Aotearoa Migration Research Network Seminar Series 2019: Keeping Evil Offline?

Date Tuesday 8 October 2019
Time 11am - 12pm
Where S1.10, or via zoom
Presenter Dr Elena Kolesova (Massey University) & Prof Matt Allen (James Cook University, Australia)
Contact Shemana Cassim
Contact email
Admission Cost Free

Debating New Zealand's censorship of the Christchurch mosque killings

After the live-streamed killing of 51 Muslims worshiping in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, responded by making it illegal to broadcast, copy, view, possess or redistribute the footage that the gunmen streamed. The Chief Censor weighed in and penalties were introduced through the legislature. In response to the censorship of the video, and the manifesto, there have been some interesting 'free speech' articles from conservative media. The questions raised included if it is better to confront evil in all its unpleasant, uncomfortable manifestation, than to attempt to bury it from public display because it is 'objectionable'?

In this pilot study we start with a brief analysis of New Zealand media responses to the attack in Christchurch with particular focus on censorship of social media. Further, we asked nine people from refugee and/or Muslim backgrounds living in New Zealand – the targets of the attacks – what they thought about censoring such online violence. Their responses suggest that, first of all, we should look within to understand what leads to such events occurring.

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