back to article Click here to see the New Zealand livestream mass-murder vid! This is the internet Facebook, YouTube, Twitter built!

An Australian who murdered dozens in New Zealand on Friday livestreamed the deaths on Facebook, spinning a spotlight onto the abject failure of social media to control harmful content. The 28-year-old shooter, whose name isn't worth publishing, fired on defenseless people attending prayers at two Christchurch mosques, killing …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a very difficult balance in my opinion.

    You ban these people then you lose visibility of them yet if you leave them where they are you allow them to use it to indoctrinate others.

    I agree these platforms should properly police their content and things like this should never be allowed to happen but you have to weigh up who then polices them and who decides what to remove?

    Acts of a criminal nature should always and without question be banned and blocked before anyone sees them or has a chance to download or share themselves because acts of a criminal nature have been through the due process to define them.

    I just hope there are no knee jerk reactions in all this and any actions taken are thought through properly first as sad as this act of terrorism is. What I don't want to see is government using it to extend their reach.

    1. eldakka

      I generally agree with you, but this is particularly problematic:

      Acts of a criminal nature should always and without question be banned and blocked before anyone sees them or has a chance to download or share themselves because acts of a criminal nature have been through the due process to define them.

      Who defines criminal nature? Which countries laws are used as the basis of this? Who chooses that?

      I mean, if a country says being homosexual is illegal, does that mean that these platforms must remove anything that supports homosexuality?

      What about abortion? Some places outlaw it, other places provide financial support to to cover the costs of having an abortion.

      On a multi-national platform, criminality is not black and white. There are no easy answers, which doesn't mean we just give up, but it does mean it'll be hard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I completely agree but you have to start somewhere and we can't force our laws on others countries anymore than they can force their laws on us no matter how unpalatable they are or how much we disagree with them.

        The option is that they work to the laws in the country they operate, they already do on some of the examples you give or they wouldn't be allowed to operate.

        My concern is that our governments will see this as an opportunity to ban individuals from social media themselves based on their own watch lists compiled from their own monitoring of social media. That's not a road I want to see us go down.

        1. julianh72

          Yes, legality / illegality can be a grey area globally in some cases (abortion, sexuality, political comment, drug use, etc), but there are a couple of key principles which I think even Mark Zuckerberg et al should be able to understand if they actually made the effort to think about it:

          1. Legality is measured in the country of origin. This might mean you have to make some tough decisions about whether to allow access from some countries, and how you will police censorship of "offending" material in such countries, particularly if you want to be an agent for change in some "oppressive" regimes. However, you shouldn't even be thinking of operating the service if you haven't first addressed your policy to these sorts of issues.

          2. Murder and rape are ALWAYS illegal - and even if they're not, your own human decency should commit you to managing this sort of content, even if national laws were not in place.

          1. }{amis}{
            Unhappy

            Murder and rape are ALWAYS illegal

            I hate to break it to you but there are plenty of countries where as far as the "law" is concerned a wife cannot be raped by her husband and killing one's daughter for dishonouring the family is fair game.

            if you want to be depressed at how crap the world is I suggest you look at the www.amnesty.org.uk website.

            1. mutin

              Re: Murder and rape are ALWAYS illegal

              I agree - there are a lot of crap in the world now. However, I would suggest open eyes and recall that political based terrorism exists almost 200 years. Saying that murder is .. there is no word how bad is it, but saying that is too simple. Last case in question was political murder. I see it as much in response to around the world Jihad. How many people consider Jihad and mass murder caused by it as completely appropriate thing? Hundreds of millions? So far in this world cruelty sooner or later gets the same in response. Unfortunately, being cruel is human nature. By Sigmund Freud, aggression is human beings' basic instinct. Say thanks to who ever created us.

            2. Wil Palen

              Re: Murder and rape are ALWAYS illegal

              Murder is illegal, UNLESS it's called war, THEN it's all of a sudden legal, and in many cases you're marked as unpatriotic or a traitor if you anti-war..

          2. mutin

            murder is illegal?

            Well, yet another incorrect reply. Murder and rape not ALWAYS illegal in SOME Islamic countries. Sheriat law permits SOME cases. As far as I've seen in news last forty years.

        2. P. Lee
          Big Brother

          So much with which to disagree!

          It's nice that the dead people get a mention. It was the second paragraph, after the concern about not enough censorship online, but, hey, small wins! The focus of the article, at the start and the end are on the awful visuals, as if, if only he hadn't been able to post, it would have been so much better! It seems he is more concerned with white supremacists than he is with dead bodies.

          The shooter is evil, no doubt about that. Very, very few people would doubt that. What concerns me next is the media's and the politicians' reactions.

          More censorship is the cry! I have so many issues with that:

          First of all, if you want to bemoan depravity, the spread of the gruesome videos is a symptom, not the cause of general depravity. I suspect the constant barrage of violence from Hollywood has desensitised people.

          Secondly, why should Silicon Valley be the arbiters of good taste? This instance may be fairly clear, but what is the limiting principle to what Silicon Valley should censor?

          Thirdly, how is such as task to be executed? If an hour is too long, what is the acceptable time period for the travesty to be be available online? How many people will it take to do this? Will all livestreaming be cancelled? What about text posts? How many informers will we need to snitch on possibly "harmful content"? Who determines what is harmful? Is it harmful to show the outcome of bad ideas? Do we ban the films of the Nazi death camps and visits to the Killing Fields? Should we never be allowed to see what comes of hateful ideology?

          Fourthly, how will we know if the censorship is being conducted according to our wishes? By definition, we wouldn't see the censored content. If it is a river of filth and you hate it, you can log off or you can pick up your mouse and click "block." Even in the "far-right" hangouts of Bitchute and Gab, the white supremacists are prolific posters but few in number. Hitting "block" ten times will probably leave you with a reasonably pleasant experience, without the very problematic issues associated with censorship. This is not hard. If you don't care enough to block people, you just don't care. If we feel that the censorship is not quite right, how do we get it changed? Are we ourselves liable to censorship for speaking out against it?

          Fifthly, the author is a condescending elitist, consigning social media posts to the category of cat videos. Apart from the health benefits of laughter, a great deal of discussion is carried out on social media. I do not trust elitists to operate in my interests. They usually operate for themselves.

          Sixthly, the level of governance being proposed entrenches the current mega-corporations, protecting them of startups without the level of profit behind them to implement wide-spread censorship. Protecting corporations from competition is generally bad and works to the disadvantage of the consumer who has nowhere else to go.

          Seventhly, what happened to, "we will not let terrorists destroy our way of life"?

          Eighthly, the possibility of evil is the price we pay for freedom. We can't eradicate violence in prisons, what makes the author think we can eradicate it elsewhere? His idea is completely impractical and cannot be effective in its aim, even if implemented. The internet sees censorship as damage and routes around it. The idea is so ill-thought-out that I begin to suspect ulterior motives.

          Ninthly, where is this ban enforced? Is it self-governing social media or does the government get involved? Is Kieren asking social media companies to ban legal discussions or advocating for an extension of the law? Where does it end? Does Bitchute have to comply? What about my internet-facing home server? Do I need a government license to run Apache or FTPd?

          In a way, I understand Kieren has already got his way. Someone mentioned that in New Zealand you can get 14 years in jail for distributing the video, 10 years for possession. I haven't checked the veracity of that.

          I despise the zeal with which the media has focused on this incident. At last, a real white supremacist crime! Do they talk about the countless deaths of muslims at the hands of other muslims? What about the twenty people killed by in the bombing of a church by muslims in the Philippines in January, where they posted guards outside to pick off parishioners who made it out of the building, or the 3800 christians killed in Nigeria last year? I'm not saying this to stoke a religious conflict, I'm merely querying if the media are really concerned with human tragedy and the prevention of misery and death, or if they are only concerned with pushing their favourite narrative.

          And let me poke the bear one more time. Is it possible that even one person at the mosque with a gun might have been able to shut down the situation and save some lives, even if he only forced the guy to take cover and slowed his rate of fire until the police arrived?

          The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and curbed with fine words. This author has attempted to build a motorway.

          1. Justin Case

            Re: So much with which to disagree!

            Hear hear, P Lee.

            The whole thing is a shit shower on both sides.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So much with which to disagree!

            I see where you are coming from but this case is different in the fact that the video has been repeatedly shared so the author is correct in raising the issue surrounding social media because this is probably the first time this has happened in such a way. It's also the first time the west has correctly attributed terrorism to an act against Muslims rather than the old tropes of mentally unstable or lone gunman.

            I have a huge problem with censorship as well because of who ultimately decides what to censor. You can't let them do it themselves and you can't trust government so you're in a no win situation. That's why I said the rule of law should decide to start off with because there isn't really any other option. If someone could suggest an alternative then I'm all ears.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So much with which to disagree!

              I wouldn’t say it’s the first time that such a video has been shared. You seek to forget or ignore that ISIS head chopping videos get spread far and wide amongst that contingent of humanity which supports such terror. Perhaps the difference this time is that such a video originated from a non ISIS source and that it reached an audience who don’t normally see this kind of madness ever.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So much with which to disagree!

                I don't forget but who in their right mind is going to search for either? That's why we should stop it all.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So much with which to disagree!

            Very well constructed argument, I have to agree with most of your points although i am a traditional Labour voter.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So much with which to disagree!

              What has labour got to do with this? Keep your political bias to yourself please, it's not helpful and by posting what you have just makes me think about how certain people want me to think. Sorry but I will make my own mind up and I hope everyone else does.

          4. Kiwi
            Pint

            Re: So much with which to disagree!

            In a way, I understand Kieren has already got his way. Someone mentioned that in New Zealand you can get 14 years in jail for distributing the video, 10 years for possession. I haven't checked the veracity of that.

            It's the maximum sentence for distributing or possession of "objectionable material" as far as I recall the law. The same crime for child porn.

            It would be unlikely for someone possessing this video, or having passed it on when it was floating around FB, to get any sort of sentence like that. They may, however, get an early morning "knock" on the door and find some men very interested in the contents of their computer, and may find they no longer possess said computer. Oh, and such "knock" being administered by a small version of a battering-ram and by "early" I mean WTF-o'clock. Though they may just pick you up from your work, loudly proclaiming they wish to search your computers for "objectionable material", and forever more painting you as a child molester in front of your colleagues. That is unless you're fortunate enough to get your name in the paper along with a very clear mention that the charge was over this video - but note if you have any family photos including children then the paper will truthfully say "computer found to have pictures of young children" and if they were only wearing swimwear at the beach they'll add the phrase "in various states of undress" for good measure.

            The beer is for the rest of the post. Well said!

        3. LucreLout

          The option is that they work to the laws in the country they operate, they already do on some of the examples you give or they wouldn't be allowed to operate.

          Ok, but in which country do you think a multinational operates? The answer can't be "all of them" because of the conflicting laws across nations would be an impossible bind.

          1. Kiwi

            The option is that they work to the laws in the country they operate, they already do on some of the examples you give or they wouldn't be allowed to operate.

            Ok, but in which country do you think a multinational operates? The answer can't be "all of them" because of the conflicting laws across nations would be an impossible bind.

            Pretty simple in concept, though a bit harder in practise.

            NZ has laws around how old you have to be to appear in pornos, age of consent, what is objectionable material and so on. If you operate a chat room in NZ then you either watch for such material and make sure it fits within the law, or you risk your equipment being seized and you having a nice chat with the fellow in the blue uniform.

            If your service is reachable in NZ but your hardware and personal are elsewhere, and you seriously fall foul of the law, expect extradition proceedings to be commenced, or at least your own government to be asked to look at your activities.

            If you wish to trade with people in NZ, you trade under NZ law. If you don't wish to trade under NZ law, you don't trade with people in NZ.

            1. LucreLout

              If your service is reachable in NZ but your hardware and personal are elsewhere, and you seriously fall foul of the law, expect extradition proceedings to be commenced, or at least your own government to be asked to look at your activities.

              Which is where you run smack into the post to which you replied. Being gay in parts of the world is illegal, but discriminating on grounds of being gay is illegal in other parts. The laws are not reconcilable, however much you want them to be. So whose law applies?

              If you wish to trade with people in NZ, you trade under NZ law

              It isn't remotely that simple and it never will be. Define trade? "My" website being hosted in Delaware, where "I" enjoy free speech protections may run foul of your law in NZ. If NZ citizens are accessing it, then that's neither "my" fault, nor something "I" can specifically prevent (VPNs exist, for instance).

              (I don't have a web site in Delaware or anywhere else, its just an illustrative example).

              With a globally accessible internet, you can't assume, expect, or demand that it all adhere's to "your" law. It's neither possible, nor frankly desirable that it does so.

              1. Kiwi
                Paris Hilton

                It isn't remotely that simple and it never will be. Define trade? "My" website being hosted in Delaware, where "I" enjoy free speech protections may run foul of your law in NZ. If NZ citizens are accessing it, then that's neither "my" fault, nor something "I" can specifically prevent (VPNs exist, for instance).

                These questions have been nutted out a long time ago for the most part, and the legal system has been prosecuting people for some years based on crimes committed in other jurisdictions.

                The Delaware example aside (I actually probably have greater FOS in NZ than those in the US do), if I create child porn involving neighbourhood kids and host it on your server, and they're ID'd as NZ kids, then there will be legal ramifications for you even if the content is legal where you are. That may be as little as a demand for logs, but don't be surprised if you find yourself in a tighter spot than you should be. We still have the KDC case being argued after all, yet what he was accused of was not a crime in either NZ or the US.

                There have been several other instances of people acting in one jurisdiction being nabbed or at least charged in another. El Reg has, IIRC, run some articles on this over the years.

                I certainly don't expect all of the web adheres to NZ law. There are many parts of NZ law I disagree with, and I would hate to think of other people being bound by such things. I do expect sites to follow the laws of the land where they operate however, even if it is something I disagree with.

                El Reg, for example, operates within the UK even though I may be able to reach it from within my living room. I would expect El Reg to operate under UK law. El Reg also has offices in a couple of other countries, and where they operate out of those offices I would expect them to follow the laws of those lands.

                Geoblocking is another matter, and I have in the past blocked many thousands of people based on the ISP or block they operate from. Also I know from personal experience that the use of a VPN does NOT prevent a site from blocking people, you just need to block the appropriate range of IP's and it's done, end of story. I personally abhor the practice but I understand that other people do not like people trying to protect their ID so they block as much traffic as they can.

                Sure, sometimes the details are a little harder to manage (eg with import/export by different companies or people - but then it's usually on the importer to be sure things are right), but the theory itself is very simple. Tax dodgers try to make out it's complex, but it isn't really.

          2. Mike Ozanne

            A multinational will establish a seperate legal entity within each jurisdiction, and the local laws will apply to that entity only. See the FBI Apple Ireland spat as an example.

            Then there will be a set of interco loans, transfer pricing agreements and management fees to repatriate profits to the group holding company.

            1. LucreLout

              A multinational will establish a seperate legal entity within each jurisdiction, and the local laws will apply to that entity only.

              If that works at all, then it can only work where physical goods are exchanged. If it's just data, and free data at that, then there's no reason for anyone to set up a local entity just because it's convenient to "your" legal system, especially if they're regulated by a different system.

              Then there will be a set of interco loans, transfer pricing agreements and management fees to repatriate profits to the group holding company.

              Again, that only applies for physical goods. My UK Visa card works in America, Africa, and as far as I'm aware Afghanistan or Angola. So why would it not work for wholly digital purposes? How is the African service provider supposed to know where I am and what my local laws may be? In short, they can't, and they aren't going to worry about it.

              Don't get me wrong - I think anyone consuming or distributing the shooters video most probably has issues they should be talking to a therapist about, but ultimately, international trade & finance isn't as simple as most people on The Register think it is or want it to be. Sorry, it just isn't.

      2. macjules

        On a multi-national platform, criminality is not black and white.

        No, to Facebook it just has a green back.

      3. JJKing
        Flame

        Ambiguity; not in this case.

        On a multi-national platform, criminality is not black and white.

        WHAT? Murder is not black and white???? Shooting unarmed people is not black and white??? I hope I have misunderstood you but that is moronic because in this case it is very much black and white.

        Thank you to the Editors for not posting that piece of filth's name.

        1. Kiwi

          Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

          Murder is not black and white?

          Actually while I think you're probably mis-reading him, "murder" is not black & white. A simple example is that in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property, whereas in much of the rest of the world such an act would get you a murder conviction and a life sentence. OTOH, in most of the world "murder" requires an intent to kill, whereas I've known of a couple of cases of people being charged with such for things that have caused the death of another where the person was not intending the other party be killed, or even harmed.

          Murder should simply be that you intended the other person to die. If they die as a result of your defending another and you were trying to use the minimum force then that's not murder, but if someone is verbally harassing, and even threatening, your wife and kids and you choose to kill them when there were other options available to you, then that is murder. But that is not always how things are defined.

          [1]I have previously gone in to things considered dangerous to help others, but I don't claim anything heroic as I believed I could help, that I could get out unharmed and did not see any risk to myself.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

            And you should be able to stream it live, and brag about it - to feel like an hero, while making Zuckerberg richer? Should wars and executions be streamed, to feed the lust for violence porn of modern tricoteuses? Should we all become so used to extreme violence to begin to consider it "normal"? It's what leads to the darker times of mankind.

            Don't get me wrong - violence can be shown - in the proper way to a proper audience to lead people to less violence, not more - it can't become "entertainment", or a way to gain more clicks to fill someone's pockets.

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              Should wars and executions be streamed, to feed the lust for violence porn of modern tricoteuses?

              Streaming is just the latest technical solution for providing exactly this, following on from almost three decades of reporters under fire being able to make a report live on television via satellite. Of course a lot of such footage in previous forms (gun cams from Iraq, colour TV coverage of Air Cav in the Vietnam War, black and white film of bombs tumbling out of a Lancaster over the Ruhr) has been approved by governments to bolster their populace's convictions that the war is being fought well and will be won. And China, for one, has indeed broadcast footage of criminals being executed by a shot to the back of the head.

              I don't disagree with your point, but TV companies funded by advertising have already made money from showing excessive violence unnecessarily. Most governments, however, license some subset of media organisations in some form, and have rules about what can or cannot be published. Facebook, YouTube, et al don't face those restrictions in quite the same way and seem to think that if they might be able to get away with it then it's worth a try.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Should wars and executions be streamed [?"

              "Should wars and executions be streamed, to feed the lust for violence porn of modern tricoteuses?"

              I remember the coverage of "shock and awe", and related. How long ago was that? [OK I checked, see below]

              "[violence] can't become "entertainment", or a way to gain more clicks to fill someone's pockets."

              Too late. CNN and friends set the direction back then [2003], they sowed the seeds. Did none of them care who would be left to reap the inevitable whirlwind? Apparently not, so long as there was money in it for them.

              CNN: 2003: recorded live:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7iorfwcmeY

            3. Kiwi

              Re: "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              And you should be able to stream it live, and brag about it - to feel like an hero, while making Zuckerberg richer?

              First, I'll invite you to show me where I said such a thing.

              Second, just one word. "Cops".

              Third, "Live P.D."

              Need I say more?

              I do not watch or support these things. There is more than enough trauma in my life without me adding other people's pain to it, and there is far more than enough pain in this world so I cannot understand why people seek to view other's misfortune.

              Oh, and lest we forget, 9/11 - where the world got to watch on live TV (many of us on breakfast TV) footage of hundreds of people dying instantly as planes hit buildings, and later watching as dozens of people leapt or fell to their death, and then those final glorious moments where TV execs wet themselves with glee as the towers fell while ratings soared, all on live TV.

              I don't defend this trash.

            4. LucreLout

              Re: "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              And you should be able to stream it live, and brag about it - to feel like an hero, while making Zuckerberg richer? Should wars and executions be streamed...

              Death and violence are streamed live every day - it's called "the news". The main difference here appears to be that the "reporter" is also the shooter, and people are getting so much more emotional about this incident than previous terror incidents.

              Tarrant is a murdering, probably mentally defective, piece of shit. His video is not something I ever want to see. But it's not going to be as bad as other videos out there that people were less emotional about - such as IS burning the pilot alive in the cage, which I also don't want to see.

          2. MrZoolook

            Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

            "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

            Liar. You still need a good reason.

            Postmen/delivery drivers have 'implied consent' until you tell them you remove it. If a kid kicks his ball into your yard, you are not legally entitled to shoot them as they come up to your door asking to get it back. If a car breaks down on the road outside your house, you can't just kill the driver for asking to use your telephone.

            Just 3 examples of how your statement is wrong, and there are many more.

            Christ alive, if someone with your attitude is allowed firearms, it really does prove that the psychological checks they are supposed to carry out don't work.

            1. Kiwi

              Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

              "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              Liar. You still need a good reason.

              Do you know what a lie is? Somehow I doubt it. I'll explain below.

              But, without more than a few minutes searching, I came across this snippet of law from Texas :

              Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 9.42. Deadly Force to Protect Property

              A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

              (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41 ; and

              (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

              (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

              (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

              (3) he reasonably believes that:

              (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

              (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

              (source https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Americans-have-the-right-to-kill-someone-for-trespassing-on-their-property-but-in-the-UK-you-have-to-use-reasonable-force)

              I did not read the full article.

              What is claimed as "reasonable" will differ widely. A person well-trained in hand-hand combat, with a dozen of his army mates, going up against a single person who is naked and dazed probably would not be able to convince anyone they had a reasonable fear. An old lady, with a dozen people in their late teens carrying baseball bats, however, could make such a claim.

              I normally am loathe to quote Shittypedia, but :

              "[T]he 'stand your ground' law... provide[s] that a person has a right to expect absolute safety in a place they have a right to be, and may use deadly force to repel an intruder..."
              (emphasis mine)

              and :

              Before passage of the law, Miami police chief John F. Timoney called the law unnecessary and dangerous in that "[w]hether it's trick-or-treaters or kids playing in the yard of someone who doesn't want them there or some drunk guy stumbling into the wrong house, you're encouraging people to possibly use deadly physical force where it shouldn't be used."
              (again, emphasis mine)

              (source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_law

              Another one from the same source :

              Initially, the local police quickly questioned and released Rodney Peairs, and declined to charge him with any crime because—in their view—Peairs had been "within his rights in shooting the trespasser".

              (source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori)

              This was a case of a person going to the wrong address for a halloween party. I do not recall the case from the time it happened and stumbled across it from a linked WP article following on from the first one I mentioned. In this case, while the people who did the shooting were found not guilty in a criminal trial, they did lose a civil trial later.

              A stronger argument can be made from HG.ORG though, a site supported by several US law firms :

              In some states, the belief regarding the intent of the other party does not need to be reasonable. In a growing number of states it is legal to shoot someone if they are in your house uninvited. Sometimes called the “castle doctrine,” this legal standard makes it possible for one to defend not just their person and their family, but also their property, all using deadly force so long as it occurs in one’s home. According to the laws of many states, the belief that the other person intends harm does not need to be reasonable when exercising the castle doctrine. Some states have begun expanding the zone of defense to include the outside of a home, such as one’s yard or even their neighborhood. Still, even under the castle doctrine, it is generally not allowed for one to shoot a common trespasser or to lure someone into the protected zone for the purpose of justifying lethal force.

              (source https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/when-is-it-okay-to-shoot-someone-35050

              Note here, they claim it does NOT require a reasonable belief of an intent to harm to shoot someone, although they do state that it is "generally not allowed" for you to shoot a common tresspasser. the use of the word "generally" strongly implies that in at least one jurisdiction within the US it is legal to shoot a common tresspasser, and if that is the case then what I initially said is true, "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              I'm still not done.

              It seems like an obviously unnecessary escalation: An argument about a convenience store parking space turned into deadly violence. Michael Drejka, after being shoved to the ground, shot and killed Markeis McGlockton, who had pushed Drejka but started to back off.

              But Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the authorities will not charge Drejka for the shooting, citing the state’s “stand your ground” law.

              (source https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/7/23/17602312/stand-your-ground-florida-michael-drejka-markeis-mcglockton WARNING There is a video embedded in this article that I have not seen (I have youtube's JS blocked by default so it won't play), but the site does give a warning about the video and it may be illegal to view in some places, and certainly could be upsetting for some people - including myself I suspect)

              So a person shoves someone who is harassing him and his family, then starts to leave. The other person (who, BTW, has a history of threatening people in such cases) shoots him and kills him in a public car park. In front of his children, I might add. The authorities refuse to prosecute because he was allowed to shoot to kill. The site does have an update notice to say the shooter was charged with manslaughter, but it is still clear that the police initially refused to charge him because shooting people over such trivial incidents is considered legal in the US. (And yes, shoving someone to the ground during an argument is absolutely trivial!)

              At least Arizona seems to have somewhat sane self-defense laws.

              I do NOT claim the sources are accurate, just what someone will find searching for such matters on Google. Those from law firms should at least carry some weight, even if I did quote wikipedia in this.

              I deal with various online forums which have US citizens present, and have often been told by people in that country that they have various rights about shooting people who enter their property or act in other ways. I have witnessed motorcyclists lobbying for "stand your ground" laws to be extended to allow them to shoot car drivers who cut them off, or are percieved to be following too closely.

              As such, a person who does not live in the US but comes across this material on Google et al, and over many years hears it from various citizens of the US, and sees it portrayed on many TV shows could reasonable be expected to believe that such is the case in the US.

              All that said, I will invite you to show where I have been a "liar" as you claim.

              Now to explain what a lie is, since you appear not to know. A lie is stating something you believe to be false. Lets say I tell my friend that I know your name is Peter Jack Tompson, and you live at 112525 Hampshire Boolevard, Boggleton, The Shire, London. If you had told me your name was Tim Bucktoo, and you live at 1600 Pensylvania Ave, Washington DC, I would be telling a lie. However, if you had given me the first name and address then even if it was a false name and address, I would NOT be lying by passing it on. I would be honestly stating what I believed to be your real details. I would not be telling the truth, but I would not be lying.

              IOW, I honestly believe that in some parts of the US you can shoot someone for stepping on to your property, and I believe i have demonstrated how that is a reasonable belief backed by US law.

              Christ alive, if someone with your attitude is allowed firearms, it really does prove that the psychological checks they are supposed to carry out don't work.

              And yet, I have been able to back my argument up with several sources. Do you care to apologise for your claim?

              (I would've liked to have previewed this to check the HTML works etc, however El Reg has that stupid broken captcha shit coming up again, which does not seem to allow previewing - PLEASE FIX IT!)

        2. Charles 9

          Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

          "Murder is not black and white???? "

          HOMICIDE is not always black and white. Consider these three scenarios: war, self-defense, and intense chronic suffering.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

            > "HOMICIDE is not always black and white. Consider these three scenarios: war, self-defense, and intense chronic suffering."

            How does walking into a prayer room and opening fire on unsuspecting, unarmed worshipers fall into any of these categories?

            And where in the world is the country / region / city in which such behavior is not considered criminal and repulsive? Just asking so I can give it a wide berth.

            1. Charles 9

              Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

              Simple. To many of these people in question, it's a WAR, usually a total war where it's Us Or Them. That gives them all the justification they need because they feel if they don't act, they or even the world is dead.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

          "Murder is not black and white?"

          The OP said "criminality" not "murder". One of the features of different legal systems is that different states get to define what's criminal and what isn't in their own jurisdictions. They don't all agree. You're trying to turn a general statement into a specific one. The downvotes should tell you people saw through that.

        4. LucreLout

          Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

          WHAT? Murder is not black and white????

          No, it isn't, but stay with me for a moment and we'll get to why.

          Shooting unarmed people is not black and white???

          Again, no, it isn't.

          So why is it not?

          America, for want of an easy and extremely verifiable example, has stand your ground laws - the castle doctrine. You are entitled to use whatever force you think is required to defend you home against intruders, whether or not they are armed. You're absolutely free to shoot them in the face with an assault weapon (provided it is legally held) whether or not they are armed.

          In the UK, not so much. It'd be murder here. In America, the act and any video of it would not be a crime, and distribution of such a video would be protected by free speech laws. In the UK, again, not so much.

          So ultimately, you're view is wrong. Murder is not black and white.

          I can't think of any reason why what Brenton Tarrant did would be considered legal anywhere at any time, but it's not like there isn't widely shared video of 911.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What Register?!?

        Please, you just spun a mass murder into a psychological theory of social media influencing mass murders.

        Every new decade someone tries to spin the reasoning of a psychopath into the latest platform. We've seen this with Charlie Manson and TV. Random people with Dungeons & Dragons. School shootings with video games. Now this?

        True, as technology advances the exposure to the crime becomes more surreal (I can imagine VR/AR murders will come some day), but to put blame on the technology that delivered the post mortem is relative to the eye of the beholder.

        If you work this article's theory backwards to find the common denominator, you first factor out social media, then cameras, and then guns. Then what you are left with is what you are left with every time, a psychopath. BUT, everything you just factored out is also a reason of motivation for senseless murder, if you are that psychopath. So are you?

        I could say more, but I'm disappointed this article stands on the principle of see no evil, do no evil to spin an agenda against the latest goat without considering that it has somehow played a role in contradiction of its own monkey philosophy by showing evil. How could that help now.

        If this article wasn't written to expose the popularity of a mass shooting would it of stopped another mass shooter? Nope, because you can't have a article about something that never happened. What does that say about see no evil? This article or controlling what you see at any place won't put evil back in the box.

        Now to really piss some of you off, what if just 10% of those people in the church had guns? We can hopefully depend on your government to protect us from invasions of foreign countries, but who's responsibility is it to protect us from the randon pop up psycho? Or let me put this another way, should we just let the building burn because the fire department won't make it on time?

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "to put blame on the technology"

          No one's putting the blame on technology. As the article says, 'this murderous racist knew exactly what he was doing when he pulled the trigger'.

          The problem is, how to contain viral murderous exploitative propaganda without stamping out other forms of expression. I'm all for individual outlets catering for all sorts of cultures and interests and people, all making their own free decisions on what to publish. What I'm, personally, not happy with, is a huge Mad Max platform that doesn't care a jot what is shared as long as it makes billions of dollars.

          There are no easy answers. Tiered moderation, based on audience reach, might be one way forward.

          C.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "to put blame on the technology"

            The problem is less in technology. I think it lies in the media in general, in which the social media phenomenon is just a turbo-charged version of the problems.

            We had the very same mechanisms at work in the Breivik attack in 2011. Social media existed back then, but it did not have the same importance / impact it has today.

            Breivik analyzed media behavior and built his "plan" around receiving maximum exposure, the manifesto, his behavior in the trial proceedings. It was a blueprint to get "his message" out, with violence being the amplifier.

            The NZ shooter did the same thing - maximise exposure by putting out a manifesto, by coercing PewDiePie to make a statement (if he hadn't he'd look complicit, after he did another 90m eyeballs had heard of the crime). He optimized for maximum clickbait.

            It is attention maximisation. I fully expect the NZ shooter to keep up with that rough Breivik blueprint and use his rights within the NZ criminal trial system to further re-iterate and amplify his message. No media will print his manifesto today, or even cite from it, but once the thing goes to trial and the manifesto is being drawn into the trial proceedings, the media will have no choice but to mention it.

            It is smart in a wicked way and I have no idea how to tackle this because it works for media exposure in both realms, the old and the new media.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: "to put blame on the technology"

              No media will print his manifesto today, or even cite from it, but once the thing goes to trial and the manifesto is being drawn into the trial proceedings, the media will have no choice but to mention it.

              It is smart in a wicked way and I have no idea how to tackle this because it works for media exposure in both realms, the old and the new media.

              The Breivik case was interesting because it was 'political'. It was also interesting that the Norwegian legal system saw it as such, and tried to limit his ability to platform. He was declared sane, tried and charged with 77 counts of murder. His 'manifesto' wasn't really relevant to those charges, and shouldn't be in the New Zealand nutjob's case.. Especially given they provided bodycam evidence of those crimes.

              Both seemed to want media exposure for their cause, and the media provided it. That's always been a challenge for the media, ie reporting vs sensationalising.. but new media doesn't have those filters. Allow self-publishing, slap ads around it, profit. Only act when the outcry starts making advertisers nervous, and profit.

              One legal solution might be to regulate 'social' media in the same way as traditional news agencies, and then hold them to account for their actions, or inactions. That should be relatively simple, especially as the platforms already act to remove political expression, effectively lifting any 'safe harbour'.

              Technical solutions seem a lot harder. We've provided the ability to live stream, and curtailing that would prevent innocent streams. Moderators may be a solution. Most large streamers already have community moderators, but official moderation seems retroactive, ie they're not invoked until there's complaints, and that process may be too slow. There is probably evidential value though, so I'm sure NZ police will be very interested in who joined this nutjob's stream, and when. But that also has political aspects, like ensuring those logs are kept and made available quickly to law enforcement.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: "to put blame on the technology"

              "the media will have no choice but to mention it."

              The media could choose NOT to report on the trial, other than the final verdict. We don't really need an hour by hour, blow by blow account of the trial. Anyone genuinely interested can look at the transcripts after it's all over. Despite what the media may think, and many have taken on board as a *need*, most news can wait a while. The media have made a rod for their own back with a perceived need to be first, even when they get it wrong because the speed of "publishing" meant they missed important facts.

              The need to be "first" has reached such dizzying heights that we now get news stories about what some politician is going to say in a speech/announcement up to 24 hours in advance of the event.

          2. jmch Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: "to put blame on the technology"

            Got to give credit to The Register for one of the best articles I've seen on this terrible subject.

            "whose name isn't worth publishing"

            "To be clear, while he was heavily influenced by white nationalism in the West, this murderous racist knew exactly what he was doing when he pulled the trigger: there is no room for any absolution on his part."

            "manifesto is itself indicative of the broken online culture of nihilistic offensiveness, outrage, and scattergun ideologies that has grown up around social media and lapped up by subnormal losers"

            etc.

            These are the type of straight-talking no-bullshit, and yet without the excessive Daily-Mail-Type hyperbole, that I would liked to have seen in the national press

        2. Kiwi

          Re: What Register?!?

          Now to really piss some of you off, what if just 10% of those people in the church had guns?

          A lot more people would be dead. If 10% of the people in the mosque had guns, then there'd be at least that many others in the rest of the population, many of whom would've rushed to the scene in their desire to a) be heroes and b) kill someone (after all, people in the gun nut lands always go on about their "stand your ground" laws and often threaten people with gun violence over utterly trivial things!).

          This is a city that has been known to have issues with racist groups and extreme right-wing groups. You think arming such groups would be a good idea?

          Lets just say those 10% (another 50 or so people, who BTW unlike many who falsely claim to be 'christian' actually follow peaceful beliefs[1]) actually drew their weapons and took out the gunman. What do you think would've happened when they started to go outside to see if another person was nearby? All these gun nuts seeing a bunch of Moslems coming out of a mosque carrying guns? Talk about stupidity!

          BTW, Paris and many many other events has shown that you do not need a gun to kill a lot of people, or to kill anyone for that matter. A few people running around with knives can cause a lot of pain, and someone with a truck and a busy pedestrian area can very quickly kill or hurt a lot of people. I guess we should all go out and buy trucks.

          [1]Jesus had entire legions of angels awaiting His command, yet He never once employed those forces against people. Do you think He would've promoted gun violence like so many so-called "christians" do in the US?

          1. baud

            Re: What Register?!?

            You're mixing the Paris (where the nutcases used guns) and Nice (where a truck was used) attacks

            1. Kiwi
              Pint

              Re: What Register?!?

              You're mixing the Paris (where the nutcases used guns) and Nice (where a truck was used) attacks

              I stand corrected.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What Register?!?

          "Now to really piss some of you off, what if just 10% of those people in the church had guns?"

          Ignoring the usual protocols in a church/mosque of not bringing in weapons during services/prayers, the self-defence aspect of carrying weapons during a surprise attack by well armed/armoured attackers is minimal. The US has previously had a number of church/synagogue shootings already and in-spite of the locations (i.e. rural Texas - Sutherland Springs) no one in the churches fired back at their attackers.

          In numerous other attacks, small numbers of public and police responders have been unable to bring down determined, well prepared attackers. Firing at targets or hunting is not the same as firing a gun with maybe 10 rounds against someone firing back 10's of rounds.

          I acknowledge there are exceptions to this, but the exceptions commonly rely on the attacker making a mistake rather than a hero with a gun.

          So in answer to your question, if 10% of those people had guns, the outcome is likely to have been the same or similar.

          And yes, I realise that bursting your "good guy with a gun saves the day" fantasy will piss you off...

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: What Register?!?

            "Now to really piss some of you off, what if just 10% of those people in the church had guns?"

            People making this comment have seen too many 'Die Hard' movies. Most likely any civilian drawing a gun in the presence of a heavily-armed, well-trained assailant is just making themselves a target to be taken out quicker.

            I reckon that in real life the actual possibility of having in the crowd a real ex-special forces elite commando, with a loaded gun in their holster and a chip on their shoulders, is slim to none.

          2. Mooseman Silver badge

            Re: What Register?!?

            "So in answer to your question, if 10% of those people had guns, the outcome is likely to have been the same or similar."

            Probably far worse. AS you say, people panicking, gunfire going on....what could possibly go wrong?

            .

      5. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        It's easy to take the position that "criminality is not black and white" but you are wrong - and sometimes the laws are wrong too. We should all step back from these arguments and ask ourselves what is good and what is bad.

        I know it's a much harder question these days, it's all too easy to fall into a "Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are Bad" statement but the fact is they are nothing without their users. We need to start taking responsibility for our viewpoints and actions.

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