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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Vintage vehicles, costumed drivers cruise Fernie streets

Wheels in the Valley hosted their first ever Rally in the Valley event this past Saturday

Food conditioned black bear destroyed in Elk Valley

The bear was destroyed by the Conservation Officer Service on June 28

Elkford students plant trees as part of reclamation project

The students planted over 200 trees throughout the community

Elk Valley wildlife conservation projects receive funding

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation announced $9.2 million in funding across the province

Registration opens for Fernie Writers Conference

The conference will take place from August 17-23 and will feature several accomplished authors

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Almost 99% less land in B.C. burned this year compared to 2018

2018 was the worst year on record for wildfires

B.C. orders Coastal GasLink to stop pipeline construction near protected wetlands

The 670-kilometre pipeline is planned to transport natural gas from northeast B.C. to Kitimat

B.C. tent camps persist as hotels, housing bought for homeless

Current estimate 40 camps, homeless counts stalled by COVID-19

VIDEO: Trio of orphaned Alberta grizzly bear cubs find new home at Vancouver zoo

The Alberta cubs’ mother was killed by hunters and would have otherwise been euthanized, zoo says

Most Read