New Zealand Prime Minister Calls for a Global Censorship System

C-Span screengrab

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is the latest liberal leader to call for an international alliance to censor speech. Unsatisfied with the unprecedented corporate censorship of social media companies, leaders like Hillary Clinton have turned from private censorship to good old-fashioned state censorship. Speech regulation has become an article of faith on the left. Ardern used her speech this week to the United Nations General Assembly to call for censorship on a global scale.

Ardern lashed out at “disinformation” and called for a global coalition to control speech. After nodding toward free speech, she proceeded to lay out a plan for its demise through government regulation:

But what if that lie, told repeatedly, and across many platforms, prompts, inspires, or motivates others to take up arms. To threaten the security of others. To turn a blind eye to atrocities, or worse, to become complicit in them. What then?

This is no longer a hypothetical. The weapons of war have changed, they are upon us and require the same level of action and activity that we put into the weapons of old.

We recognized the threats that the old weapons created. We came together as communities to minimize these threats. We created international rules, norms and expectations. We never saw that as a threat to our individual liberties – rather, it was a preservation of them. The same must apply now as we take on these new challenges.

Ardern noted how extremists use speech to spread lies without noting that non-extremists use the same free speech to counter such views.   To answer her question on “how do you tackle climate change if people do not believe it exists” is that you convince people using the same free speech.  Instead, Ardern appears to want to silence those who have doubts.

While referring to a global censorship coalition as a “light-touch approach to disinformation,” Ardern revealed how sweeping such a system would likely be. She defended the need for such global censorship on having to combat those who question climate change and the need to stop “hateful and dangerous rhetoric and ideology.”

“After all, how do you successfully end a war if people are led to believe the reason for its existence is not only legal but noble? How do you tackle climate change if people do not believe it exists? How do you ensure the human rights of others are upheld, when they are subjected to hateful and dangerous rhetoric and ideology?”

That is the same rationale used by authoritarian countries like China, Iran, and Russia to censor dissidents, minority groups, and political rivals.  What is “hateful” and “dangerous” is a fluid concept that government have historically used to silence critics or dissenters.

Ardern is the smiling face of the new generation of censors. At least the old generation of censors like the Iranians do not pretend to support free speech and openly admit that they are crushing dissent. The point is that we need to be equally on guard when censorship is pushed from the left with the best of motivations and the worst of means.

As the great civil libertarian Justice Louis Brandeis once said, “the greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”



228 thoughts on “New Zealand Prime Minister Calls for a Global Censorship System”

  1. The speech was given at the United Nations and covered several issues – climate change, the Ukraine war with Russia, nuclear proliferation – and only toward the end of the 17 minute speech did the PM mention disinformation. I suspect that climate change, the Ukraine war with Russia and nuclear proliferation are common topics at the UN, but disinformation? Why Professor Turkey writes,…” we need to be equally on guard when censorship is pushed from the left with the best of motivations and the worst of means.” is puzzling. The best of motivations? In whose eyes? The good Professor is to be thanked for addressing the speech by this aspiring stalinist but these seems to be a globalist appeal to it which he does not mention,. Pace.

  2. Jonathan: Come on! “Censorship” is every where and not confined to “liberals”. Censorship is right here on the blog. I recently spelled our the word “bull****” in a comment. Your algorithm or Daren replaced the last four letters with asterisks–even though I was quoting someone else. Wasn’t that unnecessary “censorship”? Other then some “liberal” politicians how many actual leftists will you see on Fox–your employer? All the Fox hosts are parrots of right-wing disinformation. And you won’t find any “liberal” critic of Trump on Truth Social. That’s censorship in spades. You have also studiously avoided discussing the existential threats of censorship in public schools where teachers are told there are certain subjects they cannot discuss. Books are banned or access is severely limited in school libraries. That’s censorship and a threat to free speech carried out by the right-wing conservatives–not “liberals”. When you address these issues I might believe you are serious about “free speech”.

    Speaking of Fox and Donald Trump, the former president was on Sean Hannity’s show on Wednesday spewing out all sorts of insane disinformation. He apparently had escaped his asylum–not the one being being claimed by Venezuelan migrants, but the one with padded walls. During the Hannity interview Trump described how he “declassified” all those docs he took back to Mar-a-Lago. Trump admitted there was was a normal “process” for declassification but, as president, Trump bizarrely claimed he didn’t have to follow that “process”. He claimed he could declassify anything “just by thinking about it”. Of course, this apparently explains everything. Trump, who claims to be a “stable genius”, used his considerable mental faculties to magically transform those docs. It doesn’t get more delusional than this!

    Trump’s delusional rantings are causing all sorts of problems for his lawyers. Judge Dearie, the Special Master, has demanded actual evidence Trump declassified anything. Trump’s lawyers are dragging their feet because they can’t find a surgeon to operate on the former president to find the evidence locked somewhere inside Trump’s brain. This shows how delusional Trump has become and why he belongs back in that padded cell! A former Trump campaign aide says: “The problem with Donald Trump is that he doesn’t operate in the same reality as everybody else”. That’s putting it mildly!

    I don’t know what alternate universe Trump operates in but it’s not the one Judge Dearie or the 11th Circuit goes by. They have demanded actual facts. In the non-delusional world facts do matter. That’s why Trump is in so much legal trouble. So if there is still anyone out there who supports Trump’s world of delusions you need to have your own brains examined!

    1. Have you noticed that your ranting falls within the free speech rights of all citizens…thanks for a different view of our political divisions.. The Prime Minister of NZ has a view of ‘free speech’ that does not comply with our Constitution and is aligned with the Global view of World Order. I prefer to maintain the rights in our Constitution which allows multiple philosophies to be openly discussed.

    2. What does any of this long-winded rant have to do with the threat of pan-government censorship?

    3. Glenn Greenwald, Batya Ungar-Sargon, Jimmy Dore, Angela Nagle, and Jackson Hinkle are just some of the leftists you’ll see on Fox, albeit on Tucker, so I can’t speak for other shows. Free speech absolutists like Gad Saad also make an appearance. An ordinary person is much more likely to be exposed to old-fashioned left-wing ideas on Tucker’s show and by extension, Fox, than anywhere else on TV.

  3. The Right wing simply buys up all the media outlets and freezes out other voices and couches ever story in language that forwards their agenda….oh the wonderful freedom of speech as long as it agrees with a right wing agenda! I don’t like censorship. In fact I oppose it but let’s face it it’s hard to counter the guns and other violence encouraged and incited by the purveyors of the big lie and its subsidiary lies with more speech. I guess Professor you are ok with telling anyone who oppose the Trump style incitement to bring a pen to a gun fight. That would suit you I guess because it would ultimately permanently silence anyone who disagrees with the right wing agenda.

    1. Oh, yes, there are so many right wing media out there, all buying up all the other news outlets to silence them.
      Lets see, MSNBC, CNN, WaPo, NYTs, Huffington Post, LA Times, NPR all such right wing threats to your little illiberal mind.
      Looking around, seems to me people like Tiffany Cross are the ones calling to arms, incite violence, call all Republicans evil, and declared civil war is here.

  4. We cannot talk about censorship of “disinformation” without also talking about the presentation of SELECTIVE INFORMATION to create, induce, and influence the “bottom line” resulting views and opinions of the public at large. In other words, propaganda.

    1. Lin,
      Your observation led me to another: When social media sites began to censor any opposing Leftist narrative, Leftists told those censored to “go build your own site!”
      Guess what, they did.
      Then the Left began screaming, “They have their own sites! They are saying things that go against our narrative!”
      And then we are seeing the spread of calls for censorship from academia, MSM, and the DNC.

  5. So much for feminism, the movement which brought all of these women to the fore. This is how they repay that debt, by strangling free speech. Good for you, girls. Until you’re tossed out on the trash heap.

  6. They want all speech controlled because so many of the people refuse to bite the poisoned apple that the progressives and their ilk have have been pandering for the last several decades. Climate change does happen and has happened for epochs without mankind around. But now it’s being used to form a new religion of the state knowing all and doing all. We know how those things turn out and they are often messy and bloody. Unfortunately there are too many useful idiots out there that you have to shove out of the way to get to the real villains but we do know who they are.

  7. Well that is frightening.
    Only our speech is protected by the 1stA! Only our official experts can say what is science! Only our official narrative is approve to be openly discussed in public! All other narratives are not allowed and are to be censored!

    Hitler, Stalin, Mao would all be proud of this woman.

  8. I find the PM’s statements truly frightening. What New Zealand’s voters have to say about this will tell us plenty about where the western world is headed.

    1. You may be right, but I don’t think that a small nation’s approval of one autocrat with a platform indicates “where the western world is headed”.

      1. Wiseoldlawyer- it tells us a hell of a lot. NZ has a western culture, education, media, and as far as I know, still has a western political system. While they aren’t lucky enough to have a 1st amendment like we do, they certainly understand that freedom of speech is a human right. If their PM’ statement doesn’t bother them enough to show her the door, it is a very, very bad sign.

  9. Arden’s position on free speech and that of the American Democrats, at least the ones who pull the party’s strings, are identical. This obvious fact is the elephant in the room that the Democrats and their media want to avoid talking about. For all of their cries about Trump and the end of democracy, it is old fashioned government censorship on the part of the Democrats that will put the nails in the coffin of the 1st Amendment.

  10. The ACLU, which used to defend free speech, now supports compelled speech for those that don’t agree with the woke agenda like a cake designer who refuses to create a cake celebrating same sex marriage.

  11. Unless vetoed by the governor, a new law in California will soon authorise medical boards to remove licenses from doctors who spread disinformation or misinformation, defined as views contrary to those of the public health authorities. Does anyone know if this could be challenged under the 1st Amendment? I’m not sure if action by the board is considered state action.

    1. Further to this, the law requires boards to take action against doctors disseminating misinformation, defined as being contrary to scientific consensus. Examples include doubts about the efficacy of masks and the safety and effectiveness of the vaccines. As a practical matter, it is likely that the views of public health authorities will be viewed as embodying the scientific consensus.

      That the law “requires” action would appear to make this susceptible to 1st Amendment challenge.

    2. That law can slip into a category that determines the quality of life effectuating the ability of the government to withhold treatment. Such an attempt was made decades ago by Medicare but quietly dropped. It was based on a point system. The disabled community vociferously spoke up. (long before Zeke Emanuel’s Reaper Curve)

  12. Yes, censor free speech, if it’s not Jacinda Arden’s free speech. She say’s “motivates others to take up arms”, Jacinda who are the others, like the others in China who are handcuffed and disappear?

  13. Perhaps that is coming one day…..people stood up to the Nazi’s and Hitler. Patriots come in all sorts of colors and stripes.

    Free speech is the absolute corner stone of our system of government….and when government abolishes that freedom….it is being tyrannical and must be reminded that it only has the powers granted to it by the Constitution and allowed by the People.

    This assault on free speech can and must be defeated.

    Hopefully, it shall only demand good speech for that to happen…..but then if that does not work….what then?

  14. Lefties know that they have to lock out the opposition while they are in power.

    But they rarely stop to think about what happens when they are out of power.

    Remember the Dems eliminating the judicial filibuster when they were in power? Bit them hard next election cycle.

    How much air time will Hillary get if a hard conservative movement takes power?

    Could she (and the Bidens) survive the scrutiny of a vengeful DOJ?

    Lefties don’t think two moves ahead.

    1. If you subscribe to the “by any means necessary” plan of action, you don’t have to think two moves ahead.

  15. Writing from prison during the late 1920’s Antonio Gramsci, a Marx and Engels acolyte, developed the proposition that true hegemony could be achieved thorough, “Cultural Marxism.” I’m guessing Prime Minister Ardern is a fan!

  16. Odd how progressives talking about censorship is really bad, but conservatives (even American) passing censorship laws is ok. Don’t forget the WOKE act and Don’t Say Gay bill out of Florida and the law in SC banning talking about how to get an abortion.

    1. The Don’t Say Gay bill in FL never says the word gay in it.
      It is a anti-grooming law to protect children and give parents a say in their child’s education.

      The anti-groomer group “Gays against groomers,” had their PayPal and Venmo accounts canceled.

    2. “Odd how progressives talking about censorship is really bad, but conservatives (even American) passing censorship laws is ok. Don’t forget the WOKE act and Don’t Say Gay bill out of Florida “

      Sammy, without censorship you are able to say things even if not true, even if it is a lie of an ignorant fool. Do you know what the “Don’t Say Gay bill” is? Of course not. You are ignorant yet you wish to determine what others should say. It’s real name is “Parental Rights in Education”

      That bill stops fools like you from forcing gender identity onto K-3 classes and returns parental rights to the parents.

    3. Sammy equates banning the laptop prior to the election with stopping gender discussions with 6 year old children. This is the mind of a leftist. Twiiter bans the president of the United States as they allow the president of Iran a forum and Sammy is ok with it, but stop allowing a sick teacher from telling a 5 year old boy that he can be a girl ( and NOT to tell his mommy) is “censorship”. This is why the Dems will not debate in so many races around the country. They will get the media to scream that Repubs want to ban abortion, even though it is a ban after 15 weeks, and yet nobody knows that the Dems want abortion up to the minute before birth. This is why KJP would not answer Peter Doocey’s fair and honest question of “for how many weeks does the president support abortion” If you hate the 15 week ban and you support abortion unfettered that is a fair argument, but at least answer the damn question.

  17. “…the last best hope for a mankind plagued by tyranny and deprivation.” is clearly not New Zealand nor, so it appears, many of the Commonwealth nations.

  18. Arden is a caed carrying Davos/World Economic loyalst who is known for her restrictive/censorship in New Zeland and Globally. She , like Trudeau and other leaders, follow the Davos Great Reset/Censorship ideas. She does not believe in freedoms. These ideas and restrictions will fail. People across the Globe are now saying NO to these censorships and Great Reset ideas. Watch Europe and US Elections, they will lead the rejection of these restrictins.

  19. I believe it was an American who said that the tree of liberty must sometimes we wanted with bloodshed, or something of that nature
    Your free-speech, and all of the freedoms that it in genders are to survive, then ultimately, these people will have to be crushed. People like the PM of New Zealand will have to be found hanging from a tree branch so that the rest of the world understands that their ideology is not acceptable.
    And before you say that’s not acceptable… What did we do in World War II? What was that fight about, if not Freedom?

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