The ‘press release’ and court imposed moderation

A New Zealand judge has ordered moderation on a New Zedaland website dedicated to freedom of speech and open honest debate on politics and democracy.

Chilling.

Further to the ‘press release’ that was posted in a comment on Your NZ on Friday night and referred to in The press release.

Some people have pointed out the oddness of posting something which prominently displays one’s name while pointing out a court order that prohibits displaying the name here.

Did this person break their own court order? Did they post it thinking I wouldn’t edit out the name and would therefore be in breach of the court order? It wouldn’t be the first time this person has tried entrapment here.

In keeping with the new age of communication, and the content of the order, [Name withheld] intends serving Mr George by posting the order on Mr Georges website, which will be, for the last time in its history, as of today unmoderated.

As I have stated a number of times, this has never been an unmoderated website. In the past (prior to the last ten months or so) this site has required very little obvious moderation because people here respected and enjoyed the open, non-toxic environment. That all changed, largely due to the arrival of people associated with the press release.

“The  statutorily enforced moderation of blog site comments should be made law in an immediate amendment to the HDCA, with the addition that the website owner is liable for any comments that are posted after moderation. If these additions were to become law, the significant expense to date will have been worth it” said [Name withheld].

A ‘blog’ is a loose term for a public forum. It would be impossible to differentiate blogs from other forums.

Does this person propose “statutorily enforced moderation” of all forums for public discussion?

Twitter? Facebook? They are as open to abuse as any type of forum and can be and are used to abuse and defame on a much greater scale than so-called blogs.

Imagine what the Internet in New Zealand would be like with “statutorily enforced moderation”.

I think the ‘press release’ and the court action are extremely unlikely to prompt a change of law as stated. They are more likely to force a rethink about how the Harmful Digital Communication Act can be abused by people with agendas.

Nevertheless that it was possible to legally enforce moderation of this public forum is alarming.

Did [Name withheld] actually write that? The PDF version of the ‘press release’ emailed to me showed:

PressReleaseAuthor

This sounds to me the sort of thing Nottingham would write.

What appears to me to have happened in the past few months is that there has been a campaign by a small group of people to disrupt, harass, abuse, accuse people here and to legally compromise this website.

And now it appears that this campaign has been used to convince a judge to impose a court ordered form of moderation here just like that which has been proposed in the ‘press release’.

I think this is an abuse of legal process.

One of the key things in an open society with a healthy democracy is the freedom to speak about and debate political issues. These are key things that this website has been established to provide.

Your NZ was providing this successfully and without any moderation problems until the campaign of anonymous abuses over the past months, followed by Friday’s order.

Court enforced ‘moderation’ inhibits the freedom to speak and debate.

What has happened is an insidious assault on your rights and freedoms to discuss politics. I will do what I can to overturn the court order and hold those responsible for it to account.

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18 Comments

  1. Kevin

     /  6th December 2015

    Countersue.

    Reply
    • Kevin

       /  6th December 2015

      So at least four people here don’t think PG should countersue. Interesting.

      Reply
      • Joe Bloggs

         /  6th December 2015

        or at least four people don’t like you …. beware – correlation does not imply causation.. 🙂

        Reply
  2. Mike C

     /  6th December 2015

    [Precautionary delete] has just shot his left foot off using his best writing hand … and if Nottingham keeps this up … he soon will not have any legs to stand on. LOL 🙂

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  6th December 2015

      It has never seemed to me that much, if anything, has been said by the regulars that was actionable. Saying that Eapco was a twat is an opinion (if not a great compliment to that part of the anatomy) whereas saying that Eapco was a kiddy-fiddler would quite rightly be grounds for a charge of libel-and would surely have been edited out, anyway.

      If [Precautionary delete] keeps this up….he won’t be scoring any more own goals as he’ll have shot himself in both feet, This really is the obnoxious child who makes nasty remarks and sly attacks and then runs whining to Miss or Sir when someone does the slightest thing in exchange.

      Reply
    • These people are not the first in NZ to adopt these kind of chilling tactics. I can think of 2 others who have done the same in different ways (both using the courts however). One lost numerous court cases, and had additional cost imposed on him to ‘punish’ him for the vexatious nature of his suits. The other won a large defamation payout, but has yet to see a single cent of the damages or costs (and never will). He also failed to have a website he didn’t like, shut down. He got stuck with a big legal bill instead. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Kevin

     /  6th December 2015

    I actually think that moderation is a *good* thing but it should be up to the owner of the blog to decide if they want moderation and if they do, what kind of moderation. To have someone impose it by abusing the court system should not be tolerated. It’s like hackers hacking a system and then defending themselves by saying “We did it to get you to improve your security systems so that people like us don’t break in again.”

    Reply
  4. Pete Kane

     /  6th December 2015

    I’m going to be very interested, when, in due course, we hear the whole process (in this case) of the application for injunction. Was a solicitor used? Was it done through a Registrar (or their assistant) with the applicant not appearing before the DCJ etc? Who were ‘physically’ present at the lodging of the application? Did others, other than the applicant or his/her solicitor, speak to the application.

    Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th December 2015

    “What has happened is an insidious assault on your rights and freedoms to discuss politics.”

    No, it is an explicit abuse of the law and power of the courts. This is the sort of ill-considered stupidity that brings both into disrepute. Not for the first time it seems the law and courts are making rulings on things they know nothing about. This judge has simply arbitrarily and carelessly confiscated a large amount of Pete George’s time and effort this weekend and until the injunction can be overturned. He deserves condemnation for so doing.

    Reply
  6. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th December 2015

    Obviously you will get legal advice. Equally obviously dealing with an Auckland court from Dunedin presents added difficulty and costs. I guess a challenge in the High Court would be the first response.

    Reply
    • As I understand things (and others have said) it should have been filed in Dunedin. One of a number of apparent flaws in the process.

      Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  6th December 2015

    Given Lynn Prentice’s revelation that the applicant cited as the reason for the injunction an objectionable comment the applicant himself had lodged on this website it might even be better to go before the original judge who would probably be less than amused and strongly disposed to suggesting police take immediate action.

    It seems the applicant’s employer might be deprived of his services rather sooner than later.

    Reply
    • Mike C

       /  6th December 2015

      @AlanW

      I have never heard that act described as “deprived” ever before … LOL 🙂

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  6th December 2015

        I can imagine someone is even now checking the availability of this evening’s flights for urgent business in Australia. And checking the list of countries that do not have extradition treaties with NZ.

        Reply
        • Mike C

           /  6th December 2015

          @AlanW

          The Netherlands appear to be quite popular in these sorts of situations 🙂

          Reply
    • Kevin

       /  6th December 2015

      The phrase “set up” comes to mind.

      Reply
  8. traveller

     /  6th December 2015

    Of interest. Thanks to The Standard.

    Pdf file received by one Anatoly Kern in 2013. He requested information on cases and convictions for perjury during a time frame. The following was collated by the MOJ. It references cases and convictions for – perjury, false oath, false statement/declaration, offences against judicial procedure, obstruct/pervert/defeat the curse of justice etcetera. One would be worried if one had mislead the court I’d have thought.

    Click to access 42912%20Anatoly%20Kern%20final.pdf

    Reply

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