Last Sunday I returned to my adopted home of Prague from a work trip to Kosovo. The horror of Christchurch was still fresh enough that a man who glimpsed my passport as I wrestled my backpack out of the overhead bin offered some words of sympathy.
At the border, I slid my residency card under the glass and the official glanced up to ask a question in Czech. After an awkward exchange he threw up a hand and shook his head in apparent disbelief that I didn't speak his language.
That's fair. I get it. I should speak Czech but, still anxious I'll lose the mediocre Russian I so ploddingly acquired over the past decade, I've learned barely a handful of Czech words. In every other way, my wife and I try to be the best residents here we can — we both adore the culture, study the history and pay our taxes.
But among a small section of the Czech public there is a low-level resentment towards foreigners in Prague. And I get that too: Walk through the old town on a summer night and you won't wait long to see packs of mostly British men on their stag parties, vomiting cheap Czech beer on to the cobblestones or bellowing crude comments at local girls.
Then there are the "expats" here earning salaries that eclipse what locals make and driving up house prices with their rental property portfolios. For many working-class locals the possibility of buying an apartment anywhere near the centre of their home city is now impossible.
And occasionally that frustration boils over into violence. In 2017 a Czech man physically attacked some students speaking English on a tram, reportedly shouting, "It's my city, I'm here at home and you should speak Czech".
In response to the Christchurch massacre that shocked the world, our Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared, "We cannot simply sit back and accept that these [social media] platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published".
From what I'm seeing from my Kiwi friends online, that statement has support.
Now, let's say the Czech state, in the interest of not scaring off the tourists who make up 60 per cent of Prague's income, began to urge a crackdown on anyone criticising the foreign presence in their city. Let's imagine a Czech official got the ear of a Facebook executive, or someone in Twitter's "Trust and Safety" department.
If new rules were imposed, and people who complained online about the behaviour of tourists and wealthy foreigners in their city online suddenly had their social media accounts suspended or deleted for breaching social media guidelines. Would that make my wife and I safer here?
Let's take the next logical step — what if a law was imposed in which "hateful" language against foreigners like my wife and I was made illegal and we could walk around as a legally protected class, impervious to anything but the meekest and most generalised criticism?
Frustration would be driven underground, where it would become dark and hidden anger, then become hatred, and would eventually morph into something monstrous. Far-fetched? It was just over two decades ago, in Kosovo and the surrounding states once known as Yugoslavia, that Europe watched exactly that sequence unfold.
The people calling for "hate speech" to be banned have to realise it is effectively impossible to define what that means and apply it to everyone equally. I get that people want to see some kind of change after the Christchurch massacre that stained the image of our once relatively innocent country, but can they name a place where speech is policed and where they want to live?
• Amos Chapple is a former Herald photographer.