Calls for 4chan to be shut down after putrid posts of alleged Christchurch shooter Brenton Tarrant discovered

Annabel Hennessy – The West Australian

A website that was temporarily shut down following accused gunman Brenton Tarrant’s Christchurch massacre has been found to be promoting images and web chats labelling the Australian a “saint”.

An investigation by The West Australian has uncovered the posts, some made this month, on notorious chat website 4chan, which has prompted concern by cyber experts who say the Federal Government should consider shutting the platform down permanently.

“You do have a duty of care to these people and maybe that is through shutting these sites down.” Ross Bark, director of Best Enemies which runs cybersafety workshops in Australian schools, said 4chan was the “wild west of the internet” and telecommunication companies should consider blocking access.

“Wherever there is a violent video (links to it) will land on 4chan … it’s just a massive trolling environment and a lot of online harassment stems from the use of 4Chan,” Mr Bark said.

“You’re not going to be able to stop people sharing things on certain sites unless you block them and I think there needs to be more from the telcos’ side to block these websites.”

He said the Federal Government’s Sharing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Bill was yet to be fully tested.

“Facebook isn’t that keen to censor information…(and these) laws need to be tested and then (the Government can) see how they can potentially tighten them up,” he said.

Mr Fletcher said the Federal Government was “committed to removing illegal and harmful content from the internet” and that there were reporting mechanisms in place to take down posts that were deemed abhorrent.

“Executing on that intention requires a considered and measured approach focused on the very worst content,” Mr Fletcher said.

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