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New Zealand plans stronger hate speech laws

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New Zealand said on Friday that it plans to strengthen its hate speech laws, and increase penalties for inciting hatred and discrimination, in response to the attack by a white supremacist in Christchurch two years ago that killed 51 Muslims.

The move comes after a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Christchurch attack on March 15, 2019 recommended changes to hate speech and hate crime laws, which it said were weak deterrents for people targeting religious and other minority groups with hate.

New Zealand's hate speech laws have resulted in just one prosecution and two civil claims so far, the Royal Commission had noted.

"Protecting our right to freedom of expression while balancing that right with protections against ‘hate speech’ is something that requires careful consideration and a wide range of input,” Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said at a press conference.

The government proposed new criminal offenses for hate speech that it said would be clearer and more effective.

Under the proposal a person who "intentionally stirs up, maintains or normalizes hatred" would break the law if they did so by being threatening, abusive or insulting, including by inciting violence, the government said.

Punishment for such offenses would be increased to a maximum of three years in prison or a fine of up to NZ$50,000. Currently the punishment is up to NZ$7,000 or three months in jail.

It also proposed provisions that would protect trans, gender diverse and intersex people from discrimination. Current laws only target speech that "excite hostility" against a person or group on the grounds of their color, race or ethnicity.

The proposals are now open for public consultation.

Australian Brenton Tarrant killed 51 people and injured dozens when he opened fire on Muslim worshippers in two mosques in Christchurch, shortly after releasing a racist manifesto online, and streamed the shootings live on Facebook.

With support across the political spectrum, New Zealand swiftly banned the sale of the high-capacity semi-automatic weapons Tarrant used. But changes to hate speech laws have been more contentious as some political parties said it would impede free speech.

"The government’s proposed hate speech laws are a huge win for cancel culture and will create an even more divided society,” New Zealand's smaller ACT Party leader David Seymour said in a statement.

© Thomson Reuters 2021.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

56 Comments
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Good. Also include anti-transgender hate speech. However, there should be a clear standard such as an annual government approved dictionary of off-limit hate speech for which you can be criminally prosecuted.

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Yes, we need to know specifically which words we are not allowed to say, and in what circumstances, and to whom.

But seriously, this is ridiculous and idiotic. Feelingz dont need legal protection.

4 ( +12 / -8 )

Until there is a clear guideline what is hate speech and what not, such laws are prone to misuse.

Such hate speech laws should be executed unbiased in a neutral way. Now however such laws are used arbitrarily in many countries - especially politically to get rid of unwanted opposition.

Censorship is already everywhere active to be politically correct and to oppress free speech. Even simple comments if somebody does not fully agree to some certain agenda are deleted and the user banned, and might even face lawsuits, be kicked out of an university, might become jobless - check out complaints about facebook, twitter and similar social media.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The devil is in the detail. Laws are already on the books in relation to incitement, and I can see the new legislation being weaponised by people to silence their political opponents. Given the proclivities of the current NZ government, I think this will mean opaque wording of the act with 'hate speech' not being clearly defined, enabling the act to be used at the discretion of the powers that be.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

You are going to lose your mind when you discover what context is.

That's a fair point, but comments are taken out of context all the time, accidentally or on purpose. And it can be pretty hard to prove intent.

Until there is a clear guideline what is hate speech and what not, such laws are prone to misuse.

Exactly.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The government proposed new criminal offenses for hate speech that it said would be clearer and more effective.

I think 6 months to 1 year reeducation criminal camps would be effective. Teach people what they can say and what they dare not. This is certainly progress.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

"New Zealand swiftly banned the sale of the high-capacity semi-automatic weapons Tarrant used"

All it takes is one such idiot and your gun rights will be trampled upon.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

RecklessToday 01:29 pm JST

Good. Also include anti-transgender hate speech. 

How to understand your comment, please explain, for example in this case:

https://japantoday.com/category/tokyo-2020-olympics/New-Zealand-selects-transgender-athlete-Hubbard-for-Olympic-women's-weightlifting-team

Tokyo 2020 Olympics

New Zealand selects transgender athlete Hubbard for Olympic women's weightlifting team

If I am now against that this person is allowed to join the female New Zealand Olypmic team is this hate speech or not?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If I am now against that this person is allowed to join the female New Zealand Olypmic team is this hate speech or not?

I am not sure, that is why we need the government to tell us.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

If I am now against that this person is allowed to join the female New Zealand Olypmic team is this hate speech or not?

Depends on the reason.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Very good !!... As every decent, modern and developed country should do, not like a country that I know that has not yet passed the end of its civil war in 1865 and does not want to leave there..

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

If I am now against that this person is allowed to join the female New Zealand Olypmic team is this hate speech or not?

I would say that if your comments largely refer to the situation (the athlete in question being selected) and not specifically about the athlete, then that would not be hate speech. If you were to make certain comments directly about the athlete, then it would be less clear cut. That’s a layman’s POV though.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

It also proposed provisions that would protect trans, gender diverse and intersex people from discrimination. Current laws only target speech that "excite hostility" against a person or group on the grounds of their color, race or ethnicity.

As a socialist I say let them rail and flail on. Words are words. Cliche, but sticks and stones. But let the internet commons tear into them and mock them to their hearts content as well. They are a vocal minority in their conservative safe spaces.

There is a "whataboutism" to commons in the internet commons where specifically criticizing ignorant, bigoted views is also censored as "offensive/vulgar"....

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Express sisterToday 02:35 pm JST

If I am now against that this person is allowed to join the female New Zealand Olympic team is this hate speech or not?

> Depends on the reason.

Why MUST I give a reason to justify my opinion, if somebody is accusing me of hate speech?

I have the right to say, I am against it (or to vote against it etc.) and there is no obligation to specify why I am against it.

The person who is accusing me has to give an reasonable explanation why it is hate speech.

And in case if a court decides, it is not hate speech, can I then file a lawsuit against this accuser for hate speech against me and will I win it?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Oh god yet more PC nonsense. The ordinary people have had enough of all this lefty woke rubbish. I forecast a coming revolution which will sweep away this utter garbage.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Where I would brook censorship would be the multiple obvious troll accounts to magnify their voices, Trumpian copy paste word salad and transparent sock puppets.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Of course the speaker will likely have to prove it’s NOT rather than government proving it is.

also political affiliation will of course be considered.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Freedom means being able to express your opinion, no matter how objectionable. "Hate Speech" laws and censorship are Fascistic.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

People seem to quickly forget that popular and safe opinions do not need protection. Vulgar, controversial, and yes hateful speech needs protecting the most. Because who is to say when YOUR supposed safe and popular opinion will fall out of fashion and be classed as hateful?

Laws already exist about direct incitement to violence or crime. Barring that, the government has no place in the minds or mouths of the people. It is better to let the ignorant and hateful do their thing, that way they are exposed and can be mocked into submission.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

All it takes is one such idiot and your gun rights will be trampled upon.

In New Zealand, gun ownership was never a right, but a privilege. And I'm saying this as a person whose family had to sell back their semi-automatic rifles (tools of the farming trade) to the government because of that idiot.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why MUST I give a reason to justify my opinion, if somebody is accusing me of hate speech?

If you said, "wait, Hubbard isn't the strongest lifter, why is she chosen for the Olympic team?", that's not hateful. Why pick someone who isn't the best?

If you say, "Hubbard isn't a woman", it is.

I have the right to say, I am against it (or to vote against it etc.) and there is no obligation to specify why I am against it.

There is. If I say, "I am against Kamala Harris as Vice-President", and you ask why, then "I have serious problems with the decisions she made when she was California's AG", that might be fine (depending on what those problems are, of course), but "I don't think any woman should be elected to office" is bigoted.

You're assuming people will yell at you, but when you make a decision, people will have to ask why you've made it before accusing you of being hateful.

The person who is accusing me has to give an reasonable explanation why it is hate speech.

Yeah, but that's also why they need your reason.

"Obama was a bad President because he ran on a platform of correcting inequality, but didn't do it", is a reasonable view, and one I share.

"Obama was a bad President because he is black" is not reasonable, and is bigoted.

Note the bolded areas are the same.

Do you understand now?

And in case if a court decides, it is not hate speech, can I then file a lawsuit against this accuser for hate speech against me and will I win it?

Depends on the law of the country, state, or district. If you have been slandered or libelled, then yes, you can. This is very basic law.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

People seem to quickly forget that popular and safe opinions do not need protection. Vulgar, controversial, and yes hateful speech needs protecting the most. Because who is to say when YOUR supposed safe and popular opinion will fall out of fashion and be classed as hateful?

Wait for it...

Laws already exist about direct incitement to violence or crime

Congratulations! You have discovered the reason for banning hate speech.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Under the proposal a person who "intentionally stirs up, maintains or normalizes hatred"

THat is incredibly vague. With such a rubber law, they can criminalize any speech. Pure 1984.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

People seem to quickly forget that popular and safe opinions do not need protection. Vulgar, controversial, and yes hateful speech needs protecting the most.

Hate speech is that which incites violence. It does not need to be protected. It is not welcome in modern soceity.

Because who is to say when YOUR supposed safe and popular opinion will fall out of fashion and be classed as hateful?

My unpopular opinions are not inciting violence.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

dagon

It also proposed provisions that would protect trans, gender diverse and intersex people from discrimination. Current laws only target speech that "excite hostility" against a person or group on the grounds of their color, race or ethnicity.

So they want to criminalize the act of simply stating facts. I really wonder when we reach peak woke insanity.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Pure 1984

Legit question when I see this reference @ Zaphod .

Do you have any familiarity with the political views of George Orwell?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hate speech and incitement to violence are very different. Hate speech tries to give rights to groups, which is folly. Groups don't have rights, the same way that groups don't have responsibilities.

Incitement to violence does not necessarily include a racial or ethnic element, they are not necessary components. The proposed law widens the catchement of the term far too much.

Ditto threatening language. It is already illegal to threaten another person. There is no difference between saying "I'm going to kill you!" and "I'm going to kill you, you (insert protected category here)". Both are crimes. Same as saying "I hate you" and "I hate you, you (insert...here)". Neither should be crimes.

I mean really, what does "normalizing hatred" even mean? It is such a weasel phrase that can easily be abused.

Are you seriously saying a person should be charged with a crime for saying "Hubbard is a man"?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Under the proposal a person who "intentionally stirs up, maintains or normalizes hatred"

It's actually not. Like, normal humans understand these things.

So they want to criminalize the act of simply stating facts. I really wonder when we reach peak woke insanity.

You didn't cite "facts". Your quote said that laws "target speech that "excite hostility" against a person or group on the grounds of their color, race or ethnicity."

Do you think that we should allow speech that excite hostility against a person or group on the grounds of, let's say, race? If not, why not?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Hate speech and incitement to violence are very different. Hate speech tries to give rights to groups, which is folly. Groups don't have rights, the same way that groups don't have responsibilities.

They do, actually. Do you know what workers' rights are, for example?

Incitement to violence does not necessarily include a racial or ethnic element, they are not necessary components. The proposed law widens the catchement of the term far too much.

Not necessarily, but saying, "Barack Obama should never be allowed to be President, and nor should everyone like him", then if you're referring to political views, okay. If you're saying that no-one black should be President, that's hateful.

Ditto threatening language. It is already illegal to threaten another person. There is no difference between saying "I'm going to kill you!" and "I'm going to kill you, you (insert protected category here)". Both are crimes. Same as saying "I hate you" and "I hate you, you (insert...here)". Neither should be crimes.

Saying, "I hate you" to someone isn't a crime. Do you know what crimes are?

I mean really, what does "normalizing hatred" even mean? It is such a weasel phrase that can easily be abused.

In societies where hatred is normal, it is worse for those hated.

Let me ask. Do you think there is a problem with leftie, wokey, socialist feminists saying "white men are bad"? If not, why not?

Are you seriously saying a person should be charged with a crime for saying "Hubbard is a man"?

Depends on the context. As above. Please actually read arguments.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Sister; disagreeing with something and attempting to criminalize it are different things. I don't like wokey feminists saying "white men are bad" but at the same time I don't want men with guns to put them in cages for saying it either.

I agree that saying "blacks shouldnt be president" is hateful, and stupid as well. Yet should it be criminal? That perhaps is where we differ. I don't think that expressing a hateful, bigoted, or stupid opinion should be cause to jail a person. Ignorance shouldn't be a crime IMHO. If it were, this website would be very quiet...

I never said that "I hate you" is or should be a crime. My point was that saying "I hate you, you (derogatory term)" ALSO should not be a crime.

Please tell me the context where saying "Hubbard is a man" could be a crime in your opinion. I am genuinely curious.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So if I said, "Je deteste les Anglais", or "I hate the French", or "The only good Commie is a dead one!" would that be OK at home, but not on a public platform, where it would be classed as incitement to hate speech?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

nandakandamanda

So if I said, "Je deteste les Anglais", or "I hate the French", or "The only good Commie is a dead one!" would that be OK at home, but not on a public platform, where it would be classed as incitement to hate speech?

Well, at least you can say "I hate Trump" on the woke platforms. Some hate speech is bad, other hate speech is OK.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Express sister

Do you think that we should allow speech that excite hostility against a person or group on the grounds of, let's say, race? If not, why not?

Define "excite hostility". If stating a fact "excites hostility" among some, how is that the fault of the person stating the fact? Are well robots who can not control our emotions?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hate speech = blasphemy

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Well, at least you can say "I hate Trump" on the woke platforms. Some hate speech is bad, other hate speech is OK.

Saying “I hate x” is not hate speech. Saying “I hate x, so we should all beat on x” would be hate speech as that would “excite hostility” towards x.

This is a long way to say that your analysis is faulty.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

P. Smith

Saying “I hate x” is not hate speech. Saying “I hate x, so we should all beat on x” would be hate speech as that would “excite hostility” towards x.

That is your definition, but that is not what the article says. It says "excite hostility", which is a completely subjective term.

Your example would be a direct call for violence, which is a different kettle of fish.

This is a long way to say that your analysis is faulty.

Yours is.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

That is your definition, but that is not what the article says. It says "excite hostility", which is a completely subjective term.

There are many completely subjective terms in laws. These terms are then defined by statute or case law. It usually involves a list of factors to consider and that must be met for an act or speech to meet the definition.

Your example would be a direct call for violence, which is a different kettle of fish.

Are you seriously claiming a direct call for violence doesn’t “excite hostility”?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Under the proposal a person who "intentionally stirs up, maintains or normalizes hatred" would break the law if they did so by being threatening, abusive or insulting, including by inciting violence, the government said.

A lot of our “conservative” posters missed this part.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

P.Smith, yet it does "excite hostility", but not only by hatred of a politically protected group of people. A direct call for violence is enough to qualify as a crime. The other element is irrelevant.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

But the guy above said- If you say, "Hubbard isn't a woman", it is (hate speech).

There is no hostility in saying someone who is a biological man isnt a woman- just a statement of fact.

Yet this is hate speech anyway? So its not so clear as any of you would like.

Saying “I hate x” is not hate speech. Saying “I hate x, so we should all beat on x” would be hate speech as that would “excite hostility” towards x.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

As they say 'Never let a good crisis go to waste'. This tragedy was the perfect catalyst for the powerful and favored to introduce such laws to be used as a cudgel to silence those they disagree with. It's human nature and has been going on since Adam & Eve.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Can any government fully comprehend that defining hate speech in convention, even within constitution will inevitably undermine the principal of the very freedoms we have all cherished and taken for granted.

Article 10......

Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Don't be bounced, by the shameful political weaponization, leveraging of the Christchurch massacre to came to moral high ground to submit laws that are clearly a political agenda.

"Protecting our right to freedom of expression while balancing that right with protections against ‘hate speech’ is something that requires careful consideration and a wide range of input,” Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said at a press conference.

Preposterous nonsense, gibberish

The government proposed new criminal offenses for hate speech that it said would be clearer and more effective.

Under the proposal a person who "intentionally stirs up, maintains or normalizes hatred" would break the law if they did so by being threatening, abusive or insulting, including by inciting violence, the government said.

Impossible to define in law and open to all manner of context and interpretation by future Governments of all political shapes and sizes.

How could any Government be this politically naïve and dim witted?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Hate speech is so subjective it is meaningless. Threatening or harassing behaviour should be illegal, but hate speech is just a licence to silence those with a differing opinion. Look at those in the UK who have lost jobs or had plod knock on the door for non crimes such as saying you can’t change your sex, stating religious beliefs or none, or stating political beliefs. Protect individuals against violence, threats of violence and harassment, but do not stifle speech and opinions.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The freedom of speech gives all the power to debate, and publicly call out, if deem fit, name and shame.

Have the confidence to let the media do there job, it is a slippery slope.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Look at this bloke, the guitarist from Mumford and Sons had to leave the band after mobrule deigned he had read a ‘wrong’ book after he tweeted about it. He has been accused of hate speech for reading a book. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-57608397

4 ( +4 / -0 )

New Zealand plans stronger hate speech laws

What will these laws protect? Massacres? Feelings?

Why not just make the whole country a safe space?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Don't be frightened to call out what you feel to be politically unacceptable.

Don't feign hate speech when Government is unable or unwilling to debate the fact, that government, in this case the New Zealand  government thrusting around, looking for some imaginary political hooligan.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

"Protecting our right to freedom of expression while balancing that right with protections against ‘hate speech’ is something that requires careful consideration and a wide range of input,”

And everyone trusts the NZ govt to decide which is which?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Hate speech and incitement to violence are very different.

No. They are the same thing.

Hate speech tries to give rights to groups

No it doesn't.

Since you started out your post with two very incorrect statements, it made every conclusion that followed also wrong, being based on premises that were wrong.

It's weird, you speak with authority, as if you know what you're talking about, but then the content of your posts is filled with things that prove you don't. Baffling.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Is “white supremacy” hate speech?

My guess is not. Even though it promotes hatred against Whites, it helps the ding dongs promote their radical agenda, like in the U.S.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Be careful where you go with this.

Take for example Supporters of two Rugby teams playing each other...

should you be monitoring what each say about the other and arresting them based upon their comments ?

Seriously... do consider that... haven't you heard "We'll rip them apart", "slaughter them" or the mildly "kick their asses back home" comments before ?

Where do you draw the line and how do you determine that line has been crossed permanently rather than by an off-the-cuff remark ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

New Zealand plans stronger hate speech laws

Sounds like paradise for our libs here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sounds like paradise for our libs here.

If all their right-wingers leave the country, it certainly will be.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

New Zealand's hate speech laws have resulted in just one prosecution and two civil claims so far, the Royal Commission had noted.

Maybe because they are plain silly.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

StrangerlandToday  05:38 am JST

> If all their right-wingers leave the country, it certainly will be.

That would be the ultimate safe space for them, wouldn't it?

Then they could use the preferred pronouns, freely claim the election wasn't stolen, and not fear that their socialist utopian dreams would be confronted with reality.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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