In announcing his desires last year, Andrew Little pointed to the U.K. whose laws on this theme he gave as the example to emulate. The experience shows, however, they result in a lot of ridiculous police behaviour. We’ve reported a number of instances of NZ’s Thought Police behaving like this with the existing laws (although Free Speech defenders say they went too far), so how much worse would it get under Andrew Little’s notions?
From Summit News:
A video out of the UK shows plain clothed police officers visiting a man’s home over “offensive” comments he posted on Facebook during a political discussion.
After getting involved in the online exchange, the man was surprised just a day later by cops turning up on his doorstep and asking him to make an appointment at his local police station.
The officers in the clip make it clear that their visit is because of a Facebook post, but refuse to specify what the man had posted and how it was against the law.
The man asked what he is potentially being charged with, to which the officer responds “malicious communications,” which he defines as making comments on an online forum “deemed to be offensive.”
The man denies that he ever said anything “malicious” and was merely engaging in political debate.
According to the description accompanying the video, the man was not arrested but he may have to appear in court.
People in the UK are routinely arrested and questioned by police for social media posts under the Malicious Communications Act.
The law states that it is illegal to send messages “for the purpose of causing distress or anxiety,” although this has been broadened to such a degree that anyone can claim “distress or anxiety” simply because they were offended.