Over the past week, journalists and internet sleuths have been dissecting every aspect of the New Zealand mosque shootings and the perpetrator, Brenton Tarrant. 

Big Tech and legacy media talking heads reacted to the attacks in typical fashion: ignore inconvenient questions surrounding the incident, shut down all dissenting voices, and finally, call for more state control of online communications as the “obvious” solution (including the obligatory call for gun control). These events have helped reveal the disturbing lengths governments and social media monopolies will go to in their attempt to control the narrative.

If governments and tech companies insist on censoring “offensive” content from the minds of the masses, it will only lead to more censorship of free speech and a black market for banned material.

Facebook deleted 1.5 million videos of the attack, of which 1.2 million were blocked at the time of upload. The platform has since banned sharing the shooter’s manifesto as well, and gone as far as to unpublish Facebook pages that share or host uncensored discussions questioning the official story. One such page, Stop Communism in America, was permanently unpublished for attempting to share an article from Veterans Today that questioned several aspects of the shooter’s identity and motives. While VT has been blocked from Facebook at the URL level for months, never before has a page been unpublished for merely attempting to post a VT link. According to Stop Communism in America’s admins, Facebook informed them their page had been shut down for “misleading users.”

Just last week, President Trump’s social media chief, Dan Scavino Jr., was banned by Facebook, and only after backlash from his followers did the platform allow him access to his account again. But those with smaller audiences aren’t so lucky, as Facebook only heeds the cries of whatever outrage mob yells the loudest.

New Zealand and Australian TelCos have completely blocked access to a wide swath of the internet, including ZeroHedge, LiveLeak, 4Chan, 8Chan, Bitchute, Dissenter and many more for merely sharing the shooter’s livestream or his manifesto. A useless and petty practice if Kiwis and Aussies take fifteen seconds to use a VPN, of course. This isn’t far enough for New Zealand’s government, however, which has written open letters to Facebook and Twitter demanding they take action to “protect consumers.” What is it that they’re protecting us from? It seems more like they’re protecting an agenda.

“We call on Facebook, Twitter and Google, whose platforms carry so much content, to be a part of an urgent discussion at an industry and New Zealand Government level on an enduring solution to this issue,” part of the letter reads. In other words, they’re calling on the American technocracy to instate European-style censorship on their platforms, all in the name of protecting us fragile peasants from dangerous information. 

Imagine if these rules applied to other tragedies. What if we couldn’t discuss 9/11 or the JFK assassination openly on the internet unless we agreed wholly with the narrative supported by tech executives and governments? Would website owners receive threats from police officers for sharing alternative theories or publishing the written works of Lee Harvey Oswald? It’s important to ask these questions as calls for censorship and policing of “hate content” ramp up. If we allow tragedies to be exploited in the name of protecting consumers from graphic content, we will ultimately find ourselves locked inside a sterile, sanitized world, where only approved opinions and approved experiences are allowed. It is not a subtle irony that the most brazen attempts at fighting “fascism” often resort to the most fascistic methods of doing so. 

May we have a moment of your time?

Facebook recently decided to unpublish our Facebook page for covering their censorship of Rightwing outlets. Please consider donating as little as $1 to support our work and help us keep The Sentinel free of annoying ads: Support our journalism and fight censorship


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