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New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 25th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

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Are things really this bad?

8 May 2019

The internet is fantastic!

It's fantastic because it empowers everyone to voice their opinions and perspectives, free from censorship and restriction. Or at least that's the theory.

With increasing pressure on Facebook and YouTube to clamp down on any form of free speech that might offend, we're in danger of losing the utility of the Net as a platform for the free and frank exchange of ideas, ideologies and beliefs.

However, today I want to demonstrate that all is not lost... yet.

This week came across a couple of great videos that I believe everyone should see, mainly because they clearly demonstrate that politicians around the world are running amok and perhaps the newfound lust for online censorship is more about hiding unfortunate political truths than about protecting the vulnerable.

Read on and see whether you agree.

The first video that caught my eye and my heart was one posted by Pat Condell in the UK.

He called the video "Our Battle of Britain" and it really does deserve eight minutes of your time:

What a very well-spoken gentleman Mr Condell is and he uses this video to make his points very succinctly and with pinpoint accuracy.

Perhaps the best quote from his monologue is "our servants have decided they are our masters", a statement that rings true of governments around the world.

This video has also obviously resonated with huge numbers of those who have watched it. The "thumbs-up" number of 32,000 represents well over 10% of the 290,000 view-count and on a video with this number of views, that's a very impressive percentage by YouTube standards.

Across the ditch, "thejuicemedia" has just published another of their brilliantly satirical "honest government" videos:

Again, a greater than 10% thumbs-up figure shows the level to which people appreciate this level of honesty, even when it is packaged in a lighthearted format like this.

So my question today is -- has politics really got as bad as it would appear -- or is this just situation-normal?

Is it perhaps any wonder that governments around the world (presently being led by our own Jacinda) are rallying against freedom of speech and expression on popular social media platforms?

Should we be worried?

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