New Zealand: Social Media Companies Agree to Censor “misinformation” and “harmful” Content

Giant social networks operating in New Zealand will from now on “voluntarily” self-regulate to further suppress content considered misinformation and hate speech.

Those signing up to what’s known as Aotearoa (New Zealand) Code of Practice for Online Safety and Harms include Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Amazon’s Twitch, Twitter, and TikTok.

The initiative comes from Netsafe – a New Zealand non-profit that describes itself as having “unrelenting focus on online safety.” Under the terms of the code they just agreed to, these social media heavy-hitters are expected to “actively” work on reducing “harmful” content.

We obtained a copy of the details for you here.

It is not stated what type of action the platforms will now be taking in order to achieve that goal, but the companies behind them will be publishing reports each year to demonstrate compliance, and will detail what tools, policies, processes and systems are being used to this end.

The full list of areas where censorship will be tightened includes child sexual exploitation and abuse, bullying or harassment, hate speech, incitement of violence, violent or graphic content, misinformation, and disinformation.

The code itself is said to be modeled after the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, the EU Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online and the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation. Netsafe considers the code as a way to fill “regulatory gaps” around misinformation and hate speech.

Members of the public will be able to report a social media company if they “believe” the code has been broken on its platform, and file complaints. One of the punitive measures is apparently asking these tech giants to “leave the agreement.”

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New Zealand Joins the International Crackdown on COVID Mandate Protests

Last week, with the world understandably distracted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, New Zealand authorities took advantage of the moment to disperse an inconvenient protest against pandemic mandates. Like Canada’s Freedom Convoy, by which it was inspired, the protest was grounded in grassroots disagreement with authoritarian policies, mixed with a little nuttiness, and had outlived its welcome. Also like its inspiration, the protest in New Zealand was forcibly shut down to the surprise of those with preconceptions about peaceful, tolerant democracies. Governments are most peaceful, it turns out, when there’s little dissent to test that tolerance and, under pandemic stresses, gloves are coming off in an increasingly illiberal world.

“Police in riot gear cleared a protest camp outside New Zealand’s Parliament on Wednesday, sparking violent clashes that saw dozens arrested as protesters hurled bricks and set fire to their tents,” Michael E. Miller wrote March 2 for The Washington Post. “In what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said was a planned operation to remove the camp, hundreds of officers assembled at dawn and began towing the cars and trucks demonstrators have used to block streets for more than three weeks, in imitation of the ‘Freedom Convoy’ in Canada.”

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New Zealand, amazingly, has gotten even more totalitarian about COVID

From practically the first day that COVID appeared, New Zealand’s government was on the front line of totalitarianism in terms of trying to keep the virus off its shores. The country’s lockdown was total. With every fanatic rule, it was hard to imagine the government topping itself. And yet that’s exactly what the government is doing. The newest initiative is to fine people for refusing COVID tests—and, if they ignore the fine, destroying them financially and imprisoning them in fortress New Zealand.

Beginning in March 2020, New Zealand closed its borders to the world and put the country (and its economy) in almost complete lockdown, with only occasional intermittent breaks from these national prison conditions — and of course, the government-mandated vaccine passports, which are effectively vaccine mandates for those who wish to function in the country.

The latest initiative is, apparently, enforced COVID testing.  Libs of TikTok tweeted out a Notice someone received for “COVID-19 Testing Non Compliance.”  The fine is NZD 330, which is USD 220.  If the person fails to pay the fine, another NZD 102 (USD 68) gets added to the fine.

But wait!  There’s more!

That additional $102 fee seems to be intended to cover the costs of the more serious consequences for non-payment of the fine (and, presumably, the continued refusal to have that swab stuck up your nose).

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New Zealand Threatens to Use Military Against Civilian Anti-Mandate Protesters

The New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) warned Wednesday it was poised to deploy “Defence Force assets” to Wellington to disband an anti-coronavirus vaccine mandate protest near New Zealand’s parliament building after the rally pushed into its ninth consecutive day.

“An NZDF spokeswoman said discussions on the possible deployment of Defence Force assets remain ongoing, and no decisions have been made,” New Zealand’s Stuff news site reported on February 16.

“Four Defence Force vehicles have arrived in Wellington and are on standby should they be required,” the NZDF spokeswoman confirmed.

“They are being pre-positioned should they be required, but as stated no decisions have been made about their use to assist the towing operation,” she told reporters.

“[The] four army vehicles travelled to Wellington from Linton and Waiouru on Wednesday,” according to Stuff.

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New Zealand Allows Euthanasia for Coronavirus Patients ‘in Some Circumstances’

New Zealand’s Ministry of Health has confirmed that patients suffering from the Wuhan coronavirus could be eligible for a right to a lethal injection under the nation’s new euthanasia law.

The End of Life Choice Act 2019, which came into force last month, was enacted “to give persons who have a terminal illness and who meet certain criteria the option of lawfully requesting medical assistance to end their lives; and to establish a lawful process for assisting eligible persons who exercise that option.”

The Health Ministry responded to a request for clarification regarding provisions of the Act, declaring that “in some circumstances a person with COVID-19 may be eligible for assisted dying,” the Catholic Herald reported last week.

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New Zealand Approves Orgies Of Up To 25 People As Part Of New COVID Rules

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the easing of COVID-19 restrictions on national television, based on a ‘traffic light system.’ She said orgies for up to 25 people are permitted.  

Ardern spoke with Seven Sharp hosts Hilary Barry and Jeremy Wells about New Zealand’s reopening timeline, known as the traffic light system. For some context, the traffic light system categorizes freedoms available to vaccinated Kiwis based on location and whether they live in a red, orange, or green zone. 

The traffic light system aims to end lockdowns in New Zealand and enforce vaccine passports. 

For instance, in Auckland, a major port city in the north of the country’s North Island, lined with superyachts, the metro area is currently classified as a “red” district — meaning Kiwis can engage in everyday essential activities.

Ardern explained on national television, “I can confirm that Tinder liaisons have reopened,” adding, “it’s not strictly embedded in the traffic light system but um, it is a given, up to 25 actually, in a red area.”

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New Zealand BANS smoking: Radical new laws will stop young people from EVER buying cigarettes as nation goes ‘smoke-free’

New Zealand is banning young people from ever being allowed to buy cigarettes in a rolling scheme that aims to make the entire country smoke-free.

People aged 14 and under in 2027 will never be allowed to purchase cigarettes in their lifetime in the Pacific country of five million, under Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s radical new laws.

Each year the age limit will be increased until it is illegal for the entire nation.

‘We want to make sure young people never start smoking so we will make it an offence to sell or supply smoked tobacco products to new cohorts of youth,’ associate health minister Ayesha Verrall said on Thursday. 

However, the new law will not impact vaping, with Dr Verrall saying tobacco smoking is more harmful and remains a leading cause of preventable deaths in New Zealand, killing up to 5,000 people each year. 

The measures will make New Zealand’s retail tobacco industry one of the most restricted in the world, just behind Bhutan where cigarette sales are banned outright. 

Official in New Zealand, where packets of 20 Marlboro cigarettes cost around NZ$33 (£17), have not said how they plan to police the ban, nor which retailers would be barred from selling tobacco products. More detail is expected to be provided when legislation is brought before parliament next year. 

At the moment, tobacco retailers face fines of between NZ$500 and NZ$1,000 for selling cigarettes to minors. 

Although many experts have welcomed the move, others have warned that it could cause a ‘gradual prohibition’ and create a black market for tobacco, prompting a crime wave.

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New Zealand Tells Schools to Phone the Police if Unvaccinated Staff Show Up

Authorities in New Zealand have told schools to phone the police if unvaccinated staff show up for work.

Yes, really.

“The advice, published in the Ministry’s gazette on Thursday, tells school leaders that if they, or any education staff, turn up to work on Monday unvaccinated against Covid, they will be committing an offence,” reports the Mail Australia.

Any staff member who hasn’t had the COVID vaccine by November 15th who tries to enter school grounds will be subject to a fine as part of the country’s “no jab, no job” policy.

“If staff do turn up on site after this date, we encourage school leaders to deal with this in the usual manner you would if other inappropriate people were to turn up on site,” states the advice from the Ministry of Education.

“If you feel your safety or the safety of akonga (pupils or students) or other staff is compromised, you could consider contacting the police.”

As we previously highlighted, New Zealand has imposed one of the most brutal lockdowns in the developed world, in some instances locking down entire areas of the country after just a single COVID case.

Earlier this summer, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mimicked Australia’s top public health official by telling citizens, “Don’t talk to your neighbors.”

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Facebook partners with New Zealand media for funding, will help outlets censor “false comments”

Facebook’s parent company Meta has launched a program to “support” journalism in New Zealand and has made a new commitment to managing “defamation.”

The aim of the program is presented as a way to help media organizations in New Zealand create sustainable business models.

The program includes a Grant Fund, Audience Development Accelerator, the creation of a News Innovation Advisory Group, and the provision of digital training focused on engagement for news organizations.

According to Facebook’s head of public policy for Australia and New Zealand Mia Garlick, the program will involve 12 media organizations with regionally, culturally, and digitally diverse publications. The idea is that these organizations will “come together and try to innovate and learn from experts and really collaborate on new strategies to drive business growth both on and off Facebook.”

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New Zealand PM Brags About Making Unvaxxed People Second-Class Citizens as Part of Push to Get Covid Jab

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern boasted of creating a two-tiered society in her country based on vaccination status.

During a recent interview with The New Zealand Herald, a reporter asked Ardern if she’s trying to a create a society of “two different classes” of people, where “you have all these rights if you’re vaccinated.”

“That is what it is, yep,” Ardern replied with a nod and a smile.

Ardern went on to defend the use of vaccine passports, calling them a “tool for confidence.”

“It’s actually become quite clear to me that they’re not just a tool to drive up vaccines, they’re a tool for confidence,” she said.

“People who have been vaccinated will want to know that they’re around other vaccinated people. They’ll want to know that they’re in a safe environment. It is a way that we can give them the confidence to those who are going back into hospitality or events.”

But if the Covid injection is actually effective, why would vaccinated people even worry about being around the unvaccinated? After all, they’re protected from Covid now, right?

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