Free speech at risk

With the action taken to take down the video of the Christchurch gunman’s massacre, there are already strong signs that Jacinda’s efforts are going to be twisted to inhibit free speech. 

Look at the way Israel Folau’s views have been twisted to accuse him of hate speech.  Brian Tamaki had one of his sermons based on the Bible taken down by Facebook, also allegedly for preaching hate.

What if the Christchurch images had been captured by a victim’s cellphone?  Surely they should be allowed to share it with the identities pixilated?  Far more people would view such screenings as a negative for the gunman than the few misguided positives.

I am influenced from a recent book about the so-called Arab Spring around 2012 where the vicious dictators of Libya, Egypt and Tunisia were effectively brought down by the cellphone images of the excesses of their police and army in dealing with demonstrators.  Each one had a particular image which was shared, of a named young person being badly injured or killed. 

Remember China has successfully closed down their army’s massacre of people at Tiananmen Square 30 years ago.  Had that occurred today the outcome would be vastly different. 

There is great people power from sharing images which Facebook and the like are now going to have to suppress.  Are the dreadful images we see of WW1 and WW2 in documentaries now going to be suppressed?  Even ‘terrorist’ can be a populist word.  I have lost count on how many times I read of rebels and terrorists later becoming becoming Prime Ministers of their countries.

Free speech is so very important.  We don’t have to agree/approve.

Bill Capamagian, Tauranga




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