The free speech showdown at Otago University

University Thought Police

A student at Otago University has claimed that he was harassed by Campus Watch. An article in the University magazine Critic described the student as an “Alt-right activist” and stated that the magazine was “perfectly happy to let them fight it out”

Malcolm Moncrief-Spittle said that he had put up a number of posters that promoted videos made by Lauren Southern. Apparently, students who didn’t like Lauren Southern’s opinions, graffitied tore down or covered up the posters.

Eventually, Malcolm decided to video a fellow student who was busy defacing one of his posters and it turned into an interview with two people who had both been involved in trying to censor him.

It is fascinating to hear the two students justifying their censorship of Moncrief-Spittle and to see how comfortable they both were with denying him freedom of speech on Otago University campus.

Believe it or not, both students decided that they were victims (shock horror) and reported the interaction to Campus Watch. They reported that Malcolm asking them why they were doing what they were doing made them feel “particularly uncomfortable” and they claimed they were concerned about “where the video would end up”. Luckily for them, it ended up on New Zealand’s largest and most popular blog so our audience can decide for themselves just who exactly is the victim or victims in this scenario.

After the incident with the other students Malcolm put up a poster with screenshots of the above video but Campus Watch removed it. After they removed it he videoed the two Campus Watch officers and asked them to tell him why they were only taking down his posters. One of the officers gave her opinion that it was probably not legal to put up posters like his.

According to Critic magazine, University Proctor Dave Scott said

The posters could potentially breach the student’s privacy and also could defame the student shown. This was the reason Campus Watch staff sought a copy of the poster, so that a determination could be made by the Proctor’s Office management. end quote.

The article also stated that the authors understanding was that it is legal to publish images of people taken in a public space as there can be no expectation of privacy there.


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