PM joins forces with Macron to tackle terror and hate on social media

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Getty Images
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Getty Images
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron will next month co-chair a meeting in Paris aimed at addressing how social media plays a part in promoting terrorism.

The meeting on May 15 – two months after the Christchurch terror attacks which claimed the lives of 50 people – aims to see world leaders and tech company bosses agreed to the 'Christchurch call' – a pledge to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

"The March 15 terrorist attacks saw social media used in an unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate," Ardern said this morning.

"We are asking for a show of leadership to ensure social media cannot be used again the way it was in the March 15 terrorist attack."

Ardern called on leaders of tech companies to help achieve the goal of eliminating extremism online at the Christchurch Summit in Paris.

"We all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared."

Following the Christchurch shootings, Ardern has been working towards a global co-ordinated response that would make the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter more responsible for the content they host.

Ardern spoke specifically today about Facebook, saying it is critical that it is not perverted as a tool for terrorism.

Instead, she said, Facebook should become part of what she called a global solution to countering extremism.

"This meeting presents an opportunity for an act of unity between governments and the tech companies."

The accused Christchurch mosque gunman livestreamed 17 minutes of the attack on Facebook and the social media giant has been criticised for failing to prevent the footage being reshared on its site.

A senior Facebook manager later told the US Congress that it failed to detect the Christchurch mosque gunman's livestream because its contents was not "particularly gruesome".

Ardern has said this wasn't good enough, saying shortly after the Christchurch terror attack: "We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published."

New Zealanders had become united in the common purpose to make sure attacks like that never happened again.

"If we want to prevent violent extremist content online we need to take a global approach that involves other governments, tech companies and civil society leaders," she said today.

"Social media platforms can connect people in many very positive ways, and we all want this to continue."

But, Ardern said, for too long it has been possible to use social media platforms to o incite extremist violence, and even to distribute images of that violence, as happened in Christchurch.

"This is what needs to change."

Comments

I've lost track, is Jacinda New Zealand's Prime Minister (PM) or is she working for the UN with Helen? If she is still the PM it might be time to return to NZ since Grant and her have everything sorted, obviously no more hungry children, housing issues sorted, people getting a decent wage. I've worked with people like her in my career but on a smaller scale. all they look at doing is making themselves look good in the right circles and then move on to where they want to go and stuff everybody and everything else, and no that is not hate speech

Please don't forget new Zealand needs things done/ The overseas stage seems to be all we see or hear about . we need a government in new Zealand as of now... as it appears lacking

Ardern and Macron---a meeting of great minds.

It is a ridiculous situation that a career climbing politician can get elected into $450K a year job, then spend their time developing their own career on the international stage instead of actually doing the job they are collecting wages for.

It is even more ridiculous how limited the public backlash is.