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4chan has been blocked in NZ “for security reasons” (reddit.com)
120 points by EE84M3i 5 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 144 comments





Kiwi here. This block was not initiated by the government, as far as I can tell. I believe certain ISPs blocked the sites preemptively, as the block is not in place on my connection.

Thankfully, NZ has no mandatory internet filtering, though the department of internal affairs offers a child porn blocklist which some ISPs apply.


> the block is not in place on my connection.

Spark (NZ ISP) gets there ok for me.

Edit: on further testing, some things are broken. 4Chan works fine, which is puzzling.


Spark managing director Simon Moutter:

>Our Spark security experts are working hard to close off the websites attempting to distribute the hateful stuff originating from the perpetrators of the massacre in Christchurch. We hope it causes minimal inconvenience to legitimate internet use by our customers.

https://twitter.com/simonmoutter/status/1106418640167952385


"working hard to close off ..."

Suggests ongoing and continuous effort, but that thread suggests it's a simple DNS blackhole.

I imagine they added the domain(s) to their blacklist and flushed the cache (or removed specific entries). And this doesn't prevent access.

Sounds like using a tragedy for marketing. Maybe I'm being too cynical?


You can’t be too cynical. If you aren’t already aware, Spark was part of Telecom before the NZ government broke it up. The then CEO controversially described using confusion as a marketing strategy.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&...


I thought NZ had some Net Neutrality law that didn't allow ISPs to volutarily block stuff? I know it was some anglosphere country that successfully got a NN law passed.

Fairly sure we don't. We have a hyper competitive ISP market, nobody does any kind of website slowing here. We don't really need NN in law.

First, my condolences to all the affected. Nobody should experience a shooting, least of all a mass shooting in a place of worship against innocent people, including children, in a coordinated attack by foreign organizations. I hope the NZ government will grind the organizations responsible for this attack to dust, with help from their friends and allies and our taxpayer dollars.

Second, it's very important to not be taken advantage of. Whether it's funeral homes raising the prices of coffins, or governments taking away civil liberties, people have a habit of accepting bad outcomes because they (very understandably) can't think straight. Oftentimes, those decisions are very difficult to reverse when things calm down and the scales fall from your eyes. An alert, vigilant citizenry is the keystone for a democratic society.

If I was the NZ government, I'd be very interested in screening foreign travel into NZ and banning firearms on arrivals. I'd also be very interested in what the AUS government will be doing about domestic terrorism and spillover, and would scream for greater intelligence sharing. I'm highly skeptical that banning a website will even partially address this issue; I'd rather honeypot it and trace any terror cells for physical locations. And I would increase funding for domestic security, and demand machine-readable receipts for said funding available to anybody with the proper security clearance.

There's no unicorn technical solution to the problem of terror and fear. Technical solutions must be weaved into an overall change in social paradigms and political strategy to address the task at hand. I do think that's our place in this world.


Context:

No similar event has occurred in New Zealand before.

Guns are not readily available in New Zealand. You can get one suitable for sport, but it is a serious process to get your license first. I presume these guns must have been illegally imported from somewhere.

I think New Zealanders are mostly reasonably liberal, even laid-back, although we do have our share of "rednecks" too.

Size, geography, and population of NZ is somewhat similar to Oregon.

Generally our government is reasonably well run and the less fortunate get some care: I suspect because the families and friends of our politicians have varied backgrounds (it is difficult for politicians to live in an elite bubble).

Generally we don't like being told what to do by our government, or anyone from overseas.

Personal opinion:

I am from Christchurch, and I think censorship is dangerous, but there needs to be some way to prevent the easy access to forums and videos of violence, hatred, and abuse.

I don't want my friends, or their family watching this mentally damaging video. I know friends and the children of friends that have watched the livestreamed video, because it is easily available.

This block is unprecedented here, and has little legal or technical infrastructure in place to enforce it.

NZ will sort our shit out about this, hopefully without too much interference from the societies that caused this atrocity in the first place.


> there needs to be some way to prevent the easy access to forums and videos of violence, hated, and abuse.

Why? There is no evidence viewing it leads to violence while there is plenty of evidence of the dangers of censorship. I feel like we are back in the 80s with the PMRC clutching their pearls, talking about how heavy metal music is causing children to worship the devil.


[flagged]


> “A possibility is that news of shooting is spread through social media in addition to mass media” she said.

This is your evidence that viewing violence leads to violence and that people like you need to censor what everyone else sees and says.

We've had this argument with violent video games and there is absolutely no solid evidence they make kids more violent. Every study that has come out claiming they do has been debunked.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evidence-based-livin...

A recent analysis finds that research on video games is prone to false positives and false negatives, which leads to faulty conclusions. Another review finds that much of the research on violence and video games is affected by publication bias; essentially, studies that concluded that video games lead to aggression and violence are more likely to be published than studies that find violent video games don’t have an effect on violence. As a result, large reviews of the data conclude violent video games lead to aggression without considering research to the contrary. There is emerging research that finds no link between violent games and negative outcomes, such as reduced empathy, aggression and depression.

> This is the second time in two days that I've had to correct a science-illiterate HN user

We are so lucky to be blessed with someone of your mental magnitude. Thank you so much for putting up with our inferiority, oh great one.


> I presume these guns must have been illegally imported from somewhere.

Turns out the AR15 5 shot semi automatic used were sold in NZ. Perhaps no more.


Some genuine questions. Can you prove watching the video is mentally damaging?

If it is, why is it damaging, yet movies with shootings, explosions and torture aren't?

Can the damage be measured? Is there any grounding in experimental psychology?

If you watched the video without having read the news, and someone told you it was fiction, would it still be equally damaging or would that change the effect it has?


Do you think I am ignorant of the arguments for and against violence, for and against its affects on society?

Do you think I have personally seen what I believe are positive or negative affects of real and artistic violence?

Are you a majority or minority believer?

Does my opinion actually matter to you?

Why have you asked me these questions?


Your opinion doesn't matter to me per se, but arguments do. I'm interesting in learning how you came to conclude that videos are mentally damaging and what you mean by that exactly, because I don't really believe people can be mentally damaged by watching videos. At least not in any concrete, literal way that a psychologist would recognise. I've heard of PTSD being caused by things like being blown up in a war zone, but from just watching a video? Not familiar with that.

Now if by "mentally damaged" you are referring to someone coming to agree with someone else because they listened to their views and arguments then of course videos can influence people, but that's not mental damage. That's just normal evaluation of speech. We may not like the outcome but it's not damage.

I don't really understand the other questions you're asking me though. Like, what does majority/minority believer mean?


Having seen part of the video, and being from NZ, I can assure it is far more disturbing than any fictional movie I have seen for a while, or perhaps ever.

>guns are not readily avaliable in New Zealand

yeah, about that


Indeed, apparently there are 1.2 million privately owned firearms in NZ.

Link is inaccurate. 4chan and 8chan are not blocked on my NZ home connection. I can only presume this is a preemptive action by certain ISPs.

There is no mandatory internet filter in NZ.


Do you use custom DNS? It's possible that they're just modifying the DNS servers of ISPS.

Now that you mention it, I do use unbound on my router. I should check to see if you're right, though I can't right now.

There is no mandatory block in place, that much I am sure. Such a thing could not be put in place without me hearing about it, I'm sure about that.


That anybody'd even think to block a website on such grounds is worrying.

That it actually happened is alarming.


Shutting down a largely toxic website that fuels the flames of extremism is an order of magnitude less alarming than 50+ people losing their lives.

I don't really see much value lost in taking 4chan down, just like it's not a big deal if Stormfront or an Isis affiliated site was blocked.

Freedom of speech doesn't mean you get to do whatever you want, with no threat of consequences.


>Freedom of speech doesn't mean you get to do whatever you want, with no threat of consequences

Of course it doesn't. Who said it does? What it means is there is a governmental, and cultural, commitment to not bestowing authoritative power on the state to determine what people can or cannot say, read, or discuss.


>Shutting down a largely toxic website that fuels the flames of extremism is an order of magnitude less alarming than 50+ people losing their lives.

Under that logic, let's also shut down Twitter, Facebook and Reddit.

Also, one thing has nothing to do with the other.

>I don't really see much value lost in taking 4chan down, just like it's not a big deal if Stormfront or an Isis affiliated site was blocked.

Censorship is fine if it's against people you don't like?

>Freedom of speech doesn't mean you get to do whatever you want, with no threat of consequences.

It means you get to say whatever you want without the state or other people attacking you for saying it.


In addition, New Zealand does not have have a blanket freedom of speech guarantee. In fact their laws specifically say speech can be suppressed to protect public safety.

>Freedom of speech doesn't mean you get to do whatever you want, with no threat of consequences.

No, it means the government cannot prevent you from saying whatever you want. Its frightening how widespread opposition to free speech has become (especially among the younger generation who has been conditioned to accept authoritarianism).


we deprive children of their liberties for 12+ years and put them in a box where they are taught explicitly and implicitly that all that matters is appealing to authority, so why is it any surprise to see them so drawn towards authoritarianism? for that matter, why would they care about freedom of speech at all when they never get to use it? it might as well be as foreign to them as the polar bear.

Its no surprise at all - I agree completely. Its extremely ominous all the same.

It is an undeniable fact that mosques have radicalized more people than imageboards have.

And that's not by coincidence. Not only will extremists find anonymous people successfully arguing against their points in these image boards, but the moderators are giving their best to delete the worst posts and ban the worst posters.

There's nothing like that to be found in mosques. They're echo chambers.


[flagged]


That's like saying that the government can ban a newspaper because, after all, people can just read another newspaper.

A newspaper is publishing its own speech, so banning a newspaper is a direct infringement of free speech.

4chan and 8chan claim to be message boards where other people are saying things. This is an important distinction, because if they were claiming it's their own (protected) speech, they're liable for incitement, defamation, and various other crimes and torts in dozens of countries. But they're not. And while free speech laws might protect the content of speech they don't protect the manner of said speech or the forum in which such speech occur (except that in the US, "public" areas are open to all speech.)

You're also missing the crucial distinction that while the words of the posts on 4chan and 8chan might be protected by free speech law, the acts they represent can be crimes, even in the U.S. And as I've already pointed out, NZ's free speech rights aren't as expansive as the US.


> while free speech laws might protect the content of speech they don't protect the manner of said speech or the forum in which such speech occur

Yes they do, the standard may be a bit lower, but they still have to show that a bunch of conditions apply.


According to your newspaper analogy, message boards are more akin to public spaces (privately owned).

A government banning them because there can be some dissent speaches is equal to banning a pub because someone has said unpleasant things.

The best thing you can do as message board owners is flagging the specific message as being offensive. Unless it breaks specific rules/laws, where you must remove the content, of course.


According to your newspaper analogy, message boards are more akin to public spaces (privately owned).

A privately owned space is not a public space...It's literally the opposite of a public space.

A government banning them because there can be some dissent speeches is equal to banning a pub because someone has said unpleasant things.

Nope, not even close. There's a difference between illegal acts and "unpleasant things." It's like the difference between a nuclear weapon and a starter pistol.

The best thing you can do as message board owners is flagging the specific message as being offensive. Unless it breaks specific rules/laws, where you must remove the content, of course.

No, from the perspective of a message board, the best thing you can do is not let shit like that even infiltrate your board. If people want to spread and incite hate, they're free to spend their own resources running a message board where that's okay.


Well, there are an infinite number of newspapers via the internet, so that's a valid comparison. It's not a slippery slope, when the infrastructure to deliver a message is not affected.

If it has no effect on speech, what's the point of banning it?

impotent rage

There is no such thing as hate speech, it is a political concept to crush dissenting opinions and limit speech. That’s it.

Pushing it further underground out of public view doesn’t make it go away either. You get a further closed echo chamber that will metastasize.

If you want to stop this behavior, you open it to a wider forum and debate and drag the people ideologically out of the muck.

Censorship doesn’t solve anything. Engage with people and see why issues are popping up and engage with them or expect more of this to happen as you close them off from view.


Just vouched this comment; that it was flagged instead of replied to seems to basically reenforce what the comment says.

4chan and 8chan have been linked to almost all of the white nationalist and incel shooters of the past decade.

At some point, you need to recognize that what's happening on those boards isn't "free speech", it's "incitement" to commit violent acts, and that has never been protected by any of the free speech regimes, even in the U.S. New Zealand's free speech rights are not as broad or strong as they are in the US.

I wouldn't be surprised if 4chan and 8chan find themselves blocked across most of the globe by the end of the year.


> 4chan and 8chan have been linked to almost all of the white nationalist and incel shooters of the past decade.

You can say the same about Twitter and Facebook. In fact, the guy had a Twitter where he posted guns and ammunition with slogans on it, days earlier. Had it received more attention, this could've possibly been prevented.

> At some point, you need to recognize that what's happening on those boards isn't "free speech", it's "incitement" to commit violent acts, and that has never been protected by any of the free speech regimes, even in the U.S. New Zealand's free speech rights are not as broad or strong as they are in the US.

It's a bunch of anonymous people posting crap, often for shock value. Sure, there's incitement on there, but nobody takes anybody serious.

Having said that, I was pretty shocked about the reaction on 8chan. I haven't been there before. It's pretty sad to see.


You can say the same about Twitter and Facebook. In fact, the guy had a Twitter where he posted guns and ammunition with slogans on it, days earlier. Had it received more attention, this could've possibly been prevented.

That's not true, and it's notable that you had to create a new account just to make this FUD claim. Those murderers may all have used Twitter and Facebook to try to disseminate their idea vomit, but they were radicalized and incited by 4chan and/or 8chan. Also, Twitter and Facebook make the effort to remove those posts once they are made aware of them. 4chan and 8chan revel in keeping up those promote, and even promote them to show just how "free speech" they are.

It's a bunch of anonymous people posting crap, often for shock value. Sure, there's incitement on there, but nobody takes anybody serious.

More than a dozen mass murderers in the past few years took 4chan and 8chan seriously enough to murder hundreds of people. Mass murder might be an abstract concept to basement dwellers, but I know people who were shot at in the Santa Barbara, Vegas, and Thousand Oaks shooting, and it sure as fuck isn't an abstract concept to me or the thousands of other people who knew the victims of those shootings.


I've heard the same horrific shit in casual conversation in numerous pubs in the UK in the last 30 years and the people in there certainly don't know what 4chan or 8chan are. In fact the horrible things pre-dated the proliferation of internet connectivity.

This isn't a specific platform problem but a problem with a subset of humanity.


A pub audience is probably a handful of people, some platforms have a reach many magnitudes larger and this changes the dynamic.

That's true. But people engaging in "casual" conversation over beer aren't inciting each other to commit violent acts of hate.

But in those rare instances where a bar crosses over into openly supporting that type of speech, the police start taking an interest and monitoring that bar and its customers. And if a line gets crossed with respect to incitement, conspiracy, etc., the local municipality will usually pull the bar's liquor license and get it shut down to prevent future such crimes from being organized or incited at that bar.

So, really, you're actually quite spot on with the bar analogy. 4chan/8chan are exactly like a skinhead bar that's getting shutdown because the customers kept inciting each other to kill people and actually followed through.


Actually sometimes they are inciting it. There was a “paki patrol” (their term not mine) that originated in a local pub in a town I lived in. They did do things about it. We pulled one guy out of the river and helped him after they had chucked him in and threw bricks at his head and ambled off when they got bored.

Incidentally the police did nothing.

Edit: this was early 90s.


I'm not sure why a single incident of the police failing to enforce the laws over 2 decades ago during the notoriously racist Thatcher era is relevant to a discussion of incitement as it is enforced today?

>More than a dozen mass murderers in the past few years took 4chan and 8chan seriously enough to murder hundreds of people.

If I understand correctly, you're making an argument that goes around this: Exposure to freedom of speech is dangerous to society.

From this, you're proposing: All online discussion should be curated.

I don't want to live in such a world, so I kindly disagree with your proposal. Adults should be able to talk about whatever they want, and no third party should decide what they can or cannot read.

For this to be possible, communities with a very light handed approach to moderation should be allowed to continue to exist. This includes those that allow anonymous posting, as there's enough precedent in human history on perfectly fine ideas that are now generally accepted have been met with hostility. If posting safely is not an option, many will choose to not post at all. Thus ideas would get repressed.


If I understand correctly, you're making an argument that goes around this: Exposure to freedom of speech is dangerous to society.

If I understand you correctly, you're making the argument that inciting someone to commit violent acts of murder is freedom of speech which is good for society.

I believe in freedom of speech. I've defended it in court. What happens on 4chan and 8chan isn't free speech. It's acts of incitement that just happen to take the form of text.

Adults should be able to talk about whatever they want, and no third party should decide what they can or cannot read.

You don't understand that free speech relates to the words and ideas. Free speech means that the people on 4chan and 8chan can use whatever words they want, and spread whatever ideas they want. So long as they aren't committing criminal acts such as incitement. The words and ideas are protected, not the acts they represent.

For this to be possible, communities with a very light handed approach to moderation should be allowed to continue to exist. This includes those that allow anonymous posting, as there's enough precedent in human history on perfectly fine ideas that are now generally accepted have been met with hostility. If posting safely is not an option, many will choose to not post at all. Thus ideas would get repressed.

I agree. And if 4chan and 8chan were solely about the sharing of ideas, I would be opposed to banning them...in the US, where the law would protect such speech, however abhorrent it is. But 4chan and 8chan long ago crossed over the line into being more than just sharing ideas...they're now websites where people incite and plan violent crimes.


>But 4chan and 8chan long ago crossed over the line into being more than just sharing ideas...they're now websites where people incite and plan violent crimes.

This is a quite excessive claim. While posting in these communities is extremely easy, they are also extremely moderated. I'm somewhat familiar with the sites, and I know that while hateful posts do happen, they do get removed and posters do get banned fairly quickly. Often, within seconds. What could pass legally as actual incitement is extremely rare. Most communities and regular threads in these places are extremely friendly.

Ultimately, freedom of speech isn't about being able to say whatever you want, but about others being able to say that which you don't like. Few people understand that.


Any website could be a place where it is "more than just sharing ideas...they're now websites where people incite and plan violent crimes."

There are many SFW boards on 4chan related to specific hobbies. I have learned a lot from diy, fa, mu, g, and ck. There are many NSFW boards on 4chan that do contain posts inciting violence.

The same situation is present on reddit, but due to advertiser interest, subs get banned.

There were crazy people before 4chan and there will be crazy people after. Removing a site does less than helping those in need before they become radicals.


Agreed. Plus when 4chan, a heavily moderated site gets blocked, people will just move to one of the less popular sites that may be less moderated. I used to run one of them and any time 4chan would change their rules, I would get a flood of new people.

> ...they're now websites where people incite and plan violent crimes.

Can you cite any evidence that people are planning crimes on a public-only anonymous forum that has no vetting of its members?

Again, there are Nazi forums that are public, there are also Nazi networks that are certainly not public and where such attacks may have been planned, but 4chan? That would be a pretty absurd place to plan anything.

As for incitement, at least in the legal sense in the US, the bar for that is quite high:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imminent_lawless_action


> they were radicalized and incited by 4chan and/or 8chan

If you can prove that statement then it certainly deserves to get shutdown, but you cant

if you read something in the newspaper and it makes you angry and/or sparks an extreme reaction, should that newspaper be banned? or a TV network, or any other news source?

Its a slippery slope if you go down this road IMO


if you read something in the newspaper and it makes you angry and/or sparks an extreme reaction, should that newspaper be banned? or a TV network, or any other news source?

Too many non-lawyers on this board think that saying "slippery slope" makes two things on the opposite ends of the spectrum one and the same, and that's not true at all. The law is perfectly capable of handling degees of difference. After all, there are no less than 5 degrees of homicide (more, depending on jurisdiction).

It's quite possible to ban a newspaper that says "Kill all the X this weekend" without it having any bearing on a newspaper that opines "X people should die." If you can't see the difference between the two, then I won't bother responding further.


> That's not true...

What exactly isn't true? The guy did have that Twitter.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/resizer/4vW9tadY1zUt-CwkgRo6DWG7N...

> ...and it's notable that you had to create a new account just to make this FUD claim.

I created this account three days ago to comment on an entirely unrelated matter.

> Those murderers may all have used Twitter and Facebook to try to disseminate their idea vomit...

So you agree that Twitter and Facebook are linked to the murderers?

> ...but they were radicalized and incited by 4chan and/or 8chan.

That's a pretty questionable claim. The guy had a manifesto similar to Breivik. Would you say Breivik was radicalized by 4chan? He holds specific political beliefs, whereas on places like 4chan, no belief is taken serious at all. There are real Neo-Nazi forums where there is serious discussion on Neo-Nazi ideals, but 4chan isn't one of them.

> More than a dozen mass murderers in the past few years took 4chan and 8chan seriously enough to murder hundreds of people.

Again, these forums are made up of pure shitposting. Nobody knows anybody. Nothing on there is taken serious, even things that should be taken serious. It's a brain dump.


It appears that you aren't very familiar with 4chan or 8chan based on your other posts about not knowing much about them.

4chan and 8chan have numerous skinhead forums. They are two of the most popular forum sites for skinheads and white nationalists.

Again, these forums are made up of pure shitposting. Nobody knows anybody. Nothing on there is taken serious, even things that should be taken serious. It's a brain dump.

This is objectively not true. You can repeat it all you want, and you might even believe it because it's true for you, but plenty of people take the stuff on 4chan and 8chan at face value and take posts their seriously.


> It appears that you aren't very familiar with 4chan or 8chan based on your other posts about not knowing much about them.

I never said anything like that. I said I haven't been on 8chan before today. You shouldn't lump both together like that anyway, it's disingenuous.

> 4chan and 8chan have numerous skinhead forums.

I wouldn't qualify /pol/ or /b/ as "skinhead forums" by any reasonable standard.

> They are two of the most popular forum sites for skinheads and white nationalists.

4chan has subforums for anime, lgbt, video games, porn and all kinds of other things. It's a popular site in general and there's people from all over the political spectrum.


>4chan and 8chan have numerous skinhead forums. They are two of the most popular forum sites for skinheads and white nationalists. //

Isn't that kinda helpful for law enforcement. There are so many ways those planning violence could interact privately, that they'd do it all in the open is a massive help, no?


> It's a bunch of anonymous people posting crap, often for shock value. Sure, there's incitement on there, but nobody takes anybody serious.

No. It used to be like this. Maybe in the mid-2000s when 4chan was first getting popular, it could have been seen as this. It might have been seen like this during the early 2010s, does anyone remember Anonymous and how it started basically from /b/?

It used to be a troll site -- it's not anymore. It's literally a cesspool of white supremacy. Seriously, go read what's on /pol/ right now. It's not shock value, it's sympathy.


/pol/ is literally the containment board for serious fascism/racist/etc. 99% of the rest of the boards is porn, legitimate conversation (for the sfw boards) or shitposting from both sides of the political spectrum

>fascism/racist/etc.

Do get argued against in /pol/ all the time. It literally acts as a safeguard against these twisted beliefs.

If it doesn't happen in 4chan, then I'm worried. Because these fascists/racists/etc. might end up in a members-only, non-public-viewable fascist/racist/etc echo chamber, with not a trace of voices of reason.


There's no such thing as a "containment board." Nothing and no one is actually being contained, and the culture from popular boards (which /pol/ is) bleeds out to the others all the time.

4chan is not just /pol/.

>It's a bunch of anonymous people posting crap, often for shock value. Sure, there's incitement on there, but nobody takes anybody serious.

As someone who frequents 8chan, I can tell you this categorically is not the case and /pol/acks are very serious.


"Being serious" about their own beliefs is different from taking another anonymous poster serious.

On there you have literal Nazis, MAGA people and white identitarians all disagreeing and trolling each other. They can't even agree on everything being a Jewish conspiracy.


They don't have to agree on every point to be a danger.

That's besides the point. Individually, they don't have to agree on anything and still pose a danger.

What you can't say is that this is some sort of organization that poses a threat as such. It is a bunch of random people on the internet that do not know each other and that vaguely share certain beliefs.


They share those beliefs because they gave each other those beliefs, they didn't come out of nowhere. People go into /pol/ having some unconventional views on immigration and come out full blown fascists. There's no need for some 'evil organisation' like you're imagining.

It's more like, fascists and such come to /pol/ to post their garbage, and meet well-spoken anons that oppose their views and expose the flaws of their arguments.

This is an obvious advantage to all of this happening in the open, over it happening in some members-only curated hate forum where any voice of reason is just removed and banned.

I'm baffled with how irrational some people can get, irresponsibly calling for the suppression of public, anonymous image boards.


Yeah I used to think that too, the problem is the 'free marketplace of ideas' doesn't work because alot of people are literally incapable of reasoning at a high level, on either side. We can't change fascists fast enough to keep up, it's simply not possible or realistic. Also you don't seem to understand how 8chan works, because /pol/ already has a curated hate forum where any voice of reason is banned.

Advocacy for violent action is absolutely protected in America, see Brandenberg v Ohio. It's only not protected if it's likely to cause "imminent" action eg yelling fire in a theater.

> I was pretty shocked about the reaction on 8chan. I haven't been there before. It's pretty sad to see.

You have no idea who is posting there, or why, and yet you take the posts at face value? Interesting.


Who says I take it at face value? Even if it was 100% non-serious shitposting, it would be sad.

I guess you're implying though that there's some sort of elaborate false-flag operation going on there?


I have used 4chan almost every day since 7th grade, it is an anime imageposting forum with related hobby boards.

Without it, I would not be nearly as interested in OSS development or RMS' contributions to GNU+LINUX. There are boards which tend towards topics you may consider "incitement to commit violent acts" but this is a function of a website allowing user content. HN or Reddit or any other popular website could have been used for this announcement just the same.

Removing a website will not remove the people who use it, they will find other places.


Blaming an entire community for individual actions is dangerous. Sometimes it is called for, but first I'd like to see a real honest analysis about why these communities are responsible for a significantly greater number of homicides that do not happen in other acceptable communities.

higher rates of serious mental illnesses among the userbase. anon sites are highly appealing to people on the autistic spectrum in particular for a variety of reasons, i think that the concept of autistic burnout that was outlined in this post >https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=19311970 could have a lot to do with that. but also the posting style itself is attractive to fringe personalities of all sorts. there is no cumulative reward to anything you post, you don't get karma or followers; you maybe get a few laughs or are called a retard but that's it. on the flipside, there's also virtually no disincentive since short of breaking the law, nothing you say really matters. i personally find it much easier to have positive interactions on anon sites and have made many good friends that way. however, possibly due to the high rates of comorbidity among asd individuals (depressive and anxiety disorders are the rule rather that the exception) you end up with a lot of people with varying degrees of instability and, anecdotally, a not insignificant number of people with more serious conditions like schizophrenia. iirc, both james harper mercer and elliot roger were asd; they were also both fucking losers but that goes without saying

i believe that imageboards are highly valuable and that the problems that can be seen within them are reflective of greater societal issues that we refuse to acknowledge.


The problem with the seemingly obvious solution of blocking sites like 4chan is that the people with these hateful sentiments don't cease to exist when their gathering place gets blocked- they just move to another outlet. Does it make sense to engage in an endless game of whack-a-mole when you could, rather, recognize the intelligence value in what is essentially a honeypot?

Its absolutely free speech and is the bedrock of a free society.

Some people’s first knowledge of the attack was that link being sent to them. I’m not sure what to think of the block (I don’t seem to have been blocked) but wanting to preventing the videos spread seems reasonable. I think it’s too late now though.

Edit: I am blocked from some sites.


Yes, banning websites, instead of weapons...

Snuffing the Medium will not remove the Cause nor the Means.


NZ does strictly regulate weapons.

[flagged]


Have you considered that it could be different people posting those different opinions?

Have you considered that perhaps people's opinions are just changing?

I don't, since there have been several acts of Islamic terrorism in Europe these last years and they weren't enough to change anybody's opinion. I don't believe this particular case is enough to make people support censorship on the Internet. To me, this is simply hypocrisy.

> there have been several acts of Islamic terrorism in Europe these last years and they weren't enough to change anybody's opinion

I'm not sure where you got this idea from, but it's wrong.


Sure, but none of them were directly related to the internal political climate in the West.

It's not surprising really. In times like these the governments have to be seen do something least they get crucified on twitter by peace loving people for things beyond their control. Since the governments can't really do anything else in the real world, they take to banning sites with edgy reputations.

The fact that banning 4chan won't solve anything isn't lost on anyone with a working mind, especially not the government. But hey, that's how they stop the violent peace protests and not loose the next election in advance.

Everyone wins here. The terrorists win, the government gets popularity, the peace loving people get internet brownie points and moral satisfaction to overcome their insomnia till the next time, the media gets their clicks and ad revenue and the people on 4chan get their kicks.


Others have pointed out that the government doesn't seem to have banned anything.

Controversial opinion incoming: perhaps the audience for sites like 4chan/8chan reflects a curiosity created to some extent by the ever narrowing range of permitted news topics allowed by the MSM.

A range which has been narrowing recently, meanwhile the chans have been popular for decades now. I agree with you in part; 4 & 8 have been gaining popularity because people just don't trust the news, but it's not because of fake news that people are joining. It's because the news doesn't agree with them.

I'm pretty sure it's broader than this. It's a narrowing range of opinions that are allowed in public discourse. It doesn't change people's minds, it changes what they can and cannot say without risking their careers and public standing. It causes people to internalize their opinions. That leads to resentment and the resentment fosters the intensity of the feelings and pushes people into extremist territory. The extremism will always find the outlet, no matter how hard you try to control it.

Think of Gab for example. The site has been described as "extremist friendly" or a "safe haven" for neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the alt-right. The only reason the site exists in the first place, is that those people were pushed out from Twitter, outside of the realm of "allowed" mainstream opinions. The problem is that by pushing them out, you don't make them disappear, you make them less visible and more radicalised and dangerous.


MSM has always had a narrow range of news topics allowed. Narrow range with vigorous debate arguments inside that range. This isn't new.

So what is new? The internet is 30 years old now. So that's not new.

My controversial opinion is this: Pro-military and nationalist propaganda campaigns by the military since 2001, including a major push into video games, has radicalized a disenfranchised youth, who are seeing their world worse off than their parents. In other words, a military recruitment campaign went awry.


Leading media, New York Times, The Guardian, Washington Post are calling for immediate and drastic action against 8chan.

It's only a matter of time until it will be shutdown.


It's pretty surreal to see such publications that sold the war in Middle East all those years disavow anti-Islamic terror, are they finally admitting they were wrong all those years? Are they aware that perhaps their legitimization of the foreign occupation and demonization of the Muslim world might make them complicit in the ideology and subsequent actions of this shooter?

The shooter's manifesto was mostly ranting about demographic displacement, which those newspapers seldom cover. While you can certainly blame the publications for parroting US government talking points and helping sell the war, I don't think you can pin this particular shooting on them.

Please provide links to where these publications demand drastic action against 8chan.

I've seen nothing of the sort.

The closest I can find is this WP perspective urging giants like Facebook and Youtube to "deal with the crisis that they have helped create".

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/social-media-...


Expect other sites to be caught up in the dragnet. I'm sure politicians across the globe all have laundry lists of "naughty sites" that they'd love to see shut down, and now they were given a great reason to go do it. We've seen this played out before: patiently wait for a horrific event to happen, then push the ready-to-go agenda through while people are grieving.

I'm sure they'll start by shutting down the biggest .. YouTube?

> Leading media... are calling for immediate and drastic action against 8chan.

Sources?


As someone who browses 8chan I'd rather the entire site doesn't take the hit, since not the entire site partakes in this. It's only /pol/ that needs to be removed.

8ch is jim's ego project now, it'll continue to exist as long as it amuses him or is regulated out of existence. removing /pol/ wont remove /pol/ users. however, removing places like /pol/ or /baph/ would fundamentally kill 8ch as it would no longer be a free speech site. nor would such a move appease the disingenuous opportunists who use tragedies like this for their own personal gain.

Modern 8ch has been overrun by /pol/, they've been a consistent problem that's only gotten worse. 8ch already isn't a free speech site, /pol/ will ban you for even questioning their rhetoric. Sure you can create a new board, but almost no one ever browses those except to stash CP when they eventually get abandoned.

Removing /pol/ would certainly remove /pol/ users, they would need to find another place and it takes time for these sorts of communities to regroup.


New Zealand simply doesn't have the censorship infrastructure in place to do that.

We are ineffectively blocking websites through very crude technical means that are not designed for censorship.

I am just saying you are requesting something that has deeper implications... My opinions on censorship are not relevant to that.


Crude technical means are often enough to get the brunt of it out of the way, just look at what happened to /r/incels which at its height had 42000 users, the place the ones that cared enough moved to has only 9155, the rest of them by and large have successfully been deplatformed.

I used to be very much on the side of 'free speech', but it's become increasingly clear to me that deplatforming and censoring, while indeed unpleasant, is effective and necessary.


Thank god.

[flagged]


Incitement is not, nor has it ever, been protected speech. Even in the US, which originated the concept of free speech as a fundamental human right.

In the US, only incitement to imminent lawless action can be made illegal. I don't see how it applies now that the perpetrator is in custody.

The US didn't ban 4chan or 8chan...New Zealand did, and it does not appear that imminence is a requirement over there.

Also, imminent doesn't mean immediate. It depends on the circumstances of the crime...if a crime takes a long time to plan and carry out, "imminent" can actually mean weeks before the actual commission of the crime.


In the US, incitement is a very narrow exception. According to a first-amendment lawyer:

> In America, under the First Amendment, I can say something like "if Donald Trump gets elected, someone should assassinate him for the good of the nation." That statement may be immoral, and destructive of the very American values it purports to defend, but unless it calls for imminent action or expresses an objectively credible intent to do harm, it's protected speech.

Source: https://www.popehat.com/2016/08/09/lawsplainer-no-donald-tru...


Your example is not incitement...

Incitement is a specific call to action, not a general, broad-based statement. In the US, it must further be for "imminent" unlawful acts, though the "imminence" required varies based on the act incited.

If Michael Cohen were to say to Roger Stone, "kill Donald Trump by poisoning his Big Mac tomorrow" that could be incitement if Cohen had previously or afterwards tried to convince stone to actually do it. (Alternatively, it could also be seen as conspiracy, and frequently prosecutors charge conspiracy instead of or in addition to incitement because they usually both apply and it's much easier to prove conspiracy.)


> Your example is not incitement...

I know - I gave it to illustrate how narrow incitement is, if even that doesn't qualify. And it's not really mine, but given by popehat.


> exercising freedom of speech

uuughh..


But not 8chan? Where he was a user?

You are right, Users like these were booted out of 4chan and formed 8chan. 4chan got it because it's more popular

Have you never been to the /pol/ board? 4chan is very much still a hate filled place that encourages harmful actions.

Have you never been to a board other than /pol/? There's plenty of other harmless exchanges going on. 4chan is not primarily a political site.

Sure, shut down /pol/ and /b/ and you solve most of the 4chan problem for the moment.

These people tend to be extremely online, I am skeptical blocking a couple websites will change their overall behavior or ideologies. I suspect they'd just make a different website.

> a hate filled place that encourages harmful actions.

That describes pretty much every online community. I've seen a lot of hate, real threats, etc. on Facebook


I don't frequent either boards. I am just stating that people like this dude were booted out of 4chan. Is 4chan hateful? No idea. Haven't visited it or plan to.

>Confirmed. NZ ISPs are blocking access to Liveleak, 4chan, 8ch, a certain farm, Mixtape, Mega, and many other sites that are not complying immediately with the takedown orders.

>Even @Bitchute is removing the video mirrors.

https://twitter.com/eldarmark/status/1106463828768747520

>Earlier today Bush said he was aware that footage of the shooting had appeared on social media and police were doing everything they could to get it removed.

>"It shouldn't be in the public domain."

>Facebook Australia-New Zealand policy director Mia Garlick said videos which appeared to show the Christchurch shootings had been taken down.

>"New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video."

>Spark managing director Simon Moutter said the company was working to close off websites attempting to distribute the footage.

>"Our Spark security experts are working hard to close off the websites attempting to distribute the hateful stuff originating from the perpetrators of the massacre in Christchurch. We hope it causes minimal inconvenience to legitimate internet use by our customers."

>Vodafone NZ spokesman Richard Llewellyn said: "Industry players are working at a technical level now to block some of the hate sites involved in this content."

>Spark spokesman Andrew Pirie said technical staff had identified three primary sites where footage had been posted but there were a number of "copycat" sites popping up.

>The internet providers had joined forces to block access to these sites, he said.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&object...


They're using the chance to get every site they can blocked. It's a new take on the good old "think of the children" to erase anything they'd like to for everybody, children or not.

And that's why I'm getting 503 on LiveLeak....

Reddit itself is being censored right now banning users left and right due to shooting video

Just noticed r/watchpeopledie was banned about an hour ago: https://reddit.com/r/SubredditDrama/comments/b1hjtn/rwatchpe...

Which makes sense, if Reddit wants to ban the Christchurch video. Banning just that video and not the many others posted and discussed daily would be a difficult needle to thread as a coherent policy.


This event doesn't seem to change the moral justification, or otherwise, for r/watchpeopledie? So why ban the sub now, rather than impose heavy moderation (or indeed do nothing?)?

I'm arguing that there isn't a particular moral justification; it's driven by public relations. And one can hardly claim that Reddit was caught unawares by the potential for controversy -- r/watchpeopledie was quarantined half a year ago https://www.newsweek.com/reddit-quarantine-subs-toxic-contro...

Why do these people think censorship works? The more you don't want me to see it, the harder I will try to see it. I think this is pretty universal human nature. Instead let's use this as a learning opportunity.

> The more you don't want me to see it, the harder I will try to see it.

That comes into play only after you know there's something to see.


So we should suppress the news?

My ISP banned 4channel.org/lit ... a place for discussing literature and philosophy. Bit dumb.

4chan currently read only for me in NZ. cannot post to any board, only view. Appears sys.4chan.org is not resolvable.

I cannot post to 4chan from NZ at this time. Appears sys.4chan.org is currently not resolvable.

Isn't working for me either however using a vpn lets me on

this is all bullshit

Your shutting down rightwing websites and free speech the phase hate speech" is nothing more than an essuse to take away NZ freedoms and religious rights in Orwellian attack on right wing voters and attack on freedom of association and discrimory laws both of which are illegal in NZ.

leftwingers are currently the only ones with free speech so what you are doing is outright illegal no matter the jusifcation


delete pol

Won't people just use another forum. It might disrupt things briefly but doesn't seem like a solution to anything much except for those running the chans escaping the heat, and politicians who will say "look that hate forum is gone, problem solved; vote me!".

Why do Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and YouTube continue to turn a blind eye to the hate that populate their platforms? Why do they continue to enable them? The only argument I've heard is that regulating speech is a slippery slope, but I don't find that very persuasive.

https://twitter.com/fraser_anning

It makes me incredibly sad how blatant calls for violence and racist and backwards ideologies are freely pushed on Twitter. Please stop giving these people a platform.


You're also going to ban the hate in rap music, right?

What is a moderate approach? Blocking distribution of a gunmans rampage seems ok to me. Allowing angry rap music seems fine. Where is the line?

What about angry rap music that demands policemen are shot?



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