After Christchurch shooting, Australia doubles down on being stampeded into catastrophically stupid tech laws


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Aw man… don’t you hate it when your rights get caught up in a web of hysteria by people who don’t understand the technology of what they are legislating? It sucks when they pass laws that result in the average users paying the price for the transgressions of a few people in the interest of safety and security.


[T]he Australian Parliament has passed a law that gives tech companies one hour to remove “violent materials” from their platforms…

Would that include PG-13 movies? Contact sports? Historical documentaries? The news?


This is a comment about gun control laws as a response to gun violence, right?



No, not at all. Though I suppose one could draw a parallel to any right. Or not, some rights are more special.

OH no… this will ruin my dream of making Thunderdome a reality…


The law is bad news, but at least it’s not another one of those things where the fines involved are so minuscule compared to the potential profits that they can be quietly accounted for as merely another cost of doing business.


Why is it a bad analogy? Because penalties against free speech don’t actually hurt anyone whereas guns do?


Good intentions + lousy and poorly informed execution = unintended consequences.


Mainly due to the fact that serious gun-control advocates are usually aware of how firearms work and how loose restrictions on who gets to keep them and why translates to increased incidence of firearms-related violence and death. As we see in countries where that advocacy has been translated into law in the form of sane restrictions, that ends up with demonstrably better outcomes for society in terms of shooting deaths.

In contrast, politicians who don’t understand Internet technology and network effects (and who tend to willfully ignore the real root causes like monopolistic corporations and their business models) generally make things worse for society when they take it upon themselves to rush through this kind of legislation on Internet-borne speech.

[now that we’ve cleared that up, a reminder that this isn’t yet another gun-control topic, however much some would like it to be]


Because there are decades and decades worth of data showing that societies that regulate access to firearms have lower rates of gun deaths.


This isn’t a matter of government not understanding technology. They don’t give a rat about technology. What they want isn’t a safer internet - they want greater control over what people can say.


Sure. I mean, 40,000 people in the US were not killed by words in 2018. 18,000 people were not killed by hostile words. 25,000 people were not killed by sad words. 7,000 people were not killed by words they said on accident.

So yeah, the analogy fails immediately.


But not significantly lower death rates overall. Look at Japan. It has some of the world’s most stringent anti-gun laws. It has one of the world’s lowest rates of death by gun. It also has the world’s highest rate of death by sword, knife, and other edged weapons.

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That would be Australia, then.


OK, let’s. The homicide rate in Japan is 0.28 murders per 100,000 people. The homicide rate in the U.S. is 5.35 murders per 100,000 people. So you’re almost 20 times as likely to be murdered in the United States as you are in Japan.

Access to guns is not the only factor in that discrepancy, but it is a major one because guns are uniquely well-suited tools for killing people. That’s why we don’t send soldiers into combat armed with swords anymore.

If you want to kill a whole bunch of people at the same time then access to guns is even more important as you’d be hard-pressed to rack up as big a body count with a knife as you could with an AR-15.


I’m guessing “embarrassing police brutality footage”. That will definitely make the list. Other media will be screened according to the clout of the publisher, so the news and grindcore horror from a major studio will be safe; as will sportsball.


That’s a good point and well made, but you’ve triggered in inner Aliens-nerd, and so I’m absolutely bursting to post the “What are we supposed to use; harsh language?” meme. I will resist the temptation, and will be a better, stronger person for it.


I think you probably could if you were wielding two katanas, but I think that only counts if you’re dressed as a schoolgirl…

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This thread is about freedom of speech and the government limiting the content and media you have access to. Australia already has gun laws that are held up as a model of what every western country should emulate, so that is a non-issue in this case.

We should compare the murder rates of countries that limit internet content, such as China and Saudi Arabia. Both have comparable murder rates to Australia, but think about how much lower it could be if certain content was limited. Especially with the rise of right wing violence, it would limit their efforts to normalize violence against others. So maybe these ham-fisted laws are worth it if they end up reducing violence in the long run. Or not.


I was responding to the comment by @Snork which made the ridiculous, objectively incorrect suggestion that Japan does not have a lower murder rate than the U.S. because banning guns simply drove their criminals to use swords instead.

If you genuinely don’t want to make this thread about gun control then that’s great. But I will challenge anyone who believes gun control is an apt analogy to this law.