View interactive

Google shuts down Cyfswatch website

By Simon Collins

Google has shut down the controversial Cyfswatch website because of threats posted on the blog site yesterday against Green MP Sue Bradford.

Google spokeswoman Victoria Grand said the US-based giant had previously censored postings that breached its terms of service but had now closed the site permanently because of "repeat violations".

She said Google investigated the site when the New Zealand Ministry of Social Development first complained about it last month, and again after the ministry lodged a new complaint about the postings threatening Ms Bradford yesterday.

Cyfswatch said yesterday that it had details of Ms Bradford's home address and would post them unless she withdrew her "anti-smacking" bill. The bill, removing a defence for parents against assault charges if they used reasonable force to "correct" their children, passed its second reading in Parliament by 70 votes to 51 last night.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Social Development said the ministry would not comment on the site's shutdown.

Cyfswatch, whose authors have always remained anonymous, issued a statement today saying Google's action was "a breathtaking display of socialist censorship".

It said a mirror site was now available.

Google's terms of service prohibit the posting of content that is "unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libellous, invasive of another's privacy, hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable".

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 22 Sep 2014 22:25:06 Processing Time: 702ms