Brickbat: Normalizing Censorship


The New Zealand government has proposed tougher penalties for hate speech. Currently, a conviction for hate speech brings a 7,000 New Zealand dollar ($4,900) fine and a maximum of three months in prison. The government wants that changed to a NZ$50,000 ($35,000) fine and a maximum of three years in prison. The proposal would also expand the definition of hate speech. The law presently says that hate speech is speech that will "excite hostility" or "bring into contempt" people because of their race or ethnicity. The proposal will ban speech that normalizes hatred. "Normalizing hatred means that, if I were to try and convince you to hate someone, and you didn't already hold that feeling, then I have changed your opinion. [Or] you may already hold that opinion and I may want to reinforce that opinion with you, and that is normalizing," said Justice Minister Kris Faafoi.