Dr David Cumin
Free Speech Union

Transgender weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, 43, is set to make history as the Olympic Games’ first transgender Olympian.

But our national broadcaster, Radio New Zealand, has banned people from commenting on articles that discuss Hubbard’s participation on the broadcaster’s Facebook page. This move was also made by the New Zealand Herald, who said “Transphobia will not be tolerated on this page.”

On Twitter, RNZ was no better – hiding (or reporting) comments that were in opposition to the transgender athlete being allowed to compete against born women. 

For a state broadcaster to be censoring comments on an article they have published because they fear what people may say about it is absurd and frankly scary. 

RNZ hash-tagged their post with “#LISTEN”, but will they listen to the people of New Zealand who view Hubbard’s participation as unfair to natural-born women, but have nothing against transgender people identifying as the gender they wish?  

We’ve filed a request under the Official Information Act seeking RNZ’s policy on this matter and their reasons for banning debate. After all, RNZ’s tag line is ‘news not views’ – let’s hold them to it.

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RNZ Bans Comments on Laurel Hubbard Stories
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