New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media at her electorate office in Aukland, Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Ardern said that she and French President Emmanuel Macron will host a meeting in Paris next month seeking to eliminate acts of violent extremism and terrorism from being shown online. (Jason Oxenham/New Zealand Herald via AP)

New Zealand and France to call for an end to online terror

The move comes after the alleged Christchurch mosque shooter streamed his killings online

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Wednesday that she and French President Emmanuel Macron will host a meeting in Paris next month seeking to eliminate acts of violent extremism and terrorism from being shown online.

Ardern said she and Macron will ask world leaders and chief executives of technology companies to agree to a pledge called the “Christchurch Call,” named after the New Zealand city where dozens of people were killed in attacks on mosques last month.

Ardern didn’t release any details of the pledge, saying they were still being developed.

She said she’d been talking with representatives from companies including Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and Google along with world leaders and felt they could reach consensus by keeping the pledge tightly focused.

“This isn’t about freedom of speech,” Ardern said. “It’s specifically focused on eradicating those extreme acts of terrorism online.”

The man accused of fatally shooting 50 people in two Christchurch mosques on March 15 livestreamed the attack on Facebook after mounting a camera on his helmet. The chilling 17-minute video was copied and viewed widely on the internet even as tech companies scrambled to remove it.

READ MORE: Father, son buried as New Zealand mosque funerals begin

READ MORE: At memorial, mosque shooting survivor says he forgives attacker

Ardern said the shooter had used social media in an unprecedented way to promote an act of terrorism and hate. She said nobody would argue that a terrorist had the right to livestream the murder of 50 people.

“No tech company, just like no government, wishes to see violent extremism and terrorism online,” Ardern said. “And so we have a starting point that is one of unity.”

In an opinion piece in the Washington Post last month, Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg called for governments and regulators to play a more active role from in policing the internet.

“As part of this, we have a responsibility to keep people safe on our services,” Zuckerberg wrote. “That means deciding what counts as terrorist propaganda, hate speech and more. We continually review our policies with experts, but at our scale we’ll always make mistakes and decisions that people disagree with.”

In his op-ed, Zuckerberg didn’t directly address problems with livestreaming, although he did say it was impossible to remove all harmful content from the internet.

Ardern said Macron had played a leadership role among the Group of Seven major economies in trying to eliminate online terrorism, and his role would complement her experience from the recent Christchurch attacks when they co-chair the May 15 meeting.

Nick Perry, The Associated Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Haida Gwaii doctor wins lifetime achievement award

Dr. Tracy Morton recognized by Rural Coordination Centre of BC

Haida hereditary leader attends first Prince Rupert totem pole raising in 30 years

Lead carver Lyle Campbell raised 40-foot memorial totem pole Aug. 11 in memory of his mother Alice

Province, feds, Wet’suwet’en announce progress in MOU talks

External community engagement process launched to help implement Wet’suwet’en rights and title

Haida GwaiIdol premiere may include special guest performance

Lineup includes musicians, dancer, comedian and more; One of the judges ‘may do a guest performance’

Rennell Sound road access to be closed over Labour Day weekend

Haida Gwaii Natural Resource District temporarily closing Rennell Road Aug. 31 to Sept. 7

578 British Columbians currently infected with COVID-19

Seventy-eight new cases confirmed in past 24 hours

Conservation seizes fawn illegally kept captive in Vancouver Island home

A Comox Valley resident charged and fined under the Wildlife Act

Pandemic could be driving more parents to get on board with flu shot: study

University of B.C. study gauges willingness for parents to vaccinate children for influenza

Watchdog clears Okanagan RCMP in death of man after arrest over alleged stolen pizzas

The man died in hospital after having difficulty breathing and broken ribs

Have you seen Berleen? B.C. pig destined for sanctuary goes missing

Berleen was less than two weeks from travelling to Manitoba when she vanished

Health Canada says several kids hospitalized after eating edible pot products

People warned not to store cannabis products where children can find them

‘It’s not just about me’: McKenna cites need to protect politicians from threats

Police investigation was launched after someone yelled obscenities at a member of McKenna’s staff

Michigan plans dedicated road lanes for autonomous vehicles

First study of its kind in the U.S. to figure out whether existing lanes or shoulders could be used

Most Read