Legal Beagle by Graeme Edgeler

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

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  • Bart Janssen,

    For me the key thing here is that the decision of the chief censor, who BTW has a shit tonne of experience making these judgements, can be challenged in court.

    IF you or others can make a strong case that his decision should be modified, then by all means do so in court. IF you are supported by the court then the ruling will be modified and that to me seems reasonable.

    What the censor did do, again based on his considerable experience, was take out of general circulation a harmful document. Well not really, given the nature of the internet but that's another discussion.

    Until such time as the court rules to the contrary, the chief censor has done what he can to remove an objectionable document.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4450 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to steven crawford,

    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.

    Potter’s manifesto needed to be dealt to head on. His argument that children only suffered from acts of sexual abuse from adults because sexual abuse was a social construct is not an argument that can be just ignored. That needed to be forcefully challenged publicly at the time. It’s an insidious argument that goes to that heart of how we become what we are and is applied in other ways with unpleasant consequences.

    And I think the types of arguments put foward by the likes of Brevik need to be similarly challenged. We are both a migratory and territorial species. How we deal with this source of conflict will be partly about how we deal with the small number of people predisposed to see things in an apocalyptic manner either because they believe it or it’s a device to become infamous.

    I also think that the ban implies a misunderstanding of how this form of radicalisation occurs.

    Since Nov 2016 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil,

    We do not need access to yet another 'manifesto' to understand or 'challenge' the positions held by these dangerously inadequate men. It is not a 'debate'.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young,

    What about a redacted version, summarising but not replicating the content?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Craig Young,

    What is the point, outside of a legal process?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19683 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Armstrong,

    How about a malware infected version of the document inciting murder and terrorism?

    https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/03/28/new_zealand_manifesto_malware/

    New Zealand • Since Jan 2015 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Sacha,

    We do not need access to yet another ‘manifesto’ to understand or ‘challenge’ the positions held by these dangerously inadequate men. It is not a ‘debate’.

    I never said it was a debate. It’s strategy of countering their influence. Some men get drawn into very stange beliefs - understanding how that happens I think will be important.

    Men have a tendency to nurture grudges, some of them nurture grudges into violent action, some nurture grudges via an elaborate framework which may or may not reach the level of delusion.

    If this is about the way social media is magnifying in- group out-group dynamics with some men then understanding how those men perceive that dynamic could be significant. We’ve always had that dynamic as a species, new forms of communication could be taking it into new and more dangerous territory.

    Since Nov 2016 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to Craig Young,

    What about a redacted version, summarising but not replicating the content?

    I’d opt for the full script minus any references to specific targets and specific techniques.

    Picking up on whatever ironic subterfuge being used wouldn’t be possible with a summary.

    Since Nov 2016 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Young, in reply to Sacha,

    Scholarly analysis?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 565 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    The recent RNZ interview with Dr Paul Gill is worth listening to in terms of understanding the lone actor/internet phenomenon.

    He doesn’t get round to talking about mental health but from reading some of his research it appears that terrorists who act within a group context have lower incidence of mental disorders than the general public whereas lone actors have a higher prevalence of some particular mental disorders.

    The manifestos of Brevik and the Christchurch terrorist could provide insight into any possible mental health issues.

    Since Nov 2016 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford, in reply to Neil,

    The manifestos of Brevik and the Christchurch terrorist could provide insight into any possible mental health issues.

    Why would you need to know what mental health issues the man who murdered 50 people has?

    I mean why do you personally need to know that?

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4310 posts Report Reply

  • Neil, in reply to steven crawford,

    Why would you need to know what mental health issues the man who murdered 50 people has?

    As part of understanding why they came to act as they did inorder to develop methods of trying to prevent others doing the same.

    Eg, that there are some significant psychological differences between those who act in groups and those that act alone could be an important element in tracking lone actors’ behaviour on the internet.

    Since Nov 2016 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Neil,

    Once someone is explicitly inciting specific acts of mass violence, how much time should be spent in text analysis or (far less reliably) psychological profiling? (Let alone unhelpful speculation about mental disorders.)

    There is also a limit to predictive linguistic analysis imposed by the algorithms of social media platforms (the language of hate groups gets adapted until no longer automatically banned; the algorithm gets adapted to cope).

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1886 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Once someone is explicitly inciting specific acts of mass violence, how much time should be spent in text analysis or (far less reliably) psychological profiling? (Let alone unhelpful speculation about mental disorders.)

    I think the idea is to identify predisposed men before they get to the acts of violence. The bit about mental disorders isn’t speculation - the research I linked to is well worth having a look at.

    the language of hate groups gets adapted until no longer automatically banned; the algorithm gets adapted to cope

    Yes, it’s a type of Red Queen race.

    Since Nov 2016 • 351 posts Report Reply

  • simon g,

    Here is a pamphlet listing 14 examples of apparent clampdowns on "free speech" after the mosque massacre.

    https://twitter.com/henrycooke/status/1115003516760674305

    (note: Henry is the reporter, not the author of the pamphlet!)

    Of the 14 claims, only one is an action taken by a state authority (the Wairarapa arrest). It is before the court.

    Many of the others are in fact examples of people exercising free speech. Criticising. Speaking up. Advocating. But ... for things the pamphleteers don't like.

    We can look forward to the Free Speech Coalition defending those people's rights. Or not.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1321 posts Report Reply

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