Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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Legal Beagle: Why the censor's total ban on possession of "the Manifesto" is wrong

40 Responses

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  • andin,

    Well the censor could have been just swept along in the tide of general revulsion at this mans actions, which I would find quite understandable and come to the conclusion 'who the fuck needs to read this drivel'.
    Such a conclusion may not suit the requirements of fine legal minds or other racists prowling 'round da webs' looking for it.
    But he is only human (I hope) after all.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1868 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    there would be a risk in passing a restriction that merely allowed someone who claimed to be a journalist to possess this manifesto

    Is Farrar a journalist? Also, given the woeful behaviour of editors and publishers in recent years, why trust them to judge what to do with material carefully crafted to incite violent hatred of a certain subsection of people?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19661 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    Hey Graham, IMHO the manifesto and the video were part of the same heinous propaganda. If you were trying to make a coherent argument I lost you from your comparison to child porn, which for me only served as a warning to the uninformed and poorly edited content to follow.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    If you were trying to make a coherent argument I lost you from your comparison to child porn

    It's not my comparison. That's what Parliament has said.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler, in reply to Sacha,

    given the woeful behaviour of editors and publishers in recent years, why trust them to judge what to do with material carefully crafted to incite violent hatred of a certain subsection of people?

    The censor seems to, although he has also cautioned them to take care.
    He's the expert, I'm happy to take him at his word.

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3202 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    A blanket ban over-values the manifesto’s influence on white supremacists, they will find inspiration where they need to, if in fact they need to, and denies the public an insight into how these people think.

    Some thing like prosecuting people for using this material to incite hatred and violence would make more sense.

    Since Nov 2016 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • Fen Tex, in reply to Neil,

    A blanket ban over-values the manifesto’s influence on white supremacists, they will find inspiration where they need to,

    I think you may be mistaken - people tending towards contemplating crimes, but not yet finding sufficient conviction to, may be more susceptible to the suggestions of someone who has demonstrated action and hopes to path the way by example.

    Christchurch • Since Oct 2014 • 18 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Fen Tex,

    I think you may be mistaken – people tending towards contemplating crimes, but not yet finding sufficient conviction to, may be more susceptible to the suggestions of someone who has demonstrated action and hopes to path the way by example.

    Possibly, although the actions and motives of the Christchurch terrorist are now already well known. Anyone considering doing something similar will know where to get the manifesto online anyway along with other similar material.

    Since Nov 2016 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    If it contains highly specific instructions involving threats in NZ, I support the censor's blanket ban for now, because there is still some chance that there is more than one actor here and it would be better to not hinder the police with the subtleties, just as we prevent the public from visiting a crime scene. Later on, maybe it's OK for some access, but for now, this ban makes perfect sense to me. I would prefer that until the assault rifle buyback and amnesty is completed, that no one still in possession of one legally gets any stupid ideas that could have been prevented by the simple expedient of the revocation of something that is highly objectionable anyway.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    It's not my comparison. That's what Parliament has said.

    I don't follow. Perhaps a link would help?

    I still have no idea how you would consider the manifesto deserving of separate treatment to the video. Perhaps you are wrong and the position that you have taken is a callous, disingenuous, academic, privileged point of view?

    Perhaps you would consider reviewing your collection of statements if not for coherency but to at least be grammatically correct.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    Apologies for my tone.

    I have been having a huge problem processing the fact that 80%+ of teen boys with phones in New Zealand of schools I am familiar have watched the video multiple times and many continue to do so.

    I am in denial about the international appetite for something " oh its ok it is just like a first person shooter ".

    I use to work in video game industry until the first person shooter took dominance on the evil empire's PC and it has been fucking grim ever since.

    Terrorist Wins.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Homer, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    The Films, Videos, and Publications Classification Act and particularly section 3, "Meaning of objectionable", is what the post is talking about (and much too long to quote here).

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 82 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    The fact the act has an illogical fixation with sexual deviancy which is clearly a health issue seems irrelevant in comparison of perpetrators of genocide who are clearly a health and safety issue. As I said the incoherent nature by association is an ill omen to the rest of the diatribe in which the meta data is not considered one with the payload.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    I still have no idea how you would consider the manifesto deserving of separate treatment to the video.

    It would be disrespectful of those killed and their families and friends to show them being killed.

    I have read things said by Bert Potter advocating child sex abuse to find out how he could possibly justify his actions but I would never want to see those actions.

    Since Nov 2016 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to BenWilson,

    I would prefer that until the assault rifle buyback and amnesty is completed, that no one still in possession of one legally gets any stupid ideas that could have been prevented by the simple expedient of the revocation of something that is highly objectionable anyway.

    If there are people out there who are thinking of acting similarly I’m not sure that having access to the manifesto or not is going to make a difference either way to them. Brevik’s manifesto is available and probably lots of other similar material.

    Since Nov 2016 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    You have read Bert Potter? I went to school with victims of Bert Potter and consider the idea of studying his thoughts vile and inhumane.

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Neil,

    I'm not sure either and I don't want to take the chance on an obscure point of academic interest just now.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10629 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    You have read Bert Potter? I went to school with victims of Bert Potter and consider the idea of studying his thoughts vile and inhumane.

    I read what he said as reported in the media which gave me an insight into his warped logic. I was making a distinction between reading the manifesto and watching the video. I have no problem with the video being banned as objectionable but can’t see how banning the manifesto will do anything to prevent future acts.

    Since Nov 2016 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Neil,

    You might not - but there seems to be a group of people for whom Breibart and similar sites are the fount of truth. What would their view of the manifesto be?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 480 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Simon Armstrong,

    I still have no idea how you would consider the manifesto deserving of separate treatment to the video.

    I do think they represent distinctly different problems.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22724 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    I consider myself anti-censorship, but nevertheless, the manifesto would appear to be an exception, especially if it details threats against specific individuals and groups in specific contexts. I agree with the above comments- censorship policy used to be far too influenced by the likes of Patricia Bartlett and her anti-censorship antagonists. It's time to move past that debate.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 543 posts Report Reply

  • Moz,

    I've just been reading some US-based decrying of any attempt to censor anything in Aotearoa, and my gut reaction was "you can fuck right off".

    More reasonably, there's a balance between actively promoting slaughter as the US does, and trying to conceal the existence of nasty things (The Vatican seems to be the easy example here). I would much prefer Aotearoa err away from the US approach. I also don't buy the nihilist approach of "it's going to be available anyway". We have an obligation to do what we can to make the world a better place.

    In this case I don't see why the manifesto or video need to be available outside of very specific academic research. We should prosecute people who publish either, down to the level of schoolchildren who share it (with due regard to the limited culpability of children. In many cases being told 'you're just a child' is punishment in itself).

    Sydney, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 1176 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Personally I wasn’t looking at this as a free speech vs censorship issue. I just think excluding the public from accessing the manifesto won’t disrupt the type of internet/social media radicalisation happening with this type of white supremist.

    Since Nov 2016 • 331 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Aside from academic research, one other sort of exception where access would be beneficial would be for the purpose of informing security of potential targets.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1870 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Neil,

    I have read things said by Bert Potter advocating child sex abuse to find out how he could possibly justify his actions but I would never want to see those actions.

    You likely read that material well after the damage was done. Bert potters actions apart from abusing children, was to encourage other pedophiles act out.

    You’ve studied that?

    Maybe senatorship on this manafesto until it becomes a historic document, isn't such a silly idea.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4163 posts Report Reply

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