Meet the Censors (2020) Movie Script

Hi. May I pet the horse?
It's alright?
Sure, go ahead.
They're the best thing
about this rally.
How much does
one of these weigh?
How much...800 kilograms or so?
That much.
The ones over there
are pretty heavy too.
- The other...horses?
- Well, yeah.
- I didn't get that
policewoman tried to be funny,
comparing the horse
to the pumped-up Nazis,
shouting behind me.
Throw out the scum!
If you had any guts, you'd
tell your employer to fuck off!
"Our green banner flies..."
Fucking hell...
Traitors of the blood!
- I just dialled
down the madness.
It seems stupid to ship
in half the country's police
to look after Nazis,
so they can freely
express their shit,
without interruptions.
Everyone's got to have freedom
of speech in a democracy.
But have you never felt
that this might need
some adjustment?
Is it time to call in the state
and simply censor
the most polarising,
deranged expressions?
- To be white
is to be a striver,
a crusader, and
explorer and a conqueror.
We don't exploit other groups.
They need us and not
the other way around.
- He said, "I send the
messenger Muhammad,
"with the guidance
and the deed of truth
"for it to be dominant upon
the whole of the world."
No matter how much they hate it,
our objective, the objective
is to dominate the
whole world by the Sharia.
- When the preaching of
God's word is taking place,
first of all, it's
not for a woman
to be doing the preaching.
And second of all, it's not
for women to be speaking.
Even the Bible is
really clear on this,
even if they were
to have a question,
they are not to ask that
question in the church.
- What if censorship
has become necessary?
Just to keep our
societies decent.
What if there's a form
of state censorship
that could actually work?
That could be good?
So basically, we're gonna travel
to all those different countries
and figure out the rationale
behind why they're censor.
And what do you think about it?
- Well, I wish you luck.
Figuring out rationales
is not an easy task.
I would say it's
anthropological, basically,
or ethnographic.
The point is to understand
censorship, not to condemn it.
- Yeah.
- People tend to take a
simplified idea of censorship
as a struggle of
good against evil,
of liberty against oppression.
It's a sort of Manichaean
view that gets it wrong.
I mean, having
studied censorship
under various
authoritarian regimes,
I must say, I am
convinced that censorship
can be positive,
it's complicated,
so I would recommend,
as you go around
interviewing people responsible
for filtering communication
that you try to...
Not exactly identify with them,
but to listen to them,
to understand them.
- Hm.
- And by doing this, I
think it might be possible
to get a deeper comprehension
of what censorship actually is.
- Can we film
outside up from the window
when we're driving, or not?
- No, no.
These guys you see, I think
they are from national security.
- Testing.
Okay, the sound is okay.
If you try to say a
couple of words?
- Well, only to welcome
you to this compound,
the Citizen compound. - Yeah.
- I have
thought for myself,
that the government
of South Sudan censor,
because the country
perhaps needs censorship,
to calm things down.
Hard to argue that the country
don't need to calm tensions.
How is journalism being done?
Are everyone really careful, or?
- You are told there
are certain areas
which you cannot touch.
You cannot talk about the
corruption of the system,
you cannot talk about
freedom of expression
freedom of assemble.
You cannot talk about,
a relation between the
rebels and the government.
We were closed down
because they they told us
that we are pre-empting
the peace talk.
The national security they
are protecting the government
from being criticised
over the issue of peace,
because they don't want
anybody to talk against,
to talk in favour of peace.
Because the government
programme is war.
- Mr. Minister, hello?
How are you?
- I'm fine, fine.
- I'm Havard.
I have been talking
to some journalists.
And there seems to be some fear
that if you film outside,
we might be stopped.
- If you film outside?
- You might
be meeting some soldiers
that will tell you, you
should turn off the camera,
you should not do
this sort of things.
How do you think
the relationship
between that sort of army
activity and the journalists is?
- Well, really, that's right.
You know, there are
military installations,
that in any country,
photographing is prohibited.
If you go to Juba here,
you will find there's no
soldiers that is moving
with gun on the streets.
But people have
made it known outside,
as if there's insecurity
in South Sudan,
and it is the UN that
is keeping security?
Is not the UN.
It is a government
of South Sudan
that is keeping law
and order in the country.
- Your chief says
that we should finish now so.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
Do I need to move?
- No it's okay.
But what would happen if the
national security found us now?
- Well,
well, if you got away
with it you may be lucky.
You might be lucky.
'Cause they may not like it.
Although you have the papers,
but they may not be happy.
- Most of the little
we were allowed to
film in South Sudan,
looked like a fucking
stereotype circus.
I guess I fear being seen
as the arrogant white man,
showing his prejudice
view on Africans.
So I deleted the scenes that
could put me in a bad light.
I just can't find
believable arguments
for why they censor
and jail journalists here.
I guess for a government leading
the third most corrupt
country in the world,
whose army have used
child soldiers and raped girls,
censorship must seem like a
tempting way to kill criticism.
So in the morning
would you perhaps
go through the newspapers
and see what's being written?
- Yes, we have a
whole directorates,
and this is called
Directorate of Information.
That direction is headed
by the Director General.
So generally when
I come in here.
I see what we did
and what we did
not do yesterday,
and then look at the
schedule of today.
I can take it later.
- Okay, but we
can't talk when it's ringing.
- That's okay.
It will give us peace of mind.
- Okay.
- We told all the media houses,
that we don't censor the media.
We don't censor them.
But just do your
work responsibly.
Respect the Constitution,
respect the laws,
respect yourself and
respect your profession,
by following the professional
ethics of journalism.
So whenever there's a mistake,
as you said, or you mentioned.
Whenever there's a
mistake in the newspaper,
we call the chief
editor of the newspaper,
we sit down with them,
we tell them what
we think is wrong
and what is supposed to be done.
- How does it
work in practical terms?
What are the steps?
If for example,
they want to say that peace
has come to South Sudan?
- Yes.
Excuse, can you bring that?
I think the minister
is calling me.
- Ah.
- Yeah.
They try to call on the phone.
- Oh no,
and we disconnected it!
- Yes.
It's already transferred,
I just got the message.
- Okay, now.
- Mm.
- Let's try to wind it--
- Mm.
- Because they're going
to turn off the generator.
- Ah, really?
- Yeah.
- Do you have a wide shot?
- Yes.
- It's already off.
Okay, let us take five minutes.
Is that okay?
Yeah, let's do a five
minute, and that's fine.
- There was the case
with the Citizen newspaper?
- Citizen newspaper?
- Yeah.
- Yes.
- There was
a commentary in there
that was not looked,
it was not very good.
- Well, there was a commentary,
but at the end of the day
when the Citizen
newspaper was shut down,
it was not because
of the commentary,
since the newspaper
hasn't been paying
taxes to the government
for very long,
and that's a crime.
So they were told to
go and clear their tax.
- So and that was
the Ministry of Information
that told the newspaper?
- It was not the
Minister of Information,
that's economic section
in the National Security
that follows those who
don't want to pay taxes.
It's a tax evasion.
- Right.
- Yeah, you know
there are always articles
in the newspapers, very
critical of the government.
And now we believe in democracy,
so let them write, yeah.
As long as they're not
endangering national security.
- I jumped
out of South Sudan,
had to find a more uplifting
example of censorship.
Something I could at
least like the intentions of.
- Good morning, Herr Billen?
- I'm Havard.
- Hello.
- That's it.
- Hey, Havard how is it?
- So I went to Germany.
The Ministry of Justice,
has made this
new censorship law,
a device to fight hate
speech on the internet.
The name is a
bit unsexy, though.
and it's criticised
across the world
with comparisons
to Stasi methods.
How did it go in
Brussels yesterday?
- It went well.
I talked with the Commission
about hate speech,
among other things.
Why is this law so
important to you personally?
I have spent a lot of time
talking to the social networks,
as well as civil society,
authorities and police.
I find it important
for one thing,
because there
are a lot of victims.
People who are not only
offended and insulted,
but who are
threatened with violence,
discriminated against, goaded.
And I do not find it acceptable
in a democratic society.
We need political
dispute over opinions,
but physical or psychological
threats are going too far.
Nazi slogans. Incitement
of the masses. Hate speech.
Platforms such as
Facebook, YouTube or Twitter
must remove it within
24 hours of notification,
according to the
Network Enforcement Act.
- I mostly like and
understand the Germans.
I want to flush down
the internet hate too.
But I don't get this new law.
All it seems to allow the state
is to hand Facebook
or Google a fine,
A Euro-slap on the
zillionaires' wrists.
Is that it? - Yeah.
- To make them
care about the hate
spewed out on their platforms.
And guys,
why the detour?
Why not just remove
the filth directly?
Free, socialist and nationalist!
We do not have to use the word,
because we all know which old
parasite we are talking about.
In our hearts, then and
now, we are Hitler's People.
Here, for instance.
Here the hearing is finished,
and it goes to the network.
They have to be
questioned and heard.
Then a deadline will be set.
In this instance,
their statement
has been timely received.
Then it will be presented
to the case officer.
But if there is no
timely response,
and the resubmission
deadline is passed,
the case officer
receives the record as is.
All these instances have to be
played out and drawn up here.
Section 86, for instance:
Distribution of propaganda from
unconstitutional organisations.
Section 184b
concerns distribution
and possession of
child pornography.
If I were to display a
swastika, for instance,
the case would
be relatively clear.
But when it comes
to insults or libel,
that will be a challenge
for the networks to evaluate.
And for us as well, afterwards
deciding if it should
have been deleted
and whether the
complaint management
of the networks functions.
So there are a couple of
points where it gets difficult.
We have no experience
yet. Neither do the networks.
Nor do the courts. It's all new.
In this sense, judicial review
can only be a good thing.
Due process of law
will be strengthened.
- I was slowly realising
the sheer scope of it all.
- The Germans had decided
to clean up the internet.
The fucking internet.
Here are the filing rooms.
Yes, here we are, still empty.
We'll see by the end of January.
What exactly will be
here? Documents?
The complaints that we receive
cannot be stored digitally.
Well, technically they can,
but there's no
software for that yet.
They have to be printed
out and kept as files here
In a hanging rack synstem,
so that everything is
properly documented.
How many documents
will it be, do you think?
Are we talking,
like, ten thousand?
We won't resort
to fortune telling.
We'd rather just be surprised.
Beginning Sunday,
Facebook and other networks
must remove illegal content.
Failure to do so could result in
fines of up to 60 million euros.
Right. Before I forget:
Will both of you sit in on this?
Yes, in the background.
Right. You don't want
to be in the frame?
- I'll stand by the door.
- I see.
We're not allowed
to film the screen,
but he'l explain a case for us.
How fast can you
look through a case
and still preserve
every nuance of context?
That will differ
from case to case.
Some things will of course
be easier to recognise.
Representations of
unconsitutional organisations,
or their images, are of
course easier to recognise.
But even then you have
to look at the context,
how it's represented.
Not every swastika
is a violation.
There are differences.
A fist smashing a
sawstika, for instance.
This is where it gets
more complicated, legally.
In case of doubt, I think
the answer we would give
is that we move forward
by first securing evidence.
And at a later stage, if the
case becomes stronger...
So of course, before
administrative fine
proceedings are set in motion,
the social network in
question will be invited
to make a statement on the case.
- Not quite...
- It's not like that?
No, that's not correct. The
fine proceedings do start here.'s complicated.
We don't ask law
enforcement to take action,
we just pass
information to them.
The decision to prosecute, based
on that, is entirely up to them.
To put it more simply:
If we conclude that the
matter is a criminal offence,
we pass information
on to law enforcement.
- Good, okay.
- Yes. Thank you.
Thank you. I hope the
questions were not...
it is difficult to know
exacly who to...
- After a few
weeks, I started pondering
if this new law could catch on.
If people would
bother to use it,
actually filed reports on
the hatred they find online.
- No, up there.
- There it is.
- Yeah.
- Was that it?
- No, there were three more.
And that's effectively
the hundred-something...
How many are there?
This isn't everything.
But it's most of those
handled by the case workers.
I see.
- I had hoped
that I could find a firm,
German way to censor hate.
But the law seems half-assed,
it makes me sad.
All the hard work they're
putting into it, for what?
I think this field trip of mine,
won't make much sense
unless I can dig up
examples of censorship,
that actually seems to do good.
The obvious start
is to find someone
who simply removes
the bad stuff.
- Shit!
What the fuck was that?
- Put your gun
on the fucking floor!
It's not my fault!
You're the driving
like a fucking dick...
- Oh so you steady
yourself on the trigger.
You see those?
Those are the OSHA handles,
that's what they're there for.
- Shut up!
- Cary me over
there and put me in the tub.
- Yeah, can't do that.
- What do you
mean by can't do that?
- Physically,
I can do that,
but I'm not gonna carry
your naked ass to the tub.
- There was no way--
- Everyone's eating.
- No, it's impossible.
Everyone is not
eating everyone's ass.
- Everyone is not
eating everyone's ass.
They are. - Oh fuck.
Oh, ho,
oh my god!
- So basically all the
f-words are allowed.
But then there are
like you know visuals
where they have focused
on the girl's private parts.
So I think those also have
to be kind of you know.
- Yeah.
- There is a word,
motherfucker, that should go.
- Yeah that can go.
- It has to be
universally cut, yeah, yeah.
- Then pussy, cunt and?
- Dick.
- And asshole?
- And asshole is allowed.
- What else, anything else?
- There's one dialogue
which talks about
you know eating the
ass and you know.
- That's entire scene.
- That entire scene should.
- And it has no
relevance to the thing going on.
Because it's not
leading into it.
- The ass thing, in
the tights, isn't this?
His whole sort of
that's his whole focus,
that's what he talks
about all the time.
What happens if you
take out the scene?
- Close-ups have to be where...
It is, I think--
- Now, so it is like this.
We are allowing
it in other places.
Except that parking lot scene.
We are basically saying,
that you can keep that
focus on the ass part is okay,
but the crotch part,
that will have to let go.
- Yeah.
- How are you?
- I'm fine.
- We're allowing all
users with word fucking,
but motherfucker
will not be allowed.
Okay, you'll have
to take care of it.
- Okay.
- Next word is cunt.
Another word dick.
Dick after a long deliberation
we thought dick
will be allowed okay?
Then comes yeah, where this
guy Baker barges into a room
where these the two black guys
are having sex and all that.
So that scene will
have to be deleted.
This is what we had to say.
You tell me if you
have anything else.
- That's lot of
- Yeah a lot of deletion,
but this is what you know
as per the guidelines
we follow you know that.
Okay, thank you.
- It's a very complex country,
it's a heterogeneous country,
the cultures are different,
the norms are different
from place to place.
So if the film, this film
was played in some other,
say, small town or
some other place,
it can create an
uncomfortable situation
for a family viewing.
You know some people
may not really like it.
We are not used to public
display of affection at all.
You would not see couples
kissing each
other in the streets.
- Really?
- Never.
- Afternoon, glass or bottle?
- Just pour it into glasses.
I will just put this away.
- She supports you.
She doesn't say
that you're too strict.
The films that should
be have gone through.
- No,
in fact, she's a more
conservative than me.
- Really?
- Yeah, actually, yes.
- Can start with this?
It's getting cold.
- Oh,
thank you so much.
He was saying
that you are actually
more conservative than him.
So you asked if he was
to give a permit for a film
that you found was
too liberally permitted,
that you would complain to him?
- Yes, I would.
- Yeah.
- Certainly.
- What kind of things
is it that you don't like?
- Anything that I feel,
which is not supposed
to be seen with a family
in any respect,
whether it be violence,
vulgarity anything by girl.
- So what I'm saying
if the context of the film
really needed that
particular scene,
it was required from the
context and the flow the story
then to cut it
would be not right,
criminal, in fact.
But if it is not required
then who's affected?
You're trying to just
gain more audience
by inserting a scene which
would be controversial.
- Something
happens with my sympathies,
when I'm invited home for tea.
Like forgetting about the
criticism of the film board.
That it is this extended claw
of the right-wing Hindu
nationalist government
censoring anything too liberal,
too Muslim, too Un-Hindu.
The phones are running hot here.
But mostly it seems, by
folks wanting more censorship.
That this or that film is
offending their Hindu god.
- Faster.
- Hi?
- How are you?
- Good morning.
- Good morning.
- Good morning?
- Good morning.
Which film is it?
- "Lipstick
Under My Burkha."
- "Under my Burkha"?
- Yeah.
She could just put
it on her burkha,
and it would not be a problem.
If you betray me, I'll put
this video on Facebook.
Mark this entire sequence.
- How do you
think this this will go?
- Oh, not well at all.
I feel that films that
are quite misogynistic
in which we objectify women
where the camera just keeps
me opened on the woman's body,
and she keeps dancing
the singular item song,
the name itself
is pretty offensive.
So nothing happens,
to that content.
That's freely
played on television,
and little girls are watching
it and dancing on it,
internalising the whole
objectification of women.
But the moment you present
an alternative point of view,
an alternative point of view
which is a more
feministic point of view,
it's very problematic.
What is it?
The whole theme is...
Say it in Hindi.
First of all, the whole
theme is very adult.
- All the love-making scenes
and the visuals are this way.
Bad languages, but
no smoking scenes.
That's why there's
no disclaimer.
What's the picture?
Judging from the whole concept,
it looks like the movie
should be refused.
- Raju bhai,
what about you?
- Refuse.
- Same.
- I agree.
- Refuse.
- Okay, and what about you?
The same, sir.
- What do you think?
- Refuse, refuse.
- What do you say?
I think we should refuse.
We'd have to cut so much that
the whole theme would change.
- Then let's drop it.
What about you?
- The same sir. Refuse.
The burkha is a reality
in today's society.
Regardless of community,
anyone can go into a mall,
change and come out again.
That is a fact.
The problem is the
way the film is told.
- Yeah, exactly.
- Okay, guys. Fetch her.
- This is Mr. Nihalani.
- Yes.
You are the director?
We unanimously refuse the film.
- You can
go to the tribunal.
Whatever suits you.
- Sure. Great, thanks.
- Excuse me miss.
Do you have any
comments at all?
- No, there's no space for
any deliberation or anything
since they were a
unanimous decision
and it's not unlike,
so I suggested that
it's better we go
straight to the tribunal.
Yeah, all right thanks.
- I can understand
that the film might
provoke Indians.
It wasn't encouraging
violence or smoking,
but the sex, the obscenity,
I felt the census
could have a point.
You seem to be a very
highly moralled man?
- I believe when you
are, you have a family,
you have to be a
completely part of your family,
and your society
also is your family.
You are to committed
with that society also,
what is your responsibility?
Don't you think so?
- I think so as well.
But at the same time I'm,
I'm very much for the
freedom of expression
and for possibilities to
discuss any issue in the film.
- Freedom of expression
is definitely required,
but you have to keep
everything in your mind,
what totality you are creating,
and what you are creating
the impact of the movie.
If you want to touch
the real incidents
that movie is very limited,
is not a commercial
cinema, it's not a cinema.
Then you have to go
on a different platform
to show your
freedom of expression,
which is required, different
kind of rating system.
And if you see
vulgarity, obscenity,
or creating a
problem for the society
is that freedom of expression?
And then I don't
think it is being
perfect for the Indian audience.
- So it was refused by
the examining committee
and revising committee?
- Unanimously refused.
- And in fact, even though
there were five lady members,
so that makes it even more...
- If you had to guess,
how many signatures
have you done?
- Last year 10,000, 12,500.
- You're after the ratings.
I get that.
- Mr Nihalani, the
question is very simple...
If all you care
about is ratings,
then just keep showing whatever
is available on social media,
and then wives can
divorce their husbands.
Mr Nihlani, the
question is very simple...
- "Lipstick Under My
Burkha" is a clear example
of curtailing the freedom
of speech and expression.
A member of Congress
Party is a quoted to saying,
"And I thought the government
"was moving away from
censorship to certification."
- Listen please, please listen.
The freedom of speech
is one of the holiest
thing of the constitution.
We always uphold it.
Please understand that
we have to follow the Act
and the rules and the guidelines
which are there before us.
CBFC has follow
the law completely.
- Do you think you
would have been the villain
or the hero in the
Bollywood film?
- You decide.
- I guess I
got a bit carried away,
the censors being
so friendly and all.
So I might have ended up showing
a slightly unfair
selection of clips
from "Lipstick Under My Burkha."
I was just so happy
to find censorship
that seemed to make sense.
But it doesn't, does it?
They silence liberal voices,
but don't do much with
a raving nationalism.
And their work sure don't seem
to heal the polarisation
in the country.
So either the censor's
objective is off,
or they don't
take it far enough.
I have this feeling,
I should try to
behave myself in Iran.
With a gentleness and
warmth people show me,
I don't want to come
across as uncultivated.
- Professor
Mohammad Mehdi Zahedi.
- Mehdi Zahedi.
- Is the head of the Higher
Education Committee
of the Parliament now. - Mmm.
- He's the ex-minister
of higher education.
- Yeah.
- And he's a member of the
High Council of the Culture--
- These consist three different
committees, five committees.
- I see.
- I'm the head of all this.
- So much responsibility.
The viewers in the West,
they are probably wondering
what direction Iran
will take in this culture.
If it will go for both
what we in the West
will call for a more open,
or if it will continue
on the line of having
a regulation based
on the Islamic contract?
This question of
yours really upset me.
Translate that first!
- He say, "I got upset
from this question."
- I see, I'm sorry.
It is because you do
not understand Islam,
and think Islam is
against civil liberties.
We believe that the
religion brought about
by our prophet 14000 years ago,
is a comprehensive
and complete religion.
Our Quran, which is the miracle
of the religion of Islam,
applies to all centuries.
And its grace is directed
at all of humanity.
Is that what you mean by
freedom, sexual corruption?
Then we openly say
that we are against it.
- If you mean from
freedom that you know,
is sexual free relation,
we say from no
yes, we are against.
- Mmm.
So that means--
We believe in human
ethics and dignity.
- We believe in the morality
and the behaviour
of human beings.
- Yeah.
And this should also
be reflected in the books
that are being published.
- You should be careful
about your question!
- Yeah, I will.
And it's no, it's not meant
to offend in any way.
- No problem.
- Yeah, yeah.
- Okay, thank you sir.
- Thank you so much.
Thank you.
I came to think of
Professor Darnton,
something he tried to get
into my head at Harvard.
- I would recommend,
as you go around
interviewing people responsible
for filtering communication,
that you try to,
not exactly identify with them,
but to listen to them,
to understand them.
And by doing this, I
think it might be possible--
- It's true that
I'm not so intelligent on Iran.
I talked to the Office
for Foreign Press.
They seem to be
the ones deciding
what we can film or not anyway.
They offered me to go to
the Holy Defence Museum.
It's annoying,
I couldn't get any
substantial answers
from the political hardliners.
Their idea for why
there hasn't been
another bloody
revolution in Iran.
A country so split politically,
gloomy priests-rule and all.
Something big should
have happened by now.
I've been giving
it some thought.
What if the Iranian state
have found a cunning solution?
What if you can
fight polarisation,
without the direct
censorship mess?
What if you could
just get to people
to censor themselves instead?
It's better not to show it.
It's better that
we don't show it.
- I don't know what kind
of colleagues we are?
We are not,
we don't have same kind
of point of view, I think.
- You have a
different point of view?
- Yeah , - You have a different
voice in your head?.
- Yeah, of course.
- Your voice is a
bit stricter than his.
- Yeah it is.
- You know that's, I do not.
I think, this is our country.
- Ah.
- So all of us,
have a duty to try to reach
to get to a better situation
for whole people,
for whole country.
- And me either,
it doesn't differ
from what I think.
- No, no--
- Could you explain to me
what is it that
you are afraid of?
If you step over the line?
What could happen to you?
- Because actually, you know,
the people are looking
some guarantee,
to continue to
be able their jobs.
And they think,
if they criticise the
government, so they will lose.
You know, that opportunity.
- Mm-hm.
- I don't believe that.
- I think when there
are some rules,
then it should be clarified.
What kind of words should
be omitted from our writings?
And we should know,
what can hurt people here?
Because they believe,
and I believe too.
Something can be,
it can be meaningful in other
countries in other cultures,
but here it can hurt.
Show me in
the book, what was that?
- Actually the, I can't
find you know the name,
but I think we deleted it.
- Yeah, we deleted.
- The name of the city.
- Why was that?
- It is the Vatican
kind of city of Iran.
- Qom.
- Holy city?
- Holy city.
- Yes.
- So this
was a fiction book
about a girl living her life--
- No.
- Experienced some problems?
- She was from
there and she married,
then she was divorced,
and she was trying to
have another relation
and she was from Qom.
- And why
was it problematic
that she was from Qom?
- She was diverse,
I think maybe.
- So a
person from Qom--
- And she was
travelling around alone.
That's not good maybe.
- Because that's all the
high clergies are in Qom.
So there are several
religious school,
so many students.
And so because of those issues,
they preferred
to delete this one.
- So if you have to go to--
- Hanging out
with Iranian
intellectuals is something.
They've got a hell of a history
of sophisticated writing.
My poetry is my poetry.
My personal poetry.
They took me to the launch
of an avant-garde
poetry magazine,
and they seemed stimulated.
It caves my head in to think
that these guys have
to go about guessing
what they should
remove from the books,
just because the religious
leaders won't tell them
what exactly isn't allowed.
- Okay, how much do you need?
What are you going to buy?
- A box of confectionery
confectionery for him.
- Confectionery
for the Ayatollah.
- Okay.
- That's alright.
Is that usual
to give the Ayatollah
- No, but it's good.
- It's a good thing.
- Let's go.
To the left, this
alley...To the right.
14th Alley was here
before. Now it's a bit father.
14th Alley, you said?
- I mean, are
we running a bit late?
- No no.
It's just
him driving like a maniac.
- This is it.
- This is it?
- Yeah.
- I think it's better that,
unlike the previous time,
that I translate your
questions in Farsi,
but let him talk. - Yeah.
- I kind of held back
this little bit of information,
the punishments.
I had hoped that the state
could just get the people
to want to censor themselves,
because it's the
right thing to do.
But I have to admit
that the fear of beating
seems very effective too.
- He's coming.
- He's coming?
Anyway, there I was just
focusing on not misconducting.
I don't think you should
disrespect an Ayatollah.
Be welcomed.
Grand Ayatollah, I'm Havard.
- I am the interpreter.
- I am Moslehi.
- If you can put it
hidden underneath somewhere
around the chest. - Hidden?
- Yes, hidden please.
I am very sorry that I touch
your clothes. I apologize.
- I'm sorry
about the inconvenience.
- No problem.
- Very good, thank you.
- So we are in the
presence of Grand Ayatollah,
Ozma Mohammad Ali Gerami.
One of the prominent scholars
of Islamic seminary of Qom.
Who is one of the very prominent
and outstanding students
of late Imam Khomeini.
- Thank you
so much for meeting us.
I'm glad to meet
you face to face.
I am happy to
have this interview.
You may ask any question.
- Books should be prohibited
that are promoting and
publicising moral corruption.
And for me it's a bit
difficult to understand,
what does the moral
corruption consist of?
Where does the boundaries
for moral corruption go?
and what could be
examples of moral corruption?
Anything that distances a
person from a healthy life.
We think it is the
same in the West.
A healthy life is a life
that does not threaten the
fundamentals of family life.
- What could
be concrete examples
perhaps from the West,
that the Grand Ayatollah
sees as corrupting
and destroying family values?
Homesexuality and being
unfaithful to your spouse.
Someone stand by the door,
the men are coming
for the meeting...
- So, homosexuality
should be forbidden
because a man and another
man cannot have children?
Yes, they can't have children,
and also because
soothing human feelings
cannot be shared
between two men.
We know that.
Anyway, being able to
have kids is important.
Therefore, in
religious scripture
we have this statement
that the best woman
is the one who can
have more babies.
Anyway, if we want to develop,
the primary issue is population.
If a society is very
it cannot use the
resources very well.
Therefore, currently,
the power of a country is
measured by its population.
- Wouldn't it be
good if the writers
who have deep knowledge
and have researched the topics,
for example, about
that they write about this
in a qualitative manner
instead of the public
perhaps going to the internet
where you can find
everything anyway
that the state
has no control of?
If it does not lead to
propagating misdeed, it is okay.
But writing about it is
propagating misdeed.
If you distribute
sexually arousing photos,
it will not help to later
say we are against it.
It will already have
had adverse effects.
- Should there be a
concise list of words
and topics that
should be forbidden?
Intellectuals inherently
know what is on that list.
- I see.
Have they arrived?
One person has arrived.
- I see.
Our time is up. People
are waiting for me.
- I see.
- I see, I see.
- I think we could
learn loads from the Iranians,
how to be mild and
respectful to people.
Perhaps I should remove
my swearing from the film.
But I had hoped that could pick
up on something else though,
how a state could just nudge
people in a decent direction.
My problem is that
the Iranian state
has a fucking severe
way of nudging.
Hell, I'm making a
film about censorship.
I haven't even dared to use
the word censorship in Iran.
So I'll go to state, that
don't leave it to the people
to figure out what
should be omitted.
I've got him here.
- Let's go.
Let's go.
- We can drive.
This is the director.
His name is Havard.
First, don't mention any names.
Only talk about the media.
Just drop the names.
Maybe just the family name.
And you will be blurred out.
- Okay, I see.
- If you make a story
on a sensitive topic,
what will happen when
you deliver it to your editors?
It's the same for
all the main media.
First you need a permission.
Then it will go through
several layers of censorship.
There are too many
sensitive topics.
Traditionally there are
3 main forbidden topics:
Ethnic issues,
religion, and military.
The topic we are talking
about here is very important,
but things like this
are very secret.
It's only the editors who
really know about these things.
Not people like us.
Oh, hello.
- Hello, I'm Havard.
- Oh!
- Hey, yes.
- Nice to meet you.
- I don't want to send
these guys to labour camps,
so I have to
hide their identity.
But with one of the highest
ranking political
editors in China,
it's a bit different.
He said that
trying to really hide
his identity was meaningless.
The secret police probably
already knew we
were at his place.
But I should
blur his face a bit,
so that what he's about to say,
won't seem like an
open provocation
to the Communist Party.
Have you censored
yourself in your work?
Self-censorship, yes,
for sure. I do it every day.
First of all, the top informs us
about all the
forbidden subjects,
and we will not
write about those.
Secondly, if a
reporter suggests to me
that we go somewhere to make
a story that I think is risky
and touches on
a sensitive topic,
I will not let him do the story.
No matter what news media outlet
we are talking about,
there will always be a small
office inside the building,
monitoring the content.
These people are connected,
and report directly to,
the Publicity Department of
the Communist Party of China.
Let me show you the
four main websites.
We'll open Sohu first.
President Xi Jiping,
Xi Jinping, Xi Jinping.
Then we open
Tencent, and you see
Xi Jinping, Xi
Jinping, Xi Jinping.
Let's try NetEase.
Xi Jinping, Xi
Jinping, Xi Jinping.
And then Sina: Xi Jinping,
Xi Jinping, Xi Jinping.
So the top news on the front
pages of the main websites
are all dictated by
the Central Committee.
- Can you show us
if you for example
now try to search
for New York Times?
Now it will search.
- Okay.
- What does it say?
"Not able to open the website."
Now, let's try with a VPN.
But this software
is very unstable.
For instance, I can only
use it for 4 to 5 minutes.
This is a clip about
the Tiananmen incident.
In 1989, on the
night of June 3rd,
People's Liberation Army
tanks drove into Beijing,
ending the peaceful protest
that had gone on for 50 days.
This moment, on the
morning of June 5th,
will be an everlasting
historical symbol.
There have been many other
revolts against the government.
But people won't know. It's
like they never happened.
- Perhaps I've added
to the German part unfairly.
What if there's a bigger
point with the German law?
To put some pressure on
Facebook, Twitter, Google.
Make them take
some responsibility,
for the disgusting shit that
is spread on their platforms.
Here hardly a word of hate,
no fake news slips
through the net,
the firewall and the
shitloads of censors
their tech giants
are forced to employ.
Unless of course,
the state itself wants to
spread some fake news.
The Chinese Communist
Party and the government
became very focused
on brain-washing,
or "educating", the
new generations.
All students receive
the full package
of the "Red Education".
And combined with the Chinese
economy developing rapidly
and becoming
very powerful,
patriotism grew
strong in their hearts.
- It seems strange
that you can live with a state
deciding what your
opinions should be
without freaking the hell out.
Anyway, apparently,
no one had managed to get
the 50 cent army on camera,
the so called
internet commentators
hired by the Chinese government.
And said to be paid 50 cents,
for every nice little post,
helping President
Xi seemed like Jesus.
We rigged the hidden camera,
made up a completely fake story,
and had the translator
interview them,
so they wouldn't be scared off
by meeting a Westerner like me.
Sorry to keep you waiting.
We had to finish a
study assignment.
Yesterday you mentioned
"Internal reference reports" -
what are they?
They provide
information to the leaders,
like on the Daxin fire incident,
sensitive topics like that.
We have to send the leaders
a comprehensive summary of
public opinions on the issues.
Crises like the
Daxin fire disaster,
that affect the public opinion.
Or when the state ordered the
skyline billboards demolished.
Or the RYB kindergarden
sexual crimes.
Big stories that threaten the
stablity of the whole society.
With these kinds of incidents,
the government has to step in.
How do you analyse the data?
From the trending searches?
Not really. We look
at a lot of different info.
What overseas media writes.
Overseas media opinions
and domestic media opinions.
And information
about Internet users.
Internet users'
comments and opinions?
Did you have any
specific training
before you started this work?
Not really.
Master students don't
need any specific training,
just guidance.
- So just brief training?
- Yes.
Just a little guidance
from Wangxinban
Administration of China).
You can do Internet
comments and analysis
because it's part
of what you study?
Since your master is news and
media, you have the knowledge?
Are there any other
master programs
that contribute to this work?
As Internet commenters?
For instance, science and
technology, or psychology?
I think as long as the
topic is related to your field,
you can comment and
give your professional view.
Do you get paid for doing this?
Is the compensation
similar to a formal job?
It is similar to working for
the newspaper publishers.
It is paid per article.
After your reseach and analysis,
do you need to make a report?
And hand it to the government?
- Yes.
Is it one person or a team
working on these reports?
The Internal Reference
Report is like a journal.
It will summarize the public
opinions, and also provide some
correct advice and opinions
from experts and media.
- So it is not just the data.
- Not only the data, no.
You must explain the
whole context to the leader.
Who is the leader?
University leader?
- Beijing city leaders.
- Oh, city leaders.
Do you need to be at
the Renmin university?
No, analysis is something
you can do on your own.
But we go to topic
selection meetings.
You can't focus on everything.
Like the meeting you
went to yesterday?
No, that was about
suggesting new members
for the Communist Party.
Suggesting members? I am not
a member. What is this meeting?
After the first
selection of candidates,
we have this meeting,
so the public can judge if
they're good enough
to become members.
To judge how good a person is.
See if they qualify for
being a member of the party.
Is this like the final
selection round?
Yes, more or less.
- Are you party members?
- No, not yet.
We are applicants
for Party membership.
Over the last years,
the requirements
have become very strict.
So it is getting more strict?
They are very strict on what
your thoughts and views can be.
- This has led to
the people in itself
just accepting the positive idea
of the Chinese state as a fact.
And there's less and less
need of the government itself
to produce this
type of propaganda,
the people will just
reproduce it themselves.
I have to answer yes.
- I desperately
wanted to have a chat
with the spokesman of state.
And then I got an odd
opportunity to do just that.
For some reason,
one of the biggest
state newspapers
had invited me to a meeting.
I think the idea
was to convince me,
to make dreadfully
happy stories from China.
But I wanted to get their
official opinions
on touchy stuff.
I couldn't get hold of
a small spy camera,
so I tried a more
simple solution.
- We can speak English.
- Okay.
- If you have
any questions about.
- Interesting.
- The Guangming
Newspaper Corporation.
- Oh yeah.
Thank you.
This paper is wholly
owned by the Chinese state?
- Yes.
- Okay.
So which department is under?
- Publicity.
- The ministry
that you report to?
- Publicity, yes.
- The Ministry of Publicity?
- Yes.
- Okay.
So how does that work?
Is it that you have
some guidelines from us?
Because we don't have
state papers anymore.
Do you have guidelines
from the ministry?
- No.
- No, okay.
- It's just some
technical guidelines.
- Okay.
- We don't receive direct orders
or something like
this from them.
- So how do you
deal with like Western media,
who would like to report
on more sensitive issues
or issues that are critical
to the Chinese state?
- The sensitivity is
fine, but not biassed.
- Not biassed?
- Yes.
- What does that mean?
- I have talked to
some journalist,
from the Guardians, Reuters.
Because they don't know about,
the people living Tibet,
how their life was before,
because they're
basically slaves.
And Dalai Lama is a slave owner.
They don't know this.
- So for you,
the Tiananmen Square
student rebellion,
in the West it's looked
upon as a massacre
done by the
Chinese state mostly.
That is the general
idea but how,
what would be the
Chinese point of view?
Would it even be possible
to do something on that?
- I believe you have watched
the video about the tank man.
Have you watched that video?
- What video?
Tank man?
The one standing
in front of the tank?
- Yes.
- I've seen that.
- Yes.
So what do you
think about that guy?
What happened next?
Has he died or not?
- I don't know.
- That's the trick.
- Ah.
- Because if you
watch the whole video,
you will see the tank turn
over those gap other way.
The guy's totally fine.
Someone bring him
to the side of the street.
- Mmm.
- But in the West, the story
is the tank crushed the man.
That's how, they have done.
- Altered the facts.
- Yes.
They never show
you, the show the story,
but never tell you
the whole story.
- Okay.
So from your
journalistic point of view,
there's no evidence
of students being killed
or massacred or
these type of things?
- I'm only like four years ago?
- Three or four.
- Three years ago, maybe.
But my uncle, he was
a student in college,
and himself was one of them,
at Tiananmen Square.
- He was
protesting on them?
- Yes.
And he told me that we
are also soldiers, killed then.
We're always asked
the same questions.
In 2008 we also had
that same question.
So there are few who die, yes,
but if you can just say
that's a massacre, no.
- No, it's not a
balanced way of seeing it?
- Yes.
- Can't help being
fucking impressed by this state.
The Chinese have
censorship figured out.
One thing for a state to
see and censor everything,
but simply rewrite history,
if it doesn't fit
with the Party line.
That's some advanced shit.
But in return, on
the surface at least,
folks have got economic growth,
Gucci bags and stability,
who's to blame them
for taking the deal?
But then, what happens
if the economy goes bad?
Will there still be bliss
when the government
start doubling down
on those who complain?
And where does the control stop?
One of the things
that makes me feel strangely
proud of the Americans
is the Bill of Rights.
Congress shall not abridge
the freedom of
speech or of the press,
just has this solid sound to it.
This is the final station,
the country with the world's
strongest constitutional
protection against
government censorship.
I tried for a year
to get meetings
to talk to the
members of Congress
bound by that constitution.
I got zero.
That's why I decided to jump
them in the hallways instead.
Sorry to bust in,
my name is Havard Fossum.
We're making a documentary
on the issues of
controlling information
in the day and age.
Is the Congressman in today?
- He's here, but he just left.
- He just left, for lunch?
You can
shoot him an email.
- Okay, and then hope that
he would have the time today,
you reckon?
I'm not sure, but Kevin would
be the best person to ask.
- So-so.
- Send him an email.
- Yeah, yeah.
Okay, good.
All that constitutional freedom
and protection of speech.
Yet a new U.S.
record for censoring
and withholding government
files has been set.
It doesn't seem to add up.
That's why I wanted
to meet them.
The people in power.
Who, according to critics,
have tried to silence
climate scientists
and imprison whistle-blowers.
I wanted to hear
their arguments.
What's at stake, if the
state doesn't censor?
I just tried to explain to them,
we're making a
documentary around the world
on the consequences
of over-regulation,
basically, of the state.
Is he in today, or?
- Send me an email
and we'll go from there.
- Okay, thanks a lot.
- Yeah.
- Will do.
Hello, no one
is available to take your call.
Please leave a
message after the.
- You have reached 7-0-3-3-5-7.
Gentlemen, you
can't video-tape right here.
This area, this whole
area right here--
- Sorry, sorry.
Your call
has been forwarded
to an automated voice
messaging system.
- We got no from ODNI as well...
Mr. King.
Hello, I've been waiting
for you for quite some time,
I've been in contact
with your office.
- Right.
- My name is Havard Fossum.
I'm making a documentary
on national security
and the challenges of state.
- I have to run off
that way, will you?
- Yeah.
Are you going to the House
hearing later on cybersecurity?
- No, I won't be,
I'll be over 1100.
- Okay.
Have you got like three
minutes for some comments?
- Not now, I'm booked right now.
- Right, right.
- Come back later.
- Could we wait
for you around here or?
- I will be there a few hours.
- A few hours, really?
I had countless mind-numbing
talks with PR chiefs.
I even tried making pals with
powerful Washington lobbyists,
but I simply couldn't get
any of those state
representatives to meet me.
I thought that going to the U.S.
was such a clever way to end,
an excellent little climax
to this whole
censorship field trip.
Here, I'm thinking
I've fucked up,
to be able to meet the
censors everywhere,
only to end in the one
country where I can't.
- This is the main
entrance of the CIA,
you can't really see anything.
This is the side entrance
to the CIA right here.
- Mmm.
- But it is also off limits.
And you can't see the building.
But there's a legal
definition of whistleblowing,
that is bringing to light
any evidence of waste,
fraud, abuse,
illegality or threats
to the public health
or public safety.
Uh-oh, here come the police.
They're right behind you.
- Yeah, okay.
- So anyway, the
Freedom of Information Act.
They know that you're
gonna give up after a while.
- What's going on?
- We're just filming
a documentary.
- What's that?
- We're just
doing a documentary film,
around the world, basically,
showing how state
regulate the expression
and things like that.
Okay, you guys do
you have ID by any chance?
- Yeah.
- So.
- There you go, officer.
- Thank you.
- They're just
looking right now.
If he goes back to
the car, they're serious.
- Okay.
- Yep, he's getting in the car.
- Okay.
- Yeah, they're calling it in.
- So they're
calling it into the CIA?
- Yeah, to the CIA,
they're CIA Police.
- They're CIA Police?
- Uh-huh.
- Okay, they
came out of the gate?
- Yes.
Here he comes.
- Okay guys, here you go.
- Thank you.
- So yeah we're
just stopping by,
'cause you know
it's dangerous to stop
on the side of
the road like this.
- Okay.
- People were worried
about you guys.
And just so you know,
if you stop by some other
government buildings like this,
you may get cited
for trespassing.
You're not technically
trespassing here
but it could be an issue here.
- Yeah, we tried to stay
as far away as we could.
- Yeah.
- Okay, well thank you guys.
- Thank you, have a good day.
- Yeah, bye.
- Charged with trespassing.
- Okay, what does that mean?
- Illegal entry on
government property.
- Yeah but was that a warning?
- We're not on
government property,
yeah, that was a warning.
Stay away, don't do this again.
- Obviously we sent the official
request to the to the CIA,
but it was just
turned down flat.
- Things have really changed.
- Why did it change?
- Barack Obama changed it.
It was Obama who decided
to use the Espionage Act
to plug leaks,
leaks to the media.
Only three times
in American history
before Obama became president
was the Espionage Act
used to prosecute Americans
who had spoken to the press.
Under Obama, eight people
were charged with espionage.
I was one of those eight.
- What was your job at the CIA?
- I was a counter-terrorism
operations officer at the CIA
and after the
September 11th attacks,
I was the Chief of CIA
Counter-Terrorism Operations
in Pakistan.
And one of my
supervisors asked me
if I wanted to be trained
in the torture techniques.
- Was that
what they actually said?
- No.
He said enhanced
interrogation techniques.
And I said I had never
heard that term before.
So I said, "What's that?"
And he said, "We're gonna start
"to get rough with these guys."
He was very excited like that.
We killed people
with that technique.
And nobody was authorised
to murder people
during interrogations.
So I said,
"No, no, this, this sounds
like a torture programme."
I said, "I have a moral,
ethical problem with this,
"I'm not interested."
Espionage, it's
the gravest crime
with which an American
can be charged.
And it's frequently a
death penalty charge,
death penalty for
talking to the press.
This is the final
entrance to the CIA.
It's this exit right here.
So the CIA is right
here through these trees.
- Yeah.
- But you can't see it.
That's probably the best view.
You can see it in the winter
just barely through the trees
when the leaves are down
but any other time of
the year it's impossible.
Repent, for the kingdom
of heaven is at hand.
- Stop the
violence, stop the hate.
Repent for the kingdom
of heaven is at hand.
Stop the violence,
stop the hate.
- Looks like he's thinking.
- I think he did
a lot of thinking.
I think so too.
- In all the different countries
I've been to, to Iran,
to China, to Germany,
we spent quite some time
with the Department of Justice.
They've all let us in.
They've all been
eager to explain
what they're
doing, what they're,
to give us their arguments.
And as such have a
sense of transparency
about what's going on,
how are decisions made,
how are policy formed,
and how this is
put out into action?
But in the U.S., you know,
we requested interviews,
we've been trying for
a long time, months,
just to get someone
inside the EPA to talk to us.
And they won't.
I guess we...yeah.
- So if they see you and the
cameras, they will stay away.
- Okay, yeah.
- Or they may wave
from a distance.
- Yeah.
- Or if they don't I'll might...
- Yeah.
- Particularly with the cameras
that would be
difficult for them.
- Sure.
It's quite, yeah, chilling
in lack of another word,
to hear that people
are so scared to talk.
Scientists, people.
Is that the president? - Yes.
Morning, gentlemen?
All right?
- All right.
Put your camera down, sir,
- You've got to put
the camera down.
- Okay.
- All the way down.
- Okay.
- Good, put your car in park.
- It is.
Go to
the back window
and open up the trunk for me.
- Thank you, sir.
You have a good day.
- I read this Guardian
report a couple of years back,
it showed the
emails that one of the,
I guess the transition
heads of the EPA
was sending to everyone
basically saying that
climate change is a word
that we don't use anymore?
- It's been taken
off our website.
- It should be replaced
with, what, extreme weather?
- Yeah, I mean, I think it's
part of the bigger narrative.
I mean, for me, it was,
you're now telling sciences,
we don't wanna
hear what you say.
- In case we have forgotten
because we keep hearing
that 2014 has been the
warmest year on record,
I asked the chair
you know what this is?
It's a snowball.
And that just from outside here,
so it's very, very cold out.
Very unseasonal.
- I knew there was a
good story to be told here
in the Land of the Free.
The chilling effect
on free speech
and political control over
what state employees can say.
But you see,
their administration
has developed this
intelligent way to keep folks
from peeking into
their little businesses.
They exhaust journalists
and Norwegian
documentary filmmakers,
refusing them access,
handing out tweets
and other fun distractions,
until the real
information is old news.
I could either turn apathetic
or try to get hold
of a whistleblower.
Good morning?
We were a bit early.
- Okay.
- How are you?
- Good, how are you?
- Hey, I'm Havard.
Nice to meet you.
How many years
did you work here?
- Seven years, I was here.
- Seven years?
- Yeah, yeah.
So, you know and it was,
it was a great seven years.
It exceeded all my expectations.
I loved working
in federal service.
- Yeah.
- Because just the opportunity
to impact policy directly,
it was really great. - Yeah.
- So we've got to go
in this one over here.
Is the craft-store open today?
- The craft-store is open.
Sir, can you not
record me, please?
Thank you. - Right.
We just wanted to
have some internal shots
of the building.
- You need
to have permission.
It's not allowed to be filming
in the building right now.
- Okay, it's not allowed?
- Yes, that's how it is.
- Thank you, good day
- What happened to you?
- Well, so, you know,
one night in June,
so six months into
the new administration.
- Yeah.
- I get an email,
a friend actually called
and said you might
wanna check your email
'cause a few people've
have been reassigned.
I got an email saying,
you have been reassigned,
you're now gonna work
in the office that collects
royalty checks from the oil
and gas and mining companies.
And I felt like I couldn't
speak out anymore
about climate change.
I wouldn't be able to, you know,
attend events and
engage in my field.
So I'd already lost the
job that I came to do.
So in order to keep my
voice I quit a few months later.
- Yeah, would you call
what you experienced
and what your colleagues
have experienced
what's going on inside
the Department of Interior,
would you call that censorship?
- Well, I do.
I have a very loose definition
of censorship these days
because a lot of
what's happening
is just creating the
atmosphere of censor,
the climate of censorship.
- Right.
- So that no one feels like
they can need they
can either express
nor work on things that
may attract attention,
undue and unwanted
attention to their work.
So the self-censorship
and this climate of
censorship in the building
and in the offices, is rife.
- What's at stake then
for the American people
when we start making
policies on beliefs?
- Yeah, you know, I
mean, that's, at this point,
it's health and safety,
it's the protection of
our natural resources
that are such a big part
of the American character.
- Yeah.
- You know, the public
lands, species, wildlife,
all the things that we have
laws in place to protect.
If the implementation
of those laws
starts to get politicised
in these ways,
we're not doing, we're
not following through.
Those laws are promised
to the American people.
We'll protect you from this,
we will provide as needed
to protect these lands
that we all share
and care about,
and those promises
are being broken now.
That's just a nice picture
You know, this
country has allowed,
rather than
publicly-funded elections.
They're almost
entirely privately-funded
and you have these Super-PAC's
we call them Political
Action Committees.
You don't even have to disclose
who's putting money
in these things.
And, so you've got a you know,
a company can't
resist the opportunity
to pour money into the
re-election of a candidate
who has been absolutely
doing as they asked.
So you could run,
once you're in Congress
and if you want to say
whatever they want you to say.
They will make sure
you get re-elected.
I mean, it's come to that
at this point in this country.
So, it is very much a
money-driven endeavour.
Call it what you will, right,
censorship or suppression,
but keeping
information from people
whose lives are threatened,
is, I believe, criminal
and we need to act on that.
establishment protected itself.
- So, can state
censorship be good?
I haven't seen anything else
that looks authoritative enough
to solve hate speech
and fake news.
The question is,
what happens after they
start calling the shots?
I don't want to ask the state
to make the shit disappear
if that's the slippery slope,
ending with a bloody
Thought Police.
So is it up to me and you, then,
to do the shit-shoveling
Fight hatred every single day
on the internet in the alleys,
wherever the madness goes.
And with what exactly?
Fine arguments?
Feels bloody
overwhelming, doesn't it?
Does it even make sense
to cling on to the liberal
democratic play rules?
Those the Nazis
and other fanatics
not only gave a
flying fuck about,
but actually want to destroy.
So, what then?
Perhaps a first
step is to accept
that dealing with
freedom of speech
is a constantly
evolving process,
just like democracy.
Maybe there is no quick fix.
Throw out the scum!
Throw out the scum!