Media watch – Thursday

20 March 2019

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Open Forum – Thursday

21 March 2019

This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isn’t spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you, or you think may interest others.. 

If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers are welcome to summarise and link to their posts. Comments worth more exposure may be repeated as posts. Comments from other forums can be repeated here, cut and paste is fine.

Your NZ is a mostly political and social issues blog but not limited to that, and views from anywhere on the political spectrum are welcome. Some ground rules:

  • If possible support arguments, news, points or opinions with links to sources and facts.
  • Please don’t post anything illegal, potentially defamatory or abusive.

FIRST TIME COMMENTERS: Due to abuse by a few, first comments under any ID will park in moderation until released (as soon as possible but it can sometimes take a while).

Sometimes comments will go into moderation or spam automatically due to mistyped ID, too many links (>4), or trigger text or other at risk criteria. If they pass muster they will be released as soon as possible (it can sometimes take hours).

World view – Thursday

Wednesday GMT

WorldWatch2

For posting on events, news, opinions and anything of interest from around the world.

Erdogan and Islamic State escalations

Worrying attempts at escalations by President of turkey Erdogan, and a warning by ISIS.

Also:

That won’t be good for tourism in Turkey.

NZ Herald: Turkish President warns NZ over mosque attacks, invokes Gallipoli

Will any Kiwis risk going to ANZAC events there this year?

And there is also news coming out from NY Times that Islamic State has issued a warning over the Christchurch attacks.

 

 

Much for bloggers to ponder in managing comments

Something that I have a particular interest in is what part if any that others have in encouraging a lone wolf type attack, or any terrorist type attack.

It is probably easy for them to find a small number of like minded nutters online who bolster each other’s warped thinking, and increase the chances of one of them actually taking action, or trying to take action.

Do they look wider online? Do they get encouragement from others who share and promote their same prejudices and intolerances?

In particular for me (and others in the blogging world) – does allowing extremist views to be aired and promoted raise the risks of someone taking drastic action? I don’t know the answer to that.

But I do know that those with over the top or extreme intolerant views can be very persistent in pushing their agendas.

And also on a lower level, how much some contribute to intolerance, racism, Islamaphobia etc.

There are some who may genuinely feel strongly about what they see as cultural or political dangers who don’t go to extreme levels, but whose persistence, especially if amplified by numbers can be a toxic haze in online communities.

It’s a difficult time trying to work out how to deal with this.

David Farrar is grappling with something similar, putting in place auto-moderation on anyone who doesn’t use their own name (that is, use a pseudonym to keep their identity anonymous).

Kiwiblog: Moderation changes

I have put comments on manual moderation, as the normal process of waiting for someone to complain about a comment was not ideal in this period.

Having me manually approving every comment is not a long-term solution. But neither was the old system of having all comments appear automatically unless there were complaints about them. Because that means some unacceptable comments stay there.

If you use your real name for comments, you will be given a status that allows your comments to appear automatically. There will be no delay. You’re still subject to moderation after the event if your comment breaches policies, but you will not have any delays.

If you do not wish to use your real name, you are entitled to do so. There are many genuine reasons you may have for that. But it means your comments will be held for moderation until a moderator (currently just me) can view it and approve or decline it.

The idea is to incentivise people to use their real names, but to still allow an alias.

Some people have said they are happy to “own” their comments but don’t want to have their name listed as the commenter as it becomes the first thing which comes up on Google. One can qualify for “auto-approve” status if you link your user profile to a page that identifies you, even if you use initials or an alias.

In comments there is some support, but a lot of angst and threats to desert Kiwiblog. Some who have genuine reasons to remain anonymous, and who don’t want to comment with auto-moderation, will be a loss to Kiwiblog. Others will be a welcome clean up, and more may comment with less threat of attacks and abuse which was prevalent there.

What about here?

At this stage I have no plans to require use of real names to allow immediate commenting. Most people using pseudonyms here are good contributors, and I don’t want to penalise them because of the abuse of a few.

But I am considering using auto-moderation (where a person’s comments have to be approved by me before they will appear) more often.

I don’t want Your NZ to be used for promoting division, intolerance, hate, conspiracies, unsubstantiated accusations, abuse.

All first comments from any new identity will need to be approved before it will appear. After that comments will appear immediately – for now I will still give everyone the benefit of doubt, initially.

But some who breach the guidelines here, especially repeatedly, are more likely to be put on auto-moderation.

I don’t have time to monitor comments 24/7. I don’t want to be an on-call babysitter and policer.

So if I see anyone as a risk for posting inappropriate or suspect content, then I will put them on auto-moderation.

For those who comment responsibly and in good faith, nothing will change.

Also note that if I see a comment posted that is a cause for concern, I will bin it. When I get time I will review it, and may release it, edit it, or dump it.

I may not always seem consistent. Tough. I play things as I see them. Complaining about it won’t help your case, but as always I’m open to having reasonable queries brought to my attention.

Not the end of the world or a win for a terrorist

There has been some wailing at Kiwiblog that increased moderation is a win for a terrorist and the end of the free speech world. That’s over-wrought bollocks.

When people try to use a terrorist act to promote an extreme agenda, and that causes a tightening of moderation on a blog, it is the extremist commenters who are to blame for their voices being not being trusted s being responsible enough for unfettered speech.

 

 

 

 

 

The rise of the ‘alt-right’

I don’t think ‘alt-right’ is a good descriptive term, but it is what is being used to describe a growing problem around the world, with strands of it evident in New Zealand – most starkly with the Christchurch mosque terror attacks last Friday.

It is more of a form of political and social extremism, with large dollops of intolerance of cultural and religious differences, and it doesn’t just come from the far right of the political spectrum.

There are also issues of political and social extremism from the left, with large dollops of intolerance of different leanings or opinions. That’s largely a different story, but the two are connected.

David Fishers ‘Big Read’:  ‘Lone wolf’ killers the hardest terrorist to find – and our spies had yet to finish their plan to tackle far-right extremism

We were at the tail end of a Five Eyes shift towards the threat of far-right extremism.

In the US last year, 73 per cent of extremist-related killings were by domestic far-right extremists.

Hate crimes in Canada increased 47 per cent in 2017 – in May that year a young man with a handgun walked into a mosque and shot dead six worshippers, wounding 19 others.

In Australia, there has been a recorded surge in membership of far-right extremist groups.

The UK’s MI5 – the domestic intelligence agency – took over as the lead agency combating the rise in far-right extremism in October amid an increasing number of alleged plots.

A particular difficulty is not just identifying extremist groups, small bobbles in size and number in a vast ocean, but also evaluating actual risk as opposed to relatively harmless ranting.

…there is work to identify the people inside who actually want to do something.

Clive Williams, former Director of Security Intelligence for Australia’s Defence Intelligence Organisation, says the groups themselves don’t necessarily pose a threat.

Far-right extremists may present as “a small number of hate-filled people who weren’t going to do anything more than march”.

But as we have seen it only takes one to inflict a major amount of human damage.

Peeling back the onion, there will be those who go beyond marching and offer financial support to an organisation. Another layer in, you find those who talk of direct action and, further still, those few who will actually take action.

At the time Ball worked for the NZSIS, the criteria for focus was set by “intent over capability”.

He offers a scenario to explain. If someone posted a comment online saying: “I don’t like you and I’m going to get you,” it would signal intent.

Someone presenting in this way wouldn’t necessarily rise in an agency’s radar.

If the comment was accompanied by a photograph of the poster holding a weapon, it would show intent and capability then escalate in importance.

“There are going to be times when the intelligence information is just not available … (when) you’ve got an individual who’s not connected to anyone.

Intelligence agencies in other Western countries hit by “lone wolf” attacks have found, after months of investigation into incidents, terrorists have brushed up against or been in contact with others who held similar beliefs, or been identified as someone of concern to law enforcement.

It is those areas where intelligence operations hope their tripwires – if set in the right place – will sound an alarm.

In the case of the Christchurch attacker, he was apparently active in online forums. He bought at least four firearms and a lot of ammunition over the internet from Gun City and another from a Dunedin sporting goods shop.

There has to be some sort of warning system based on firearms and ammunition buying patterns.

A former NZ Army soldier, now a hunter, spoke of his frustration of reporting concerns about behaviour at the Bruce Rifle Club outside Dunedin, where the Christchurch attacker practised shooting.

Williams, now an associate professor at the Australian National University and the Australian Defence Force Academy, said similar concerns in other countries had prompted alerts.

“The problem with any loner attack is they have minimal contact with people. Then they flip and decide to do something.

“You must have had people he communicated with, if not physically then online.”

Ball: “The challenge is trying to put the dots together. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

It is a huge challenge identifying the right dots and putting them together. There will be times when this just won’t be successful – we have to accept that.

It was with the benefit of hindsight academics Sophia Moskalenko and Clark McCauley wrote a paper called “The psychology of a lone wolf”, having studied two dissimilar cases of attackers who planned then carried out solo attacks.

They found the factors which inspired “lone wolf” attacks were incredibly difficult for intelligence agencies to identify.

Their research found those attackers beliefs were grounded in not only identifying with a group of which they felt part, but also identifying an alternative party which they believed threatened their identity fellowship.

This described many people. It describes alt-right groups of white nationalists who rant about immigration.

The mystery, the researcher said, was what separated those who would take action from others who did nothing.

They found there was a common theme in the cases they studied. They found a specific incident or situation which turned what had been a political position into something which was very personal.

“In short, we suspect that lone-wolf terrorism requires the combination of strong capacity for sympathy with an experience that moves sympathy to personal moral obligation to act.”

The researchers don’t explain this as if it makes the action valid, simply describing the thought process in the killers’ heads.

The Christchurch shooter’s so-called “manifesto” identified a period of time where his political beliefs became personal. If that is genuine, he wrote of travelling in France during April 2017 and May 2017 as the time when he decided to carry out an attack.

The researchers Moskalenko and McCauley found the combination of “personality and personal experience” be extremely difficult for those trying to profile such attackers.

It was possible to discover those with extreme political leanings, they wrote. Understanding what was in their heads was a far more complicated task.

Especially in advance of them carrying out a dirty deed.

But once he made that decision, there were possible warning signs. Some of these can possibly be detected through better systems, like monitoring firearms buying patterns. More notice could also be taken of unusual behaviour online or in places like gun clubs.

But this poses big challenges, with a likelihood that efforts to prevent terrorist acts can never be completely successful. However it is important that as much as is possible and practical to do is done to keep us safe.

And I think that labels like ‘alt-right’ are not helpful, as they ostracise many who just have particular political views but are no threat, and if the focus is too tight it gives plenty of room for missing real threats.

Marama Davidson lays into the blame game

The degree to which Marama Davidson takes her arguments here is alarming, especially for a political party leader.

While most of the country is coming together with a common purpose of sympathy and empathy, she seems to be intent on blaming and dividing.

Yesterday from her speech in Ministerial Statements — Mosque Terror Attacks—Christchurch

I know that we must work together, all of us, to become an Aotearoa where everyone is safe to pray, or not—an Aotearoa where people are safe to be who they are.

I also acknowledge the calls from those in Muslim communities to ensure that we tell the truth right from the start. I note the Muslim voices highlighting the truth that New Zealand has a long history of colonial policy, discourse, and violence that sought to harm indigenous peoples. As tangata whenua, I am aware that we need to build connections now more than ever, to heal, and to create loving futures for everyone.

There are some major contradictions in this.

So what do we do now? I am energised by the signs of people now reflecting on their own bias and prejudice and committing to fighting racism with all their might.

We have a big shift ahead of us. We have lessons to learn. We have conversations to have. It’s just that this seems like it was too big a price to pay to get us to this point. In closing, to our Muslim communities, we love you, not just because you are us, but because you are you. Kia ora.

Davidson needs to learn that those of us who have some colonial history in our whanau are also part of ‘us’.

She is correct in saying “we must work together, all of us” – she just needs to learn what that actually means, and she needs to learn that divisive speech is contrary to what she is imploring here.

 

‘The Great Replacement’ promoted at Whale Oil

This isn’t about a 73-page manifesto titled “The Great Replacement”, a reference to the Great Replacement and white genocide conspiracy theories that expresses anti-immigrant sentiments including hate speech against migrants, white supremacist rhetoric, and calls for all non-European immigrants in Europe who he claims are “invading his land” to be removed.

It’s about The Great Replacement by Intern Staff on September 21, 2017

Voting for the leadership of this country may well be influenced by what is happening elsewhere. Jacinda, childless, pro-abortion, is up against Bill, with a family of six, with RC views on abortion. I have a thing about childless leaders of nations and many of these can be found in Europe. It is not news that demographics there are changing.

It is news to me to see it being called “The Great Replacement”. In a way, there is an absurd contrast to “The Great War” which continues to observe centenary commemorations. Millions killed in fighting then contrast with millions not present due to birth control and abortion.

To fill the vacuum comes others whose only “war” is against the poverty they flee from.

The invasion is changing Europe.

Imagine being fined 2000 euros for telling the truth. That’s what happened last week to Robert Ménard; one of Marine Le Pen’s key advisers. Ménard was charged with “inciting hatred” against Muslims because of two things:

  1. During a television interview, Ménard claimed that there were too many Muslim children attending the schools where he lives. He advised: “In one of the classrooms in my town centre, 91% of children are Muslim. Obviously this is a problem. There are limits to tolerance.”
  2. Ménard also shared an image on Twitter which compared a school in 1970, to a school now. On his tweet, Ménard referred to the “Great Replacement”; a term which was coined by Renaud Camus which suggests that France is being colonised by Muslim immigrants with the help of the government and the media.

It’s about  An Ant’s Story by Guest Post on February 2, 2019

New Zealand Sovereignty is a movement that hopes to harness the passion and determination of the countless New Zealanders who have had enough.

Please, do not listen to those who shake their head and say “this can’t work” or “things are moving too slowly.” These are the voices of the ants that remain in the shadows and outskirts…they are not the worker ants.

For me, the Molyneux/Southern debacle and the attack on free speech was the first time I REALLY saw red. As it happened I saw them in Melbourne, and had hoped to go here as well. In Oz there were hundreds of police out that night, a secret location, horseback cavalry, dogs…you name it. I saw buses being rocked and purple haired SJWs screaming like lunatics…

And of course then there was also Tommy Robinson. I became an avid follower of his journey. I also read The Strange Death of Europe by Douglas Murray” (a must read) and followed Molyneux, Turley, Rebel Media, Katie Hopkins, Martin Sellner and all the other countless warriors in Europe and the States.

I read voraciously about Islam and what this ideology means for the West, for Christians and for the Jewish people. My grandad fought in WWI in the middle east, against the Ottoman invasion.

The Great Replacement (by stealth) is STILL an invasion and it is war….though it is happening by stealth rather than the sword.

My guess, our New Zealand ant colony has until the next election to turn this around. After that, I suspect we will see UN ships and planes as a regular occurrence in our ports and airports and Islam will take hold to the point where what you have seen in Europe will happen here.

This lil ant shouts NO to Sharia Law and YES to controlled immigration. We need people who will respect our Judeo Christian heritage and laws.  Islam is not compatible with this.

So yes, you could say, after 2018 and the waves of attack on free speech (there was the Massey University affair as well)…something inside me said “Enough now.”

So I threw my hat in the ring 110% and I ask you now to do the same.

Eighteen months of your life – what can you do to help? Your skills? Do you have a boat? We may need a flotilla one day. Just imagine, if a UN ship came into New Zealand waters and we sent out 100 boats to block the harbour.

That’s what was promoted at Whale Oil last month. That was before the great replacement of the whale himself.

It wasn’t the whale who posted this:

What do France, Germany, The Netherlands and Britain have in common? by SB on December 24, 2016

What do France, Germany and The Netherlands have in common? They all have criminalised the free speech of their politicians. In Britain, the same thing is happening to political activists and even ordinary citizens expressing their views on Facebook. The one thing that they all have in common is who or what they are criticising. It is becoming increasingly obvious worldwide now that criticism of Islam and Muslims are like Voldermort; we dare not say their name out loud for fear of punishment.

And it continues. Face of the day by SB on March 19, 2019

spanishbride

They are not about to let facts get in the way of their witch hunt. A quick glance at comments on a Newshub article today reveals that the hysteria whipped up by the MSM agst so-called Nazis is spreading rapidly.

Also this morning – Christchurch mosque shootings: Pig heads delivered to mosque in 2016

The mosque at the centre of Friday’s horrific massacre in Christchurch was previously subjected to the delivery of boxes of pigs heads by Hitler-saluting men who boasted “Bring on the cull”.

Video, intended to be shared within the 20-strong cell of local neo-Nazis, emerged online over the weekend showing tradesman Philip Neville Arps delivering the offal – pig meat is considered unclean by Muslims – to the Masjid Al-Noor mosque in March 2016.

In the videos – seemingly prepared to record and propagandise the activity amongst the group – Arps said the incident had led to an appearance in the Christchurch District Court where he was convicted of offensive behaviour and fined $800.

“It was a deliberate attack, and deliberate offence against Muslims, were the judge’s words. Obviously the judge knows me well,” Arps said while his cameraman sniggered.

“White power, my friends, my family, my people. Let’s get these f***ers out. Bring on the cull.”

Later in the day (Stuff): Nazi-themed company owner charged with possessing objectionable material

The owner of a Christchurch insulation company that promotes Nazi themes has been charged with distributing objectionable material.

Stuff understands the Avonside home of company owner Phil Arps was raided by police on Tuesday.

When asked to confirm this, a police spokesman said police executed a search warrant at an Avonside address at 11am.

“A 44-year-old man was charged with distributing objectionable material. He is scheduled to appear at Christchurch District Court tomorrow.”

Beneficial Insulation, which Arps owns, features a number of Nazi-related themes in its name and branding.

The company’s white extremist branding and Arps’ racist views, which he promotes online, sparked a public outcry in the wake of the mass shooting in Christchurch that left 50 people dead with another 30 still in hospital.

Stuff has also sighted an angry email from Beneficial Insulation owner Phil Arps sent to a customer which was signed off with a false Adolf Hitler quote and featured right wing extremist views.

Beneficial Insulation’s company logo is a sunwheel, or black sun, which was appropriated by Nazis.

Beneficial Insulation also charges $14.88 per metre for insulation – 14.88 is a hate symbol popular with white extremists.

The company’s website www.BIIG.co.nz, is an acronym for the company’s full name Beneficial Insulation Installs Guaranteed. BIIg was the name of a barracks at Auschwitz concentration camp, operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust.

There’s nothing great about all of this.

Media watch – Wednesday

20 March 2019

MediaWatch

Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media.

A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy.

A general guideline – post opinion on or excerpts from and links to blog posts or comments of interest, whether they are praise, criticism, pointing out issues or sharing useful information.

Social chat

“Is there any way we could have a thread for the more lightweight stuff like music and general chat?”

Do it here. Social only, no politics, issues or debate.

Please no personal attacks or bickering. Anything abusive, provocative or inflammatory may be deleted.