Chief Censor confirms video “is an illegal, harmful and reprehensible record created to promote a terrorist cause”

As far as I know two people have been arrested and charged with distributing the video of the Christchurch mosque terrorist killings. The Chief censor has stated:

Chief Censor David Shanks has officially classified the full 17 minute video of the fatal Christchurch shootings which occurred on Friday 15 March, as objectionable.

It is illegal for anyone in New Zealand to view, possess or distribute this material in any form, including via social media platforms.

“We’re aware that for a time after the attacks, this video was widely available on social media and many New Zealanders saw it, sometimes without meaning to”.

“Its important people are now clear they should not view, download or share the video”, says Mr Shanks.

And:

“Every New Zealander should now be clear that this clip is an illegal, harmful and reprehensible record created to promote a terrorist cause. If you have a record of it, you must delete it. If you see it, you should report it. Possessing or distributing it is illegal, and only supports a criminal agenda.”

Guidance from Chief Censor

Chief Censor David Shanks is providing more guidance regarding the 17 minute video of the fatal Christchurch shootings, which has been classified objectionable.

Some members of the public and the media are now seeking clarification on what that decision means for edited clips and still images taken from the video.

There are also concerns being raised around the potential for criminal charges against people who viewed or forwarded on the video during the period that it was widely available on various forums in the hours after the attack.

“While we do not have the numbers yet, it is clear that this video was ‘pushed’ to many innocent New Zealanders by various apps. We have had reports that it also ‘auto-played’ for some people who did not even know what it was,” says Mr Shanks.

“The video will also have been likely passed on by people in the immediate aftermath, before they had any opportunity to reflect on what it was and what impact it might have on people.”

It is now clearer as to what this video is, and its legal status has been determined. Mr Shanks says it is a record of a terrorist atrocity, specifically produced for the purpose of promoting a hateful terrorist agenda. It has almost certainly been harmful to many who have viewed it, and will likely continue to cause harm.

“Enforcement around objectionable material is a primary responsibility of the Department of Internal Affairs, and I have discussed with them the need for a balanced approach to enforcement in this case.”

“I don’t think New Zealanders innocently caught up in the social media storm following these horrific events need to be concerned. The enforcement focus will likely be on those actively and maliciously involved in spreading this material, and taking actions such as deliberately distorting it to avoid blocks and detection software,” says Mr Shanks.

“Every New Zealander should now be clear that this clip is an illegal, harmful and reprehensible record created to promote a terrorist cause. If you have a record of it, you must delete it. If you see it, you should report it. Possessing or distributing it is illegal, and only supports a criminal agenda.”

In terms of excerpts or stills taken from the video, Shanks noted that the classification of the complete video set did not automatically mean that any image or short extract from it was also objectionable.

“However it is very important for people to be aware that any edited clips, screenshots or still images taken from the full video, that depict scenes of violence, injury or death, or that promote terrorism, may well also be objectionable,” says Chief Censor David Shanks.

Shanks noted that given the horrific circumstances of this attack, and the clear deliberate strategy to use media to disseminate a terrorist message, news media and all New Zealanders needed to carefully consider the impact of sharing, broadcasting or publishing any part of this video.

“New Zealand’s news organisations have needed to make ethical judgements about what images they broadcast and print, and I think there is growing awareness about the potential impacts and harms of some of this material, and the need to balance this with the public’s right to information.”

In particular, I’m thinking here of survivors of the attack, victim’s families and friends, those in the Muslim community, those affected in Christchurch and others who have already been traumatised by the attacks last Friday,” says Mr Shanks.

“The bottom line is that even if something isn’t illegal, it may still cause harm to others and we all have a responsibility as citizens to consider that”, says Mr Shanks.

If you see footage of this nature online, report it immediately.

To report harmful content on Twitter, click here.

To report harmful content on Facebook, click here.

To report harmful content on Instagram, click here.

To report harmful content on YouTube, click here.

Any harmful content should also be reported to the Department of Internal Affairs, click here.

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39 Comments

  1. Alistair

     /  21st March 2019

    As far as censorship goes, it is now very hard to find history of extremism in New Zealand mosques. I came across a post a few days ago, I think it was Whaleoil, about Stuff removing it’s archive stories about extremism at the Al Noor mosque. But we have screenshots. The screenshot was about 2 NZ jihadis who had been killed by a drone strike and the mother of one of them was complaining that her son had be radicalized by an extremist preacher at Al Noor. When I came back later to look in more detail, the post had disappeared. NZ Google searches for .”extremism” and “jihadi” used to return considerable material, now they return very little. What is going on?

    Reply
  2. Duker

     /  21st March 2019

    Its a snuff video which includes deaths of women and children…
    Yet we have had people on Farrars blog saying its a totalitarian government taking away their entitlement to watch what they want…
    The crazies are still among us unfortunately and on his blog there are enough right wing cuckoos to stretch from here to Geneva

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  21st March 2019

      Who’d admit to wanting to see this ?

      Reply
      • Duker

         /  21st March 2019

        Havent you done exactly that ? Are you saying now you wouldnt admit !

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  21st March 2019

          MOD. That is grossly offensive. I have never said that I wanted to see this, I would never want to see it, and your scurrilous remark is a total lie. You are disgusting.

          Reply
          • MaureenW

             /  21st March 2019

            He been accusing many people of viewing snuff movies today – me included. Probably trying to project onto others what he does himself.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  21st March 2019

              Sighhhh…that could well be the case. He totally distorts what people say and, in this case, makes a totally offensive lie up.

              He doesn’t realise that unless one says ‘admit (something)’ it’s meaningless.

  3. david in aus

     /  21st March 2019

    When you sign up with Facebook, they make very clear that it is Facebook that owns all images and videos uploaded onto their site.

    As owners, I hope Facebook is prosecuted for their offensive material.

    Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  21st March 2019

    Splendid. A Hawkes Bay teacher says half his students have watched the video.
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12214679

    Night after night people watch extreme violence on TV and video. Somehow that does not send them out to be killers or if it does we don’t care. Of course the police, prosecutors and security services will watch the video apparently without risk of becoming homicidal. Survivors watched the video and saw whether or not their friends or family had been killed. For some it showed they acted heroically during the atrocity. Other viewers may use it to learn what best to do if attacked like that.

    All this is ignored by the knee-jerk reaction that we must make illegal the right to see what we, the authorities, have seen and can see. I think it is wrong and the US constitutional protections have it right

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  21st March 2019

      ‘the US constitutional protections have it right’

      So why wasn’t the video of Osama Bin Laden being ‘taken out’ made available for public viewing then?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  21st March 2019

        Some video was if I recall. I expect it was edited to protect the identities and techniques of the operation.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  21st March 2019

          no it was embargoed…too gory.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  21st March 2019

            Evidence?

            Reply
            • Blazer

               /  21st March 2019

              blowing someones head off with a shotgun…is pretty gory…no great technique involved.

              What does the U.S constitution say about execution without a trial?

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  21st March 2019

    Shanks makes a unilateral decision that it is harmful and reprehensible. Unfortunately we have an idiot as Chief Censor which he has repeatedly demonstrated.

    Yes, the perpetrator intended it to publicise and promote his evil actions and aspirations. But in fact his acts have had exactly the reverse impact – generating revulsion for everything he stood for and empathy and support for those he attacked.

    The evidence is clear and overwhelming that his actions harmed only his own cause and generated universal condemnation rather than support. That his motives and actions were reprehensible does not make a record of them also reprehensible. There is no evidence it is harmful.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  21st March 2019

      Censor does this all the time – they are called snuff videos. Its exactly the type of material which is at the top of the harm category
      Advocating for snuff videos are you , [deleted, inappropriate accusation – PG]

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  21st March 2019

        Of course he does it all the time – Shanks is a zealot. Doesn’t invalidate any of my points.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  21st March 2019

          I have heard that snuff videos don’t exist in reality; no evidence has been found. The first one that showed a woman being killed was a fake; the actress came forward to show this. I have seen films where the deaths look very real, but if anyone filmed a real murder, they’d be filming evidence of a crime that could see them facing the death penalty themselves.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  21st March 2019

            I have no wish to be a ghoul and see these people dying. Who would ?

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  21st March 2019

              Someone has a standing offer of $1,000,000US for evidence of a genuine snuff film. It has been there for years and never been claimed.

            • Duker

               /  21st March 2019

              So you are a denier now Kitty, no surprises there that your belief is the ignorant one , not the truth.
              https://news.vice.com/en_us/article/mbn983/head-of-gore-website-pleads-guilty-in-canadian-snuff-film-trial
              You arent going believe this either [not a snuff movie]

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  21st March 2019

              No, I am not a denier. If you read what I said, you will see that. But you seem to deliberately contradict everything I say, no matter what it is.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  21st March 2019

              I said that I had HEARD it, not that I knew it. You sound like Corky sometimes, with your insulting language; calling someone ignorant.

              This is one case. Others have been investigated and proved to be fake.

              There is a difference between filming a killing and killing someone to make a video.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  21st March 2019

              People do video murders. But one would have to be an idiot to make copies and sell them commercially, especially if the murder was done for that reason.

          • PDB

             /  21st March 2019

            Snuff films are real Kitty. All manner of human depravity can be found on film in this world if you’re so inclined to seek it out.

            Reply
            • MaureenW

               /  21st March 2019

              I understood that “snuff movies” were made for those depraved viewers who get off on that type of thing for entertainment – gross and should be prosecuted – both the makers and the viewers. I would categorise what took place in Christchurch as a snuff movie- callous and grotesque but not created for the purposes of financial reward.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  21st March 2019

              A snuff film is, by definition, one done for no other reason but to make a film. Videos of deaths in war and so on are not this, as the deaths were not caused for the sole purpose of making entertainment.

            • MaureenW

               /  21st March 2019

              Wouldn’t categorise what was filmed in Christchurch as a snuff movie

    • Duker

       /  21st March 2019

      AW:”There is no evidence it is harmful.”
      Censor
      “Last Friday afternoon[DIA Digital safety team] quickly determined the shooting video probably met the legal test for being objectionable. That is, it depicts the infliction of serious physical harm or significant cruelty, it’s demeaning or degrading, and promotes acts of terrorism.”- newsroom

      It seems that anything even promoting terrorism is ‘harmful as well’, even if not terrorist related an intentional snuff video is beyond awful

      Do you always live in an ignorant and boneheaded world, where your [deleted] views MUST be right.?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  21st March 2019

        A million films would meet the definition of depicting serious physical harm and thereby being demeaning and degrading. Many thousands would depict and thereby promote terrorism.

        Obviously the criteria are applied selectively and subjectively according to the whims of the censors. Equally obviously, evidence is not required.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  21st March 2019

          promotes terrorism – banned . A terrorist who films himself killing real people is just like a million films ?
          You still dont get it –
          It wouldnt surprise me to see a close mirror of your views on this matter on white supremacist web sites, as their aim is to make them the victims .

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  21st March 2019

            You could make a case that video of real people being killed is an invasion of their privacy, but that is not what this bad law states. Simulations are equally subject to it as reality. The basis and justification of censorship is its claim to prevent harm. There is no evidence viewing of this video in NZ would cause harm other than to the terrorist’s cause.

            Reply
  6. harryk

     /  21st March 2019

    ‘It seems that anything even promoting terrorism is ‘harmful as well’ ‘

    No, it’s the usual political common or garden hypocrisy rather than a hard look in the mirror. Rightwing racist violence is bad, leftwing racist violence, not.

    17 of your Parliamentarians, Labour and Green, support OPM terrorism in Papua. Rather than lobby Ardern to condemn the OPM’s massacre of 19 civilians in Nduga, they want her to condemn Indonesia for using non existent chemical weapons, based on their own fake news hoax. Here’s how these terrorist supporting racists work –

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1812/S00284/govt-urged-to-act-on-west-papua-violence.htm

    If the chief censor was serious, if Ardern and NZ were serious, they would condemn all terrorism and censor all violent images circulated by terrorists and their support groups. At the very least I had hoped to see your 17 parliamentarians distance themselves from the Nduga OPM massacre and condemn it. Until Ardern condemns and takes action against all terrorism, including embarrassingly terrorism supported by politicians in her own party, she’s just a fraud taking the easy road.

    Reply
    • Duker

       /  21st March 2019

      Im sure they do . The DIA has a team of 30 who work in this area of ‘all harmfull videos’ Clearly the others dont make the news , maybe because they are of lessor concern as they cover events outside NZ

      “including embarrassingly terrorism supported by politicians in her own party”
      The demented truly have taken over – dont you have the reading age of 12 yr old to under -stand the words
      <b.promotes acts of terrorism
      None of parliament does that.. but in your own [ self censored] mind complete nonsense passed for reality

      Reply
  7. harryk

     /  21st March 2019

    ‘b.promotes acts of terrorism
    None of parliament does that’

    Wrong. At least 17 of them do indeed promote acts of terrorism by supporting the OPM, which perpetrates acts of terrorism. That’s 10% of your parliament. If that translates to 10% of your population you have a very big problem indeed with your cultural values and this permisssivness towards violence against civilians for politcal advantage is likely to leak into your community and polity in general. Australia faces similar issues.

    The massacre of 19 civilians in Nduga, a crime against humanity, was the start of a campaign coordinated by the OPM armed and politcal wings designed to manufacture and promote racist anti Indonesian sentiment in the leadup to the peak of the lobbying year, the United Nations Human Rights Council Sessions March 7-13 in Geneva. The planning between armed and political wings, and the pre-manufactured propaganda response is obvious and repeats a decades old pattern. If you are a member of the NZ [or Australian] Parliament, you belong to a group that supports breaking up the Nation State of Indonesia, the armed wing of the movement you support massacres 19 civilians and your political and propaganda wings distribute violent images and hate speech designed to ‘Other’ Indonesians, you need to distance yourself asap or risk being labelled a promoter of terrorism. The principle of Command Responsibility must apply and the perpetrators must be punished. I hope to see your 17 Parliamentarians who support – and perhaps fund – the OPM, condemn the massacre, call for the principle of Command Responsibility to be enforced and call for an end to the dissemination of violent images and hate speech in the social media of support groups. Regards.

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

    Reply
  1. Chief Censor confirms video “is an illegal, harmful and reprehensible record created to promote a terrorist cause” — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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