Controversial and well-known blogger Cameron Slater has lent his support to the New Zealand First Foundation accused fighting to keep their identity secret.
Slater’s support came during a courtroom battle today about whether both defendants’ interim name suppression would continue in the case over allegations of improper political donations.
While the first defendant has actively fought for continued name suppression, the second only maintains suppression because of the connection to their co-accused.
Judge Deidre Orchard heard the first accused’s lawyer allege a “lack of proper investigation” and “weak charge” by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO).
An affidavit by Slater, the former Whale Oil blogger, was also used in support of suppression being maintained through to a trial.
Slater, who was sitting in the back of the courtroom for today’s hearing, took aim at mainstream news media, journalists and social media.
He said the likes of Facebook and Twitter used algorithms designed to generate user engagement, with each click monetised by selling advertising space.
Slater also said social media companies were guilty of chasing and generating clicks by creating “hate” and targets for so called “social media journalists”.
The NZ First Foundation case and Peters, the court heard, could be such a lightning rod for social media trolls.
Does it strike anyone else that having the worst social media dirty politics troll in NZ warn the court about social media trolls is a tad audacious?
It’s like Trump lecturing on democratic process, or losing with grace or feminism.
The trial got funnier.
Stewart criticised Slater’s affidavit and said it was “an agenda presented to the court dressed up as expert opinion”.
Her asked Judge Orchard not to give Slater’s views any weight when making her decision.
Stewart also said the term “media” was being bandied about but that the accredited news organisations he represented were not the same as bloggers and internet trolls.
I thirst for Slater’s tears. They are delicious. Fill my cup!
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