On Friday 15 March 2019 we witnessed, as Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put it, one of New Zealand’s darkest days. The attack on the Christchurch Muslim community was a terrorist act. It was horrific and has shaken our country to the core.
Our deepest sympathies are with the victims, their families, Christchurch’s Muslim communities and all affected by this tragedy.
There has been some talk about the responsibility of global platforms (like Facebook) to have laws and rules in place so illegal content is not shared online. We are sure that these conversations will keep happening for some time and they are conversations that we will be part of – in the hope that changes can be made for the good of society as a whole.
In particular, there are now debates regarding the live-streaming of this violent act. One thing people should agree on is that this live-streamed video should not be on the Internet.
The Department of Internal Affairs considers the footage related to the attack objectionable, and therefore, considered an offence under New Zealand’s law. They are sharing the following advice:
- delete the video and/or any footage if you have a copy
- report the footage to online platforms whenever you see it
- make a complaint through the censorship web page if you see it online.
Unfortunately CERT NZ has received reports of different opportunistic online scams and attacks in the wake of these tragic events. This includes online donation fraud, malicious video files, defacement of NZ websites and website disruption. For more information about these scams visit the CERT NZ website.
It is with sad hearts that we write this message today.
Please look after yourselves and each other. Seek out support if you, or someone you know, needs it. You can call or text 1737 anytime, day or night, to talk to a trained counsellor. This service is part of the National Telehealth Service.
Kia Kaha, and as-salamu alaykum – peace be upon you.