“Zip it, stupid!”

How do you feel about the government passing a law to give police and media control over what you say or post on social media?

Pretty soon it will be illegal to say and write anything that anybody considers offensive. No lines will be drawn in the sand, no guidelines laid down, the sole measure will be whether somebody chooses to be offended.

Shutting windows, drawing curtains and locking doors won’t keep Jacinda Ardern out of your home or your conversation.

The law Ardern wants will dictate what we are allowed to talk about. It will effectively be censorship on the fly, and another draconian measure to morph New Zealand into New Draconia.

Proponents of introducing hate speech law argue that it leads to violence and terrorism. You can make up your own mind about this, but what you think doesn’t actually matter.

Along with NZ 16 other countries and Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Google and Amazon have signed the “Christchurch Call” pledge. Facebook explains their commitment to the pledge. Quote.

…we are sharing concrete steps we will take that address the abuse of technology to spread terrorist content, including continued investment in technology that improves our capability to detect and remove this content from our services, updates to our individual terms of use, and more transparency for content policies and removals.” End of quote.

Facebook Newsroom

If you think this sounds like big brother watching, you are not alone. Quote.

Dr Bronwyn Howell, a programme director at Victoria University and an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, has closely followed the developments in Paris and outlines exactly what the pledge entails. She is extremely concerned, however, that the process has been hijacked for political purposes:

“At first glance the pledge appears, as intended, a positive example of collaborative negotiation toward a self-governing regime… A deeper examination, however, leads to a more worrying conclusion.

While governments have agreed to a range of difficult-to-enforce aspirational goals, the tech companies have agreed to take a number of concrete, observable, and measurable steps on which it will be much easier to hold them explicitly accountable. 

“In the bargaining of the summit, they have agreed in effect to act as the agents of the governments in delivering their political objectives of countering ‘distorted terrorist and violent extremist narratives’ and engaging in ‘the fight against inequality’.”

NZCPR end quote.

Here you have it – the fight for equality is simply a licence to censor your views under the guise of preventing terrorism. Quote.

Picture a dinner party where half the guests are university graduates with prestigious white-collar jobs, with the other half consisting of people who are trade workers, barmaids, cleaners and labourers. While one side of the table trades racy jokes and uninhibited banter, the other half tut-tuts this “problematic” discourse.” End of quote.

Currently, the white-collar brigade are forced to take disagreeable opinions on the chin, but under the proposed law changes they could single out individuals for inciting hatred (hate speech) and make a police complaint.

Claire Lehmann reported on the Australian media reaction after the recent surprise election result. Quote.

[…] the intellectuals, activists and media pundits who present the most visible face of modern leftism are the same people openly attacking the values and cultural tastes of working and middle-class voters.

And thanks to social media (and the caustic news-media culture that social media has encouraged and normalized), these attacks are no longer confined to dinner-party titterings and university lecture halls.

Brigid Delaney, a senior writer for Guardian Australia, responded to Saturday’s election result with a column about how Australia has shown itself to be “rotten.” End of quote.

Rotten? Really? Delaney dehumanises her political opponents, they are not people anymore, they are rotten fruit. Quote.

One well-known Australian feminist and op-ed writer, Clementine Ford, has been fond of Tweeting sentiments such as “All men are scum and must die.”

Former Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner Tim Soutphommasane, who also has served as a high-profile newspaper columnist, argues that even many mainstream political positions—such as expressing concern about the Chinese government’s rising regional influence—are a smokescreen for racism.” End of quote.

Claire Lehmann writing for Quillette

In other words, if you dare to disagree with me, I have the means to silence you.

This is the government’s plan for New Draconia, and this is how you can expect to be treated under the proposed elitist hate speech law.