, and only supports a criminal agenda." Anyone sharing or storing the video faces a $10,000 fine and up to 14 years in the cooler.

              Presumably the Police are exempt from that restriction? I'm pretty sure they have a copy or five stashed as evidence, as will security services around the world. It's footage that will no doubt have educational value to Security personnel.

              How about criminology researchers? Is a notable Doctor of criminology going to be prosecuted for mere possession? If they were being independently fingered for terrorist activity themselves then fair enough, but purely as an academic record?

              Censor Shank's sweeping and absolute statement - without additional qualifiers - is self-evidently not true.

              Meanwhile, at least seven people were cuffed in the UK for alleged hate crimes regarding the Christchurch massacre.

              Doesn't seem like the Editors of either the Mail or the Sun are amongst them though, despite both publications rehosting the video on their own websites for a period until someone pointed out that not only was it in the poorest taste (not that they'd care about that), but that they couldn't very well be griefing Facebook and YouTube for not taking videos down fast enough if they themselves were hosting a copy!

          4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            How many films have you seen from the holocaust camps showing people being murdered?

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              A few. As pointed out previously, the films made by the Nazis are more valuable since there isn't conspiracy angles that can be made with them in the same way that some deniers do of films made by forces that rescued survivors. I've seen claims that scenes of emaciated prisoners were fabricated. I suppose that people that believe that could also claim that the Nazi films were made in a studio in Hollywood next door to where they did the moon landing ones.

        2. 45RPM Silver badge

          That’s disingenuous and you know it. The murder of JFK wasn’t a terrorist attack on an entire community. It was the targeted murder of one man for political ends.

          Sharing that video doesn’t cause the same damage because any idiot wanting to do the same thing will be disappointed - JFK has been murdered already. Sharing videos of entire communities being killed, untargeted, their individual identities unimportant to the murderer, could well incite copycat attacks.

          Now I’m not saying that it was right, and I certainly don’t want to watch the footage, but it isn’t the same thing at all.

          And don’t forget Poppers Paradox which, in essence, states that free speech must be limited to protect free speech.

          1. Wayland Bronze badge

            "The murder of JFK wasn’t a terrorist attack on an entire community. "

            Yes it was. It was an attack on all of the President's supporters and arguably on the whole USA.

        3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

          Wipe all tapes and delete all documentaries

          Documentary <> live streaming by the killer

        4. DontFeedTheTrolls
          Headmaster

          It is not the actual content, but the manner in which it is distributed.

          Glorifying the event is wrong, appropriate reporting is normal. Reposting the JFK footage across social media accompanied by statements like "Kill all Presidents" is clearly in a different league to Walter Cronkite's voiceover on the footage reporting JFKs death.

      2. The Axe

        So no videos of the enemy being killed then?

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Does it have historical or educational merit? If the answer is no then the footage should be erased. Who wants to see people die?

        2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          So no videos of the enemy being killed then?

          Not unless you want to be prosecuted for breaching the Geneva Conventions - no.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I've seen it, I've commented on it, I've shared it with about 400 people.

        It's an important video because the man did not work alone. You can see him stop what he's doing to go and shoot someone on the other side of the building way down the car park. He will have had someone in his ear suggest he do that unless he is psychic. "Looks like no burn tonight lads" after he does this having been interrupted from getting the petrol cans.

        I suggest people stop being all snowflake offended and actually watch the video.

    5. CPU

      the law is the law...

      What's that Officer, I was doing 40 in a 30 zone... maybe I was, but I was having a philosophical discussion with this stranger I picked up along the way about the Pros and Cons of a liberal society, so surely that means it was OK, because I wasn't hurting anyone as I sped along? What do you mean the law is the law...

      People can see the line they crossed, they just refuse to admit it.

    6. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

      I COMPLETELY DISAGREE with the New Zealand 14 years sentencing gudioelines or even such a STOOOPID LAW !!!! Thought crimes are ABOMIINABLE AND HEINOUS !!! and against ALL semblance of human liberty!

      I say ARREST the police and New Zealand Prime Minister and CHARGE THEM WITH CRIMES AGAINST the liberty of people to think for themselves! 1.2 MILLION uploads says that people are interested so THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE SHALL NOT BE ABRIDGED !!!!

      FIRE the New Zealand Prime Minister and ARREST/Charge the New Zealand police with UNLAWFUL AND ILLEGAL activities against the population of New Zealand!

      If you want to hang the New Zealand shooter high under Death Penalty laws for Murder, please do so if you so wish! BUT THOUGHT CRIMES? NO NO NO NO !!! That is DEFINITELY a Slippery Slope and based upon history I say NEVER AGAIN !!!! DEFEND YOURSELVES VIGOROUSLY AGAINST SUCH UNLAWFUL AND DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL thoughtcrime laws, and if necessary use FORCE against ANY such leaders who DARE apply such UNJUSTIFIED AND ILLEGAL LAWS against the population of New Zealand or ANY ANYWHERE ELSE for that matter!!!

      NEVER AGAIN !!!!!!! NEVER AGAIN !!!!!!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL thoughtcrime laws,"

        Maybe when the red haze lifts, you can re-read the article. There's no thought crime. They are being charged for acts not thoughts.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        El Reg: Perhaps there's a need for a "green ink" tag.

  2. Ogi

    > New Zealand authorities have started arresting people that shared a video of the live murders of 50 people in Christchurch last week.

    This unfortunate event has, in my opinion, been made worse by the knee-jerk reaction to it. Everything from banning websites that just host discussion about the event, to those who held a copy of the manifesto, or even the video. It is just full bore censorship, now people are being arrested for sharing information, not like they used to do in the USSR, and still do in certain dictatorships.

    Yes, this event was horrible, and I do not condone it in the slightest, nor do I particularly desire to watch the video even if it was available, but that governments are using it as an excuse to forbid the general public from having access to raw evidence of the event "for their own benefits" is dangerous.

    The idea being that the only "true" source of information should be government approved media is a dangerous one. Yet this is the first time people are directly being forbidden from accessing the "primary sources" as historians would say, of an event in a "western democracy". And not in a subtle way of the past, but straight up arrest for sharing information.

    My worry is that this event will be used as a pretext for a draconian clamp down on the free dissemination of information. Yes, right now its a rather horrid mass killing video, but once the system is in place, I am sure a lot of other information will be added to the "black hole", and that does not sit well with me.

    A populace that cannot be adequately informed is one that cannot make a good decision (due to lack of information). Information is power, and those who control the flow of information have power over you. In a democracy it is dangerous to let those whose power depends on votes, be the only source of information to those who do the voting.

    1. Ogi

      > not like they used to do in the USSR, and still do in certain dictatorships.

      "...not unlike they used to do in the USSR...", damn typos that change the sentence meaning.

      I will also add, that I would rather the loonies who support the extremist clearly and loudly proclaim so in public (makes it easier for people to avoid them, and law enforcement to keep an eye on them in case they get any bright ideas themselves), rather than be driven underground, where it will be much harder to keep track of them.

      Ideologies cannot be killed as such. Even the most discredited of ideologies can always find an ideologue to support them. As such, suppressing information does not remove it, just makes it harder to track its supporters and the spread of said ideology.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >My worry is that this event will be used as a pretext for a draconian clamp down on the free dissemination of information.

      That's my worry too, the scumbag copyright lobby and such will use this to further their case for Article 13 and so forth but nobody has really batted an eyelid at the river of videos floating out of Syria and neighbouring areas for the past few years that in all honesty make this video look tame.

      Please don't get me wrong here that I'm trying to justify anything on behalf of a nutcase and their murderous beliefs but I am questioned the differing responses by politicians, press and the media to the photographic and video evidence of atrocities committed in different parts of the World.

      Somebody once said of TV that it's an open sewer in your living room but just because a sewer is beneath your feet and out of sight doesn't mean to say it doesn't exist and if you could see the sewer then just perhaps you might want to make the World a better place.

      1. Ogi

        > Somebody once said of TV that it's an open sewer in your living room but just because a sewer is beneath your feet and out of sight doesn't mean to say it doesn't exist and if you could see the sewer then just perhaps you might want to make the World a better place.

        It is interesting, (and I agree with your post in general). If TV is the sewer of humanity, I always thought the internet is the mirror of humanity, as it is the collaborative effort of information dissemination by the human race, globally and without borders.

        You look into the internet, and you see the state of humanity, as a collective, warts and all, at that point in time. It is the first time in the history of the human race we can do this, and it could really change society, far more than it has already.

        You see the horrors, the evil, the death, depravity and destruction (and it goes beyond just this one event). You also see the good, the interesting, the educational, the funny, the entertaining and the uplifting.

        I would rather have this mirror unvarnished and uncensored, because when you see the bad bits, you can do what you can to minimise them and improve the good bits.

        suppressing information on the internet to me is akin to trying to blot out bits on the mirror you don't like with paint. Yes, you can't see the bad bits anymore, and you can play the "out of sight, out of mind" trick and just pretend they don't exist, but they are still there, and if unchecked, they can grow and get worse until you end up having to blot out most of the mirror.

        1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

          Brilliant post ... but I have only one tiny objection:

          You look into the internet, and you see the state of humanity, as a collective, warts and all, at that point in time. It is the first time in the history of the human race we can do this, and it could really change society, far more than it has already.

          I don't think that this mirror represents all of humanity equally. Does China, for example, get the same amount and strength of representation as the West (US, UK, and Europe)? Not really, as I see it.

      2. Dabbb Bronze badge

        I'd say that in this particular case copyright owner would not object to people spreading his video.

    3. Trixr Bronze badge

      Most countries in the world have censorship laws, so please stop with the slippery slope argument.

      Posting the video was already an offense in NZ law, under the Human Rights Act 1993 - Section 61 Racial Disharmony, which bans media "being matter or words likely to excite hostility against or bring into contempt any group of persons in or who may be coming to New Zealand on the ground of the colour, race, or ethnic or national origins of that group of persons."

      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0082/latest/DLM304643.html

      Before that, going back to 1972, there was the offense of "Inciting Racial Hatred". None of this is new or "knee jerk". In fact, to be prosecuted on racial disharmony grounds, it needs the assent of the Attorney General - checks and balances.

      Beyond that, any material can be banned by the govt Censor after classifying it objectional, including graphic violence. Even *fictional* graphic violence. Hundreds of media items are currently classified as Banned/Not Approved in NZ, mostly violent pr0n, but some just on the grounds on pure violence.

      And beyond those two mechanisms, no, the govt does not "approve" what we watch. As has been the case for decades.

      1. The Axe

        @TrixrBronze For some reason the laws are imposed on those of a brown disposition who commit hate crimes and against those with a paler disposition.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "@TrixrBronze For some reason the laws are imposed on those of a brown disposition who commit hate crimes and against those with a paler disposition."

          Have got even the vaguest concept of what this story is about or are you just randomly banging on the keyboard in the hope that some kind of sentence will result?

      2. cornetman

        >Most countries in the world have censorship laws, so please stop with the slippery slope argument.

        Your comment is self-refuting.

        Think about it for a few minutes. It will come to you.

        Clue: we are quite a long way down the slope already, going back as far as perhaps at least 1972.

    4. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Governments have been exploring ways of clamping down on the population. Everything from pulling the plug on the internet locally to arresting dissenters. The last has been going on for decades in some countries.

      So this state of affairs doesn't surprise me. It appalls me that they'd use jail time, etc. I do believe that perhaps it is time to rethink things. The evening news has history with showing the most horrendous things but usually (in the past) censored things like bodies and the actual killing for broadcast. In this case, I think the kneejerk is bad thing since they don't censor the stuff coming out of ISIS for example.

      Somehow banning one thing and not all things like this is not right nor a good thing. The context in which it is presented though, is another matter.

    5. veti Silver badge

      Straw man argument. We are not forbidden from watching "for our own benefit", but for the distress and fear it is likely to cause to some innocent people who may be exposed to it, and for the aid and comfort it gives to our enemies (terrorists).

      And how do you work out this is "the first time in history" people are being directly forbidden from accessing primary sources? What about, e.g., all those Isis beheading videos that have been repeatedly and systematically taken down from YouTube and elsewhere for the past five years?

      It is a considerable reach to go from "classifying a video as 'objectionable'" to "the only 'true' source of information being government approved media", and you have made no attempt to justify the leap. You seem to be implying a "slippery slope" argument, without actually using the words, but you haven't said anything about either the gradient or the coefficient of friction of the slope. Without which, it's not an argument.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        The Problem with Censorship

        >We are not forbidden from watching "for our own benefit", but for the distress and fear it is likely to cause to some innocent people who may be exposed to it, and for the aid and comfort it gives to our enemies (terrorists).

        If the problem is offending other people, first of all, its only irritating platforms like facebook which *push* videos at you. The web is inherently a "pull" architecture. Why would you censor content coming to me, because of what someone else thinks of it? As for the graphic violence, how does it compare, for example, with an Indiana Jones film? Is that allowed?

        If we can't give comfort and aid to our enemies, we have another problem. I tracked down a copy of the shooter's manifesto. On the first page is a logo with his core beliefs, including:

        - Workers rights

        - Anti-imperialism

        - Environmentalism

        - Responsible markets

        - Addiction-free communities

        - Law and order

        Are we going to deny all these? It gets worse. He's very explicit that he wasn't radicalised by internet content, it was a trip to France where he saw the effects of mass immigration. It is actually mass immigration that he is against. He really isn't really very anti-Muslim, he just thinks they should stay in their home countries. He calls that out explicitly. At least in his manifesto, he isn't a particularly strong white supremacist. Certainly he's proud of his cultural heritage but he basically wants people to stay where they are.

        Did I mention that it gets worse? He predicted what the response would be and designed his attack to maximise that response. He used a gun in the attack not for its effectiveness at killing people, but because he knew it would lead to more calls for gun control. His aim was to create "a cultural and racial split" - civil war - by provoking calls for harsher gun-control and the resulting backlash (at least in the US) by those insisting on their right to defend themselves from shooters like himself.

        And look what happened. More calls for gun control from the politicians at the very top who should have known better, giving him exactly what he wanted.

        He knew the stupid attempts at linking his violence with computer games would come up and calls out being radicalised by Spyro (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss9a7Yj_ifY) and trained by fortnite. Just so the journalists would look like idiots when they jumped to that trope. He knew journalists would jump at the chance to link "eco-fascist" with Candace Owens and Pewdipie so he serves them up a feast of references and call-outs, driving them into an insane ideological feeding-frenzy and policy push, in order to profit from the resulting polarising backlash.

        And look what happened. Apparently even Chelsea Clinton "has blood on her hands." Telstra's clumsy and heavy-handed blocking of bitchute means I can no longer use and support my favourite alt-tech video site. I like alt-tech because I think monopoly is bad, I have no interest in a video of people being killed, but all my favourite vloggers are now unavailable to me for the duration of my train ride home. Well I'm sure that was worthwhile. I'm now looking for a VPN and an alternative telco. Having been impacted by censorship, I'm now really keen to explore and develop systems for insulating myself from the stupid virtue-signally from the powers that be.

        Those in political and technical power have given him precisely the polarising effect he was after. Why couldn't you just let him alone be evil? Why did you have to dance to his tune? You are his useful idiots.

    6. TReko

      One wonders if the 9/11 video of planes crashing into buildings or the Zapruder cine camera tapes of JFK's assassination would be similarly banned today.

      Allowing people to see what actually happened is honest while censoring facts just fuels conspiracies.

      1. 45RPM Silver badge

        I think it is necessary to consider the footage on its own merit. Is it a historical document, with educational benefit (however distasteful) or is it merely a snuff movie for racist / creedist / prejudiced in whatever way perverts.

        Make the decision and then, yes, censor as necessary. One of the ills of the internet is that it makes quality censorship nigh on impossible.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          makes quality censorship nigh on impossible

          Especially as 'social media' seem to be pathologically opposed to *actually* spending proper money on solving the issue.

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        You'll note that 9/11 and JFK's assassination has no shortage of conspiracy theorists despite being caught on camera.

        This is not a video that shows what happened anyway, this is just a video which glorifies terrorism whose intent is bringing other nutbags out of the woodwork. You don't need to see people getting murdered, I don't need to see people getting murdered, nobody does.

        I haven't seen it and I don't intend to. I don't know why anyone would want to see it.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      it is, perhaps by instinct rather than design, a knee-jerk reaction of those who have controlled (or believed they do) access to the "information tap", never mind the real or faked rationale, pure censorship.

      btw, you might think such ban is unlikely to be extended to less serious cases, but I can easily see a not totally impossible scenario of rioting in the UK following our glorious brexit (or non-brexit), and then, authorities chasing anyone who violated a ban on "sharing violent material destabilising security of the State". Although, more likely then not, they would just block most or all internet access "temporarily".

    8. greatfog

      8.3.4. "How will privacy and anonymity be attacked?"

      ...

      - like so many other "computer hacker" items, as a tool for the "Four

      Horsemen": drug-dealers, money-launderers, terrorists, and pedophiles.

      -- "Cyphernomicon", Cypherpunks

      Dead link: [https://cypherpunks.to/faq/cyphernomicron/chapter8.html#3]

  3. Gene Cash Silver badge

    > New Zealand's chief censor

    As Adam Savage would say: "There's YER PROBLEM"

    And as my WW-II veteran grandfather would say "I may completely disagree with what you say, and find it reprehensible, but I would fight to the death for your right to say it"

    1. Dabbb Bronze badge

      Your grandfather's nickname was Voltaire and you must be around 200 years old ?

      1. jonathan keith

        A common misconception - in fact the line was written by a woman called Beatrice Evelyn Hall in her biography of Voltaire.

        1. Dabbb Bronze badge

          So Beatrice Evelyn Hall was writing about commentard's granddad, what are you arguing about ?

    2. jonathan keith

      Well, yes - however, it's also the case that having the freedom to express one's opinion goes hand in hand with accepting the consequences of expressing that opinion.

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        hand in hand with accepting the consequences of expressing that opinion

        *Ding* *Ding* *Ding*.

        Give that commentard a ceegar/beer/food of choice. An arguement often ignored by the freeze-peach lot. Yes, you can say what you like, but don't expect society/Government et. al. to not respond.

      2. dervheid

        nor should that 'freedom of expression' have any sort of expectation of any right to have it universally published

      3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        I've argued this many times in many places - there should be no legal consequences of expressing an opinion. It is acting on the opinion that matters. Free speech is vital.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "there should be no legal consequences of expressing an opinion"

          Murdering people and broadcasting it isn't expressing an opinion. It's murdering people and broadcasting it. If you choose to rebroadcast it it's still not expressing an opinion, it's being an accessory after the fact. The victims' rights to life override the murderer's right to kill them - overwhelmingly as the latter doesn't exist - and hence your right to rebroadcast the occasion.

      4. Wayland Bronze badge

        No you're not expected to be punished by the authorities for doing something that's legal.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh Chris Morris and Brass Eye, where are you as we need you now more than ever.

  5. James 47

    > Meanwhile, New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern issued what she said was a "global call" to combat the racist ideology behind the attacks, and argued that every country needed to target white nationalism and including "weed it out where it exists and make sure that we never create an environment where it can flourish."

    According to the BBC, her comments were targeted to right-wing nationalism, not white nationalism, unless only white people can be right-wing these days.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-47634132

    1. DCFusor Silver badge

      Are Oz and NZ the same nation? So how was this guy a nationalist? Crazy, evil, religious bigot, racist, sure. Probably a few more I left out.

      There are haters out there that wish the actual right wing would accept them, but nope - anymore than progressives think Antifa is a really neat idea. Accurate language matters.

      Please stop discrediting yourself by trying to push your agenda using some horrible event as an excuse, it's disgusting to attempt to leverage tragedy, even though it's all too common. I know no "right wing" people who think that this was cool and I know a lot of them.

      As for censorship, I agree with the above - let the nutcases self-identify, they will drive the good people away from themselves - and discredit their own ideas. If you worry the losers will instead gather a following, maybe you should work more on teaching morals and critical thinking instead of indoctrination in schools.

      1. veti Silver badge

        Neither Oz nor NZ are "nations", in the sense that "nationalists" understand it. They're countries. It's a different thing.

        nation, n.: a large body of people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory.

        A "country", on the other hand, is a political unity defined by its government, not its people.

        On one level, it's ironic that an Australian white nationalist chose to commit these murders in a foreign country. But once you understand what "nation" means in this context, it makes sense. (Hint: it would exclude Aborigines and Maori, as well as Muslims.)

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          "On one level, it's ironic that an Australian white nationalist chose to commit these murders in a foreign country. But once you understand what "nation" means in this context, it makes sense. (Hint: it would exclude Aborigines and Maori, as well as Muslims.)"

          Ironically, he lived in NZ, hence by definition, is an immigrant. He just happens to look generally similar to the majority population. Maybe he should have started with himself and saved everyone else a lot of grief?

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "According to the BBC, her comments were targeted to right-wing nationalism, not white nationalism, unless only white people can be right-wing these days."

      And for that matter, why just right-wing? Is left-wing any better? And it's certainly not just a "nationalism" thing either. There are many violent psychopaths out there latching on to any old "-ism" that happens to most align with their objectives, left-, right-, race-, religion-, etc.

  6. Claverhouse Bronze badge

    The Wedding Crasher

    These people are beyond tasteless, but tastelessness is not a crime, and this censorship is designed to crush political views not allowed.

    I do not share those views, but I don't see why other people should not have different opinions and beliefs than I.

    .

    Also from the start I didn't see why the shooter bozo was a wicked murderer for mass killing muslims and Dronemaster Obama a hero for mass killing muslims.

    1. DCFusor Silver badge

      Re: The Wedding Crasher

      Sting's "Murder by numbers" might have an explanation, or the recent financial events. Above a certain size, it's not illegal or immoral anymore in our world...the Just-Us system seems to act like that, anyway, and the media mostly just go along. Even here you get a downvote for pointing out the obvious.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will NZ be looking to extradite President Erdogan for mass screening the video at his rallies ?

    1. corestore

      I doubt it; he hasn't committed any offences under NZ law.

      Pissed off New Zealanders? Absolutely. But no criminal offence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Pissed off New Zealanders? Absolutely. But no criminal offence.

        Just pissed off New Zealanders ?

        If you can't see just how calculated an offensive act that was to use a tragedy for personal political gain and throwing petrol onto a bonfire then I suggest a trip to the opticians.

        1. corestore

          Errrr I can, that's why so many people are pissed off with him, as I said.

          You're running at an open door.

          Should I have said 'majorly pissed off'? 'Incandescent'?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            You're running at an open door.

            Hmmm no, I think I'm more watching someone trying to ride a bicycle while peddling backwards.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    His Manifesto

    The Manifesto is an interesting one to be kept secret. He describes himself as a communist turned eco-fascist... which... you know, kinda gets rid of the 'Extreme Right' idea, the right wing not being too keen on the whole Communism thing.

    The rest of it lays out his reasons for the killing, which I'm not going to give the light of day here and which I disagree with. But they're valuable to figure out what drove this person to commit these acts. Understanding /why/ they do it should help us prevent them from doing it again, assuming there's some actual rationale laid out.

    Documents like this, the manifesto of Anders Breivik, even things like Mein Kampf are interesting views into the head of monsters. They absolutely should be preserved and freely available so we can better understand people like this.

    Censorship of them just means that we have less information on which to build up a view of the people who succumb to Humanity's darker side, or people who commit atrocities while thinking they're helping.

    AC as I don't want to be arrested by the NZ fuzz for reading a document that's supposed to be in the Memory Hole...

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: His Manifesto

      The "manifesto" has not (yet) been banned. Ardern has (politely) asked people not to share it, but there is no crime in possessing it or even sharing it at present.

      Personally I feel about it the same as about "true crime" TV: it's rather gross, rather disturbing, rather sad, and I'd rather not waste my life reading it. Specialist psychologists, sociologists, political scientists, spooks and cops might get something from it. I'm not in any of those categories, so I'll leave it to them, thanks.

      If you think you are gaining understanding from it - well, just keep in mind that the killer wanted you to read it. Some of the arguments presented there may represent sincerely held beliefs, but I'll warrant that not all of them do, and I'll further bet that you can't reliably tell the difference.

    2. corestore

      Re: His Manifesto

      You missed out the most relevant part of his manifesto; he's a raving white supremacist / white ethno-state proponent.

      That's WHY he was shooting brown people in a mosque.

      1. PaulFrederick

        Re: His Manifesto

        Perhaps you can point out in Brenton's manifesto precisely where he claims whites are any better than anyone else because I must have missed that passage myself.

        1. flayman

          Re: His Manifesto

          I'm not going to read his manifesto. He hasn't been shot dead, so there will be a trial at which point it will all come out. It's not particularly important what he thinks about white supremacy unless you're someone who cares about white supremacy and feels the need to defend that sort of thinking. He shot up two mosques, killing 50 Muslim worshippers, and made sure he could stream a live recording of it. There's no need to say it, but not all white supremacists are murderers or advocate murder, just as not all (in fact relatively quite few) Muslims harbour terrorist intentions.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: His Manifesto

      It's a shopping list of the usual kind of hateful stuff we've all heard before made by a lunatic who kills people because of their skin colour, calling it a manifesto is raising it way above its station.

  9. veti Silver badge

    To be clear...

    That "Philip Neville Arps" is a man who, three years ago, turned up at one of these same mosques and dumped boxes of pigs' heads on the grounds, before making a Heil Hitler salute. He was quoted as saying at the time: "White power, I don't go to a mosque often, it should be f***ing molotovs."

    For that event, at the time, he was fined $800.

    When he heard about this attack, he posted "Excellent". So let's not waste too much time worrying about his true motives or sympathies.

    There's certainly a debate to be had about the appropriate response to acts of excessive hatred that fall short of actual violence. But it's a debate, with arguments to be made on several sides. Let's not assume that "everything short of actual violence must be permitted, else you're no better than Stalin" is the only possible rational position to take. Or indeed, that it's any kind of rational position at all.

  10. Barry Rueger Silver badge

    You can always spot the Americans...

    They're the ones shouting from the rooftops about CENSORSHIP while their FCC fines radio stations for allowing the word "fuck" to be broadcast. Freedom of speech is an illusion. It's just that some societies have their populations better trained to self-censor.

    As was stated somewhere today, it's amazing that Facebook, who have proved positively excellent at blocking any and all images of nipples, are powerless to block video of racist massacres. Or how YouTube can claim that they were powerless to stop the repeated uploads of the same video instead of just deciding to shut down all uploads until they could properly police their service.

    These corporations really don't care, and can't be relied on to behave in anything like a responsible manner.

    1. Waseem Alkurdi Silver badge

      Re: You can always spot the Americans...

      Follow the money.

  11. bryces666

    could be educational?

    If I were to see this video, I would be paying attention to how to survive a mass shooting event. Who were the survivors, and what were their actions that improved there chances of making it out alive. Ideally I'd want a sanitised version of the video, maybe done by obfuscating the identity of people (maybe even render it as cartoon effect), and mark it up with survivor, injured or died so one can be a little more prepared if caught up in such an event personally. Could even be rendered as a floor plan of movement, but having the view a of the gun holder also shows what they are paying attention to in their rampage, what catches their attention, and more importantly what they are not noticing. But at the moment this is too soon, the horror of it is too close and real, one day something like this may be a useful resource.

    1. Likkie

      Re: could be educational?

      Could also be used to educate future offenders to perform more "efficiently". No thanks.

      1. stiine Bronze badge

        Re: could be educational?

        Like a training video? That's fucking twisted.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: could be educational?

      "I would be paying attention to how to survive a mass shooting event. "

      Really? You'd be better off studying how to survive a lightning strike. More useful.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No good purpose

    The video itself is a crime.

    Watching it must also be a crime.

    Its intent is to incite and to glorify murder and racism.

    Apart from Police/Coroner evidence, there is no good purpose to having access.

    None.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The authorities confirmed they have urged Facebook to cough up the names

    presumably, suckers in the UK will also get a knock on the door (except tabloid press sharing the links of course, where lawyers have already uncorked the champagne, as they prepare for years' long court spectacle that'll keep them busy).

  14. JaitcH
    Thumb Down

    Another Remnant of the British Commonwealth With a Foot in the Last Century

    New Zealand is a quite backwater and still very conservative. The country has many of the characteristics of the UK circa 1950.

    Remember the outcry about Lady Chatterly's lover - well thumbed copies circulated in schools at the time - which, these days, is pretty tame.

    Check out > https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_the_United_Kingdom <.

  15. DDearborn

    Hmmm

    These high profile "arrests" have nothing to do with "incitement" or "intent". These high profile arrests which are getting so much exposure by the media are designed for one purpose and one purpose only: to stop people from viewing the video. And let us be perfectly clear. THERE IS NOTHING ILLEGAL ABOUT WATCHING A VIDEO OF THIS NATURE!!. Let me say it again" there is nothing illegal about watching a video of this nature!!!! At least in America we have a 1st amendment right to do so. But equally important is the fact that the establishment has said nothing over the years about the literally thousands of videos depicting similar types of violence that have but posted to the internet over the years. There is NO SUCH THING as a THOUGHT CRIME for obvious reasons, not the least of which is that is absolutely, positively impossible for the state to prove it.

    The reason the establishment is trying to get this video off the net is simple: the video has some very troubling "anomalies" which call into question the validity of the video and thus the "official" narrative of the events of that day. Jail time for viewing a video which was posted in a public forum isn't just idiotic, it is a crime in itself.......It also suggests that the establishment has something to hide.

    1. flayman

      Troubling anomalies? This sounds like your typical Sandy-Hook style conspiracy theory denialist BS. In that case, please do eff right off. Seriously. Are you saying you actually watched a first person shooter video of a confirmed mass murder exercise because you were searching for the "truth"? I suppose those people aren't really dead or they weren't really people or something. It was all CGI and this was all just a stunt so New Zealand could ban assault rifles. I have absolutely had it with people who expound these ridiculous theories. Please eliminate yourself from the world. I suppose it was only a matter of time.

    2. Groaning Ninny

      Yes, there's nothing illegal about watching the video. That's why people are being told to report it if they see it. Possessing or distributing are quite different.

      Okay, I understand that appealing to reason won't work with you because you're already trying to turn this into a conspiracy theory. Sheesh.

      Ah... just looked at this person's comment history. Well, there you go then. Nutjob.

  16. Ali on the Reg

    Arresting Muslims?

    What about the many Muslims (I am Muslim) who shared the video? Are they going to get arrested too? (I neither shared nor viewed it and suggested to others that there was no merit in doing so except for ghoulish reasons)

    1. rmason Silver badge

      Re: Arresting Muslims?

      Sharing the video is not the offence.

      It's context.

      the people charged shared the video WITH comments of glee, racial hate or of incitement.

      Can you watch it? if you must. Can you share it? Probably yes.

      Can you share it with "Bring on the CULL!!" or post it along with "Yes! 49!!! (or whatever the sad toll ) was? No.

      1. rg287 Bronze badge

        Re: Arresting Muslims?

        Sharing the video is not the offence.

        It's context.

        According to NZ's chief censor, mere possession is an offence. Never mind sharing it.

        Granted the authorities will be primarily interested in "sharing with intent", but NZ's claim is that the offence is absolute, regardless of context.

    2. cornetman

      Re: Arresting Muslims?

      > (I neither shared nor viewed it and suggested to others that there was no merit in doing so except for ghoulish reasons)

      There is no merit to skiiing except for reasons of excitement. There is no merit to riding a roller-coaster, except for thrill-seeking behaviour.There is no merit to shooting firearms at a range except for fun and acquiring a skill. There is no merit to football, except for the joy of booting a ball around a pitch.

      Many things are worthwhile doing for some people, even if you think they are not for you.

      What's your particular problem with ghoulish reasons? What if you want to watch the video to be merely better informed?

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Honestly, what if their intent was to share the reality?

    If people didn't see the livestream video they wouldn't have known the raw truth - the news probably would've sugarcoated because he was an "angelic boy". This is stuff that is happening and it exposes the reality!

    Unless they had malicious intentions they don't deserve a prison sentence longer than that of a rapist.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "If people didn't see the livestream video they wouldn't have known the raw truth - the news probably would've sugarcoated because he was an "angelic boy". This is stuff that is happening and it exposes the reality!"

      I'm pretty confident I understand the reality of "the raw truth" from the "sugar coated" news reports without having to watch the murders video. What was your point again?

  18. PaulFrederick

    All I am clear about right now is that New Zealand is an oppressive regime that violates basic human rights. I am seeding a torrent right now called, "Christchurch-Mosque-Shooting-New-Zealand-FULL-VIDEO.mp4" so come at me bro.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      You forgot the joke icon.

  19. cornetman

    It makes me extremely uncomfortable to hear a government making laws to impose jail time for people distributing videos or documents on the basis that they are disgusting. What is and isn't disgusting is completely subjective.

    It seems only a few years ago that certain sexual acts were criminalised for reasons of "common decency" and "disgust" and we now have to go through it all again. The laws did not make homosexuality go away. They just criminalised a section of our population.

    Political knee-jerkism which we will rue for many years to come.

    I agree with some of the others above that preventing access to first hand evidence of criminal acts is seriously dangerous to trust, and making the government's spin the only available narrative is something that we should all be seriously worried about.

    1. Richocet

      These laws have been around for nearly 30 years. Most countries have them. The bigger question is why have these laws not been enforced online for the last 20 years? Initially the police didn't have the skills or capacity to do this, but now it the opposite is true, it is almost as easy to detect and prosecute as speeding fines.

      1. cornetman

        The real bigger question is why we have these laws at all. They are anathema to a progressive society.

        The fact that they are being used more vigorously now is a sign of increasing control.

        They indicate that the government do not want us to communicate in ways that they find uncomfortable.

        Heaven forbid that we know the truth of the world first hand without having it "broken down" and sanitised for us.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      "It seems only a few years ago that certain sexual acts were criminalised for reasons of "common decency" and "disgust" and we now have to go through it all again. The laws did not make homosexuality go away. They just criminalised a section of our population."

      Are you saying that you expect live streaming of mass murder to become an accepted practice sometime in the future? Stop the world, I want to get off before that happens.

      1. cornetman

        I would think that the fact that mass murder is already a criminal act for which there are stiff penalties would make any quibbles about laws surrounding the streaming of video of it moot.

        Making the watching and distributing of video illegal will not make a jot of difference to the perpetrators of such vile crimes, while making everyone else guilty of the mere act of observation.

        Whether it is a live stream or a recording after the fact, this would make all historians guilty of just preserving the past.

        If I can't persuade you of the folly of going down that road, then I'm not sure what else I can say.

    3. corestore

      We're far far beyond merely 'disgusting' which is, as you said, very subjective.

      As the Chief Censor here in NZ, the video, and his 'manifesto', were "designed to inspire, encourage and instruct other like-minded individuals to carry out further attacks."

      That is why they have been, rightly, banned.

  20. Richocet

    Will New Zealand be a world leader in fixing the social media cesspit?

    New Zealand has been a progressive country, being the first nation to give women the vote, and one of the the first countries to allow gay marriage.

    It's clear that something needed to be done about the worst aspects of social media. I didn't expect New Zealand to be the country doing this.

    So far, the rapid and tough response on the sharing and comments could prove to be a wake up call to citizens. The laws existed before, and all they did was to police them aggressively. I'll be watching this with interest to see how effective it is.

    1. cornetman

      Re: Will New Zealand be a world leader in fixing the social media cesspit?

      Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.

  21. Jim-234

    When thought crimes carry harsher penalties than actual crimes against people.

    The police are busy providing harsher punishment for sharing or having a media file that they "disapprove" of than if you were actually mugging someone or robbing them. You'd be out on bail right away if you did an actual crime against a person. But they want to use the process as a punishment to put fear and terror into the hearts of the local citizens that you best not do anything the government doesn't like.

    The law they are using pretty much says any information or work of art, or document, or historical footage, or footage of an actual event, the government decides it doesn't like is now a crime to possess. So what's next? Documentaries discussing the very real issue of the lack of women's rights in certain middle eastern countries with a certain majority religion?

    There are some very good reasons people may want to see the video & that is up to them. Sometimes people need to see what real evil actually is and what it looks like to understand why you don't want to allow people to get that way. For example they may want to see what the shooter did & how the victims reacted to debate and determine better methods for surviving attacks. Or you may want to be able to show the more twisted folk who might one day idolize the criminal as some kind of hero, that No, watch the video, he was no hero, just a sick twisted coward. Or when the accusations come out that it was faked and made up (much like the deniers in the atrocities of WWII) you can say, no, I saw it in detail & it was real and a real evil person did actual real evil things.

    When you let the government decide what you can and cannot watch or know about and then allow the government to go harshly stomping on folks as they please for thought crimes or seeing what actually happened in an event, you might as well just give up your whole idea of free speech or free thought.

    1. cornetman

      Re: When thought crimes carry harsher penalties than actual crimes against people.

      There is very little measured and reasoned discussion about this issue and a hell of a lot of peer-pressured virtue signalling.

      People don't seem to be very interested in long-term consequences and more interested in being seen to be doing "something".

      That is evident by the obvious diversion of the public away from genuinely difficult questions about what would drive someone to do such a heinous act to other peripheral concerns like gun control and hand-wringing about racism and bigotry.

  22. Grinning Bandicoot

    Desensitized by Peckinpah

    Let me start with I have not seen nor wish to see the videos, I seen it live with the sounds and smells . Now when Sam Pechinpah was directing westerns imaginative camera angles were used to show people getting shoot often in multiple angles. His gore for fun and profit was such that the Python bunch did the pantomime pony skit as done by Peckinpah which to the cynical me showed the absurdity of his cinematic technique. Complaints and questions were raised about the effects to society that these portraits of violence would have. 'Freedom of expressist', Hollywood, and the oft quoted 'experts' replied with no harm has ever been show, its guaranteed under the Constitution, it catharsis but the question of if it is shown on the screen and next week the same actor is shown alive and well demonstrate to those who have trouble with reality was never addressed. Those viewers of the Christchurch shooting are those that look upon that in the same manner as any other thing seen on the screen so much cinema.

    While people were being desensitized anther social experiment took place that being the INDIVIDUAL first and foremost. Forget the social lubricants as please and thank you, its my right and society owes me and so went the Lockean social contract handbasket. Hobbes now grows to be norm and goodbye Mills the polite and hello Mills giving theory to government the brutish,mean society deserves. The problem with social experiments the results appear after the original experimenter is rotting forgotten in the soil. The result of a selfish individual believing that it is a screen game and being the best player in the game is the aim of life it will follow that this harm will happen. As an interesting thought these types of actions have grown with the sorting of people not as people but members of a group. Even that paragon of virtue Joe Stalin recognized this fact. These shooters go after members of a class not as people. 'I do not you but your gang is interfering with my gang so I'll punish the gang..

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