Christchurch, New Zealand is still reeling from Wednesday's terrorist attack. Islamic terrorists carried out the massacre at two mosques, killing at least 49 and injuring dozens more. The event was so deadly that the people of Christchurch held their nation's annual day of remembrance and reflection on Friday.
But the horror didn't end when the shooters were discovered and arrested. Seven websites hosting terrorist propaganda, depictions of the mass murderers, and other bad language are also banned in Australia because of their connection to the terrorists.
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The websites, including two hosting platforms, were found to be "hosting material disseminating hate speech, intimidating and harassing people, and promoting other illicit items of value,” according to NineMSN.
The first party the Australian Federal Police also wanted to blacklist was Australia-based Instore Online.
“The site, which promotes a hatred of women, women in particular, and women of color, routinely promotes hate speech and anti-immigrant content,” said Greg Mallea, the senior national manager of Child Safety at Child Wise.
“When you read about ISIS [Islamic State] and the coordinated attack on a place of worship, it could just as easily have been at a Christian place of worship,” Mallea said.
IS (Islamic State) has been blamed for the Christchurch attacks. The alleged gunmen were identified as Brenton Tarrant, 28, and a 27-year-old Australian. One of them claimed to be acting for Islamic State, and the attack was claimed by the terror group, also known as ISIS.
The Australian government only bans websites and IP addresses if they “operate and/or originate in Australia.” But a website like Instore Online isn’t located in Australia, so it’s not banned.
“If this content was posted by a New Zealand-based Facebook group, and they claimed they were just having a discussion, then they wouldn’t be liable,” Mallea said.
Mallea said the justice system should consider whether the proof of real identity was sufficient to prosecute someone found guilty, but the supreme court would be needed to take that stance.
But government minister Matt Canavan of NSW said the evidence needed to be “credible, strong and verifiable,” the national press reported.
Since the attack, Australia’s news sites have been reporting on The Intifada, a Gaza-based news outlet, claiming the Christchurch attacks were a publicity stunt. The Daily News pointed out that the daily's content has “tendency towards alarmist and inflammatory reporting, reflecting Israel’s perspective,” though it refused to name the sites hosting that content.