NZ Forums and Censorship – updated “Is BritishExpats.com biased?”

censorship

Some people don’t want you to criticise New Zealand

Today we’re taking exploring the phenomenon of censorship in New Zealand forums.

E2NZ.org doesn’t make a habit of reading emigration pimp sites and we rely on our readers to tell us about NZ censorship in forums which discuss emigration or life in New Zealand. For example, the thread mentioned in https://e2nz.org/migrant-stories/chapter-2/we-chose-to-go-with-new-zealand-big-mistake/#comment-187747 which was closed for further discussion today.

Censorship can take many forms and may not always be evident to the unaware because of its subtlety. It ranges from moderators imposing their own ideology, to encouraging positive comments and criticizing negatives. It can also encompass indirect moderation though permitting rat-packing of dissenters (i.e. not issuing infractions for ad hominem attacks, in direct contravention of their own site rules). In others words ‘free speech’ (aka hate speech) and personal attacks  are tolerated, dissing NZ isn’t.

Conflicting messages from a site's moderators can only cause problems for its users,

Conflicting messages from a site’s moderators can only cause problems for its users, and lead to accusations of bias when posts get deleted but attacks don’t.

Ad Hominem attacks permitted

HT to Assumptive for the following examples of tolerated ad hominem attacks which appeared on the thread linked to above on Britishexpats.com. (A quick reminder of the site’s rules – Challenge others’ points of view and opinions, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully … without insult or personal attack).

“point put in a very general, sweeping and abrasive way. Being a happy migrant is more down to you and your attitude than the problems in the country you’ve moved to.”

You know where the airport is ?”

I detect an underlying hatred that, in my opinion, is quite unsavoury” (from the obvious Kiwi troll?)

jesus christ you talk some bollocks at times

What boat did you get off, HM bitter and twisted I think!”

“I shall keep an eye out for the unhappiness police

Then came the inevitable attempt at a thread hijack. Instigated by a moderator of all people who turned the discussion to nasal swabs, black dogs and potato consumption.

When that didn’t work things got nastier and the gloves really came off. Can you believe an adult wrote this and that no infraction was issued?

“xxxxxxxxx is neither British or living in NZ, She is German, she came here and during her time on this forum did nothing but moan and complain about anything and everything. Nothing was good enough and everything was either poor quality or too expensive. As you can see she has a very low opinion of kiwis and most things New Zealand

Censorship may also be achieved by trolling. Pro-NZ posters (often these are Kiwis) take up residence on discussion boards and try to stifle negative comments about their country, usually by using a constant stream of dubious statistical materials. It is not unusual for Kiwis to troll emigration sites, for instance. (e.g. Poms in Oz, City-Data.com, BritishExpats.com, Enz.org etc) We get them at E2NZ.org all the time.

We’d like people to tell us when they see censorship in action, let’s get some debate going about this. Have you seen something and want to ask if it is censorship? Please use the comments section below.

Sub topic

This thread has been brought to our attention:  “Is Britishexpats.com biased?”  (click to enlarge)

Ad hominem attacks are permitted, but not comments about bias?

Ad hominem attacks are permitted, but not comments about bias?

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28 thoughts on “NZ Forums and Censorship – updated “Is BritishExpats.com biased?”

  1. There’s another heavily moderated forum called expatforum.com….. the New Zealand sub forum is very quiet now…..s’pose word gets out about these places….people leave ’em alone…. except for the spammers….there’s a lotsa spam! The moderator must be bored…..escapedtonz escaped to britishexpats.com…..to get some action! lol!

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  2. I wonder how many notice that the people on the BritishExpat New Zealand forum who most loudly and boastfully proclaim great happiness with their life in NZ are humour-less and completely lacking in wit (with few exceptions). They lack self-awareness, general awareness, and have the debating skills of an angry 7 year old of middling intelligence. They take other people’s general observations as personal attacks. What a bunch of narcissistic trolls. There are very few people on that site who are clever, articulate or witty.

    I will say that in real life, in New Zealand, I have come upon that attitude consistently over the years. You’d better sing the praises of New Zealand OR ELSE!

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  3. I left the site about 18 months ago, the constant bullying and bitchiness got too much. So many unhappy people trying to do the one-up thing and putting other people down.

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  4. What is sad and a bit upsetting is people use that site as a major reference point, people go there for information that just doesn’t get through on the forums.

    A classic example is when a brit looking to move gets told they could earn 70,000 NZD, immediately they will convert that to GDP, in UK that isn’t a bad wage, it would be 35ish, the massive difference is the cost of living out there that isn’t getting publicised enough.

    There seems to be a lot of older expats that moved when the exchange rate was 3$ to £1 and also a lot of southerners who would have made big money on the UK housing boom pre 2007.

    Times have changed, money has changed, young professionals with decent jobs, little savings and no property to sell will struggle like hell out there, of course, if you sold a house in the UK for £300,000 that you only paid £50,000, £60,000 years before then move over to NZ which a great exchange rate back in 06/07, your laughing all the way.

    Unfortunalty, that opportunity is not there for this generation, but they are still sold the old dream.

    Expensive, poorly built housing and high cost of living is usually counted with “well we did it, and we manage ok”

    The bottom line, if your from the UK, to move to NZ and have the life that is sold to you on britexpats.com you need money and lots of it

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    • And when it comes down to it emigration is about money, and so are the sites that promote it. It’s a country that wants obese dotcom millionaires and casino owners, not overweight plumbers and nurses. It’s also a place where dirty politics uses the police to harass journalists for their sources and teatapes, yet leaves alone the corrupt people they expose. It simply isn’t British, and there’s the rub. New country, new set of rules.

      What may not be immediately evident to newcomers to Britishexpats.com is that there are a lot of people using it who 1. Are either Kiwis or have a Kiwi partner and 2. Have been using it as a support network for many, many years. No one who posts there is a ‘happy migrant’ if they were they would have moved on long ago. For them Britishexpats.com is a place where they can get away from the unpleasantness and grind of NZ life; where they can pretend everything is ok.

      Like most Kiwis, what they don’t want is someone reminding them it’s all a bit shit really when they’re stuck there https://e2nz.org/whats-it-like-to-live-in-nz/vox-pop/chapter-3/a-niggling-fear-it-might-actually-be-sht/

      Let’s face it, if New Zealand was that wonderful it wouldn’t need migrants – Kiwis would never leave.

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  5. The Super Moderator has declared this is a thread not worthy of discussion.

    “It might be a subject to discuss if there is a distinct Australasian approach which would interest newbies and others looking in thinking to move to this end of the world.”

    People can’t talk about what constitutes a professional attitude, they can launch personal attacks but can’t talk about New Zealand’s problems without the thread getting locked. I think there’s a pattern emerging here, Nanny knows best.

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  6. I wonder how long it will be before this thread gets locked too http://britishexpats.com/forum/new-zealand-83/kiwi-professionalism-845441/

    “A friend of mine just posted this on FB:

    Just been asked NOT to attend my local yoga class cos I asked the teacher if perhaps she might not answer mobile phone calls & have chats with mates during the session!
    I’m never gonna make a good Kiwi – I have this habit of saying what I think instead of pretending everything is fine all the time ; ) ”

    So far the signs aren’t good, the first and only respondent is a Super Moderator.” This could be one to keep an eye on?

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    • I had the same situation with a crappy swim teacher. The swim school asked why I resigned my kids from swim school. Explaned to them the lazy behaviour of the beached wale, not paying attention to her pupils, busy talking with people on the benches, her back turned away from the pool. Sure enough the last lesson was hell for my kids (the staff must have had a hard word with her, before we were gone) childish, nasty Kiwi bitch behaviour.

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    • Rest assured E2NZ will always provide a safe and most importantly a supportive place for migrants to talk openly about life in New Zealand and the problems they encounter. This is, and always has been, a Kool-Aid free zone.

      Our rules are simple. No trolling, no like it or leave comments and no ad hom attacks. How easy is that?

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  7. what I took from reading the thread is that British people stay in New Zealand because it’s NOT the UK, not BECAUSE it’s New Zealand. Perhaps that explains why the forum is so fraught with strife; they’re unhappy with living there but can see no alternative? That must suck.

    In the 1940s Tom Scott said “NZ was the Terrible tragedy in the southern seas three million people trapped alive.” never was a truer word spoken.

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    • I have observed that of American expats I know as well. They are all very “political”, who hate the way American politics has gone rather than “enjoy New Zealand”. Guess what – they know more about “bad American news” than they do their own local news. When I point out their own bad local news in response to the endless stream of “aren’t you distressed to be living in horrible America” type news,they are clueless. They sit over there in New Zealand and keep pointing the finger back at America. They’re like preachers who sit and watch the Playboy channel instead of just “getting on with it” (a phrase Kiwis love).

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  8. Assumptive, thanks for your post and for the examples of rat packing.

    It will be a long time before someone is brave enough to start another thread like that on Britishexpats.com; which is probably what the objective was all along.

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  9. I’ve been reading the thread on Britishexpats.com. I was surprised at the ad-hominem attacks that go unchallenged by the moderators, which left me wondering exactly what their role is supposed to be?

    Examples of people not addressing the issue, but getting away with attacking the person:-

    “point put in a very general, sweeping and abrasive way. Being a happy migrant is more down to you and your attitude than the problems in the country you’ve moved to.”

    “You know where the airport is ?”

    “I detect an underlying hatred that, in my opinion, is quite unsavoury” (from the obvious Kiwi troll?)

    “jesus christ you talk some bollocks at times”

    “What boat did you get off, HM bitter and twisted I think!”

    “I shall keep an eye out for the unhappiness police”

    Then came the inevitable attempt at a thread hijack. Instigated by a moderator of all people who turned the discussion to nasal swabs, black dogs and potato consumption.

    When that didn’t work things got nastier.

    “xxxxxxxxx is neither British or living in NZ, She is German, she came here and during her time on this forum did nothing but moan and complain about anything and everything. Nothing was good enough and everything was either poor quality or too expensive. As you can see she has a very low opinion of kiwis and most things New Zealand”

    I don’t know what to make of it, my first thought was this is a troll forum for New Zealanders to let off steam but it appears to be a legit emigration site.

    The moderation style and method of discourse is dysfunctional. I found it extremely distasteful, have these people nothing better to do with their lives? I’m not sure who I felt more pity for, the people talking about their misfortunes or the people attacking them for feeling that way.

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    • They are paid to channel migrants on those sites. Their advertisers all make money off the flow. They don’t want posters or ideas that “obstruct the flow” (into their wallets either directly or indirectly). They are simply NOT unbiased sites. They are set up to attract migrants and make money in the process of the necessary costs generated by moving from one country to another. Often with pensions, sale of real estate, transport of kids and pets, buying new furniture, everything. http://www.imi.ox.ac.uk/pdfs/wp/WP-64-2012 Migrant marketing is big, big business.

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      • MYK, actually it goes way deeper than that. Outside of the money flow matter, they cannot bear anyone criticising their country. When I lived there, and would try to return something to a store, they would make it so difficult. Even with the few Kiwis I am still forced to deal with in one way or another after leaving their country, I practically contort myself attempting to phrase a request for necessary correction in a way they can accept. I do not have to do this with anyone else. They have a very immature national narcissism that is embedded in their culture. They are such zeroes, I suppose, that any suggestion they could do something better makes them feell LESS than zero, and they become vicious or accusing. I don’t know. All I know is that I hate the trait!

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    • This is from the rules section of Britishexpats.com

      “BritishExpats.com is an interactive site, and everyone who participates is “in it together”, please treat others the way you wish to be treated. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Challenge others’ points of view and opinions, but do so respectfully and thoughtfully … without insult or personal attack.

      1. Inappropriate Language/Personal Attacks
        There may be places where sexually explicit, racist, obscene or vulgar language, graphics or behavior is appropriate however BritishExpats.com is NOT one of them. We do not alllow graphics that contain nude body parts, sexually-orientated or violent acts. Should anyone use inappropriate language, encourage someone to break the law, start a personal attack, or engage in hate speech, they will be barred from all further discussions.”

      Despite the site owner and moderation team’s involvement in that thread there is no attempt to enforce the rules and no one is banned. Rather the bans are reserved for people who start controversial threads. I’m going with it being a troll site. Caveat emptor.

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    • That’s why sites like this exist. E2NZ has been around since 2009 and the word is out. The site is well read and has 796 followers. Our rules are simple:

      No ad hominem attacks.

      No trolling & no ‘don’t like it then leave’ comments. “Fooferfish” are not welcome here.

      Don’t use other countries’ failings to justify NZ’s poor standards. Remember, NZ is often falsely marketed to migrants on the basis that it doesn’t suffer from those problems. One can’t have it both ways.

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    • I’m not sure if it would have affected our move. But, yes, it would have made us think a bit longer, and might have held sway. Problem is, there was NOTHING any where near what E2NZ has out there now.

      For all you wouldbe Kiwis, read long and hard, the information on here is invaluable.

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  10. I’ve read the thread you linked to on British Expats. So far no less than 4 moderators have responded to it plus the obvious pro-NZ troll. What does that tell you ?

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    • In reply to your other post, all I would ask for is, as you say unbiased views. I spent a hell of a lot going out there and cannot, for the life of me, get over how different it actually is and how the bad housing, high costs (pretty important stuff) is not talked about.

      If I knew 20% of what I know now I would have saved a fortune, and with me being in the building trade, I am pretty surprised the quality of building evaded me, I found nothing when I looked a few years ago, sod all.

      I just hope people be a bit more honest about the place.

      What is your story admin are you still in GODZOWN little hick town

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      • At lot more honesty is called for, hence https://e2nz.org/introduction/ Emigration forums are not the places to find it, the cult of New Zealand is a strong one and is at its strongest when money or reputations are involved.

        You also need to understand some of the moderators (and longest members) of those types of sites may give their origin as British, but have NZ passports and > a decade of residence in the country. One has to ask why they are still engaged in emigration discussions after so many years when they are so obviously Kiwi.

        You’re criticizing their country and their lifestyle choice. They have been assimilated into the cult, you’re not going to find empathy there.

        Like

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