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News Link • Mass Shootings

The Chilling Censorship of the Christchurch Shooting

• By BARBARA BOLAND

Serious concerns have arisen over how New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has handled the recent Christchurch mosques massacre. And they don't just involve her calls for stricter gun control and decision to ban all semi-automatic rifles.

In the wake of the attacks, the prime minister promised to keep the murderer "nameless," and the internet promptly obliged by flushing the perpetrator's identity down the memory hole. New Zealanders' access to online material about him was blocked. In what has become standing operating procedure after mass attacks, social media accounts connected to the perpetrator disappeared. Internet service providers in New Zealand blocked access to sites like 4chan, 8chan, LiveLeak, and the file-sharing site Mega if the sites did not take down material related to the shooting.

Ardern then announced that the government would consider further policing social media, saying, "We will look at the role that social media played and what steps we can take, including on the international stage and in unison with our partners."

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