Global Insight: Teaming up against terrorism on social media

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Jacinda Ardern's plan to work with France to "rein in'' the internet is not an attack on freedom of speech, Professor Robert Patman says.

The New Zealand Prime Minister has announced a joint initiative with French President Emmanuel Macron to tackle terrorism and violence on social media.

Some have criticised the plan as an attack on freedom of speech.

Prof Patman, however, says it is simply an attempt to extend to the internet regulations that are already in force in many liberal democracies.

"I think what Jacinda Ardern is seeking, is not to curb freedom of expression, but to actually put some limits on the Wild West bandit country, which the internet is at the moment,'' Prof Patman said.

"You are allowed to get away with things on the internet that you wouldn't be able to get away with if you publicly spoke within a society like New Zealand.''

France is hosting a mid-May gathering of the G7, a grouping of the world's most powerful countries.

The announcement is in the wake of March's attack on two mosques in Christchurch that killed 50 people and injured dozens of others. The alleged shooter used social media to disseminate his views and to live-stream the attack.

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