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Chief Censor bans two ‘terrorist’ publications

31 October 2019

Two publications designed to encourage people to commit terrorist acts have been banned, the Chief Censor David Shanks has announced.

The document said to have been shared by the man who killed two people in Halle, Germany earlier this month has been classified as objectionable under the Films, Videos & Publications Classification Act 1993.

Also banned is a video game that puts the player in the role of a killer called ‘Brenton Torrent’ with the game play consisting solely of the murder of defenceless people.

“These publications promote killing and terrorism and serve no positive purpose,” says Mr Shanks.

Mr Shanks declared the 35-minute long livestream of the fatal Halle as objectionable on 10 October. Two people were killed in the attacks, one outside a synagogue and the other in a kebab shop, which were livestreamed by the killer on gaming site Twitch. Now the related documents are also illegal.

“I used my call-in power in order to classify the instructional documents reportedly shared by the killer before his attacks. I have classified these as objectionable as they clearly aim to help teach and encourage others who are willing to commit similar atrocities against innocent people.”

Mr Shanks also announced a video game called “The Shitposter” that celebrates the livestream of the March 15 terrorist attacks in Christchurch is classified objectionable.

“The creators of this game set out to produce and sell a game designed to place the player in the role of a white supremacist terrorist killer. In this game, anyone who isn’t a white heterosexual male is a target for simply existing,” he says.

“This game is cheaply and crudely made, with little or no appeal in terms of the challenge of its gameplay. Everything about this game, from the name of the shooter character down to its purchase price ($14.88 – embodying the “14 Words” white supremacist slogan and ‘88’ the recognised code for ‘Heil Hitler’) makes it clear that this is a product created for and marketed to white supremacists who are interested in supporting and celebrating white extremist attacks.

“Most New Zealanders will find this game abhorrent and will not want to come across it, even accidentally. I have reached out to New Zealand ISP’s to notify them of my classification of this game, and to ask that they consider what steps they can take to protect their customers from this illegal content.”

Last updated on the 31st October 2019