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

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

West Kelowna pauses Re-leaf Program after COVID-19 confirmed at local nursery

Tree deliveries are paused until further notice after outbreak confirmed March 31

COVID-19: Non-profit 3D printing face shields for local hospital

‘The response has been completely overwhelming’

Outbreak of COVID-19 at West Kelowna agricultural business; 14 cases confirmed

75 workers are in isolation — 63 migrant workers and 12 local workers

Memorial Cup concert with Brett Kissel canceled amid COVID-19 concerns

Brett Kissel was scheduled to perform at Live on Lake in Kelowna on May 30

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

UPDATE: Coronavirus concerns prompt event cancellations across the Okanagan

This is a running list of events cancelled across the Okanagan

Community drums up support for North Okanagan hospital workers

Even health care workers and fellow first responders turned out to show love

South Okanagan first responders salute hospital workers

“You’re awesome” and “Thank you” say Penticton first responders, passing by emergency entrance

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

‘April Fools’ social media prank leads to criminal investigation in Osoyoos

Post claims individuals will be canvassing door to door seeking housing for seasonal workers

Stay inside vehicles on Interior ferry crossings to prevent spread of COVID-19: B.C. government

Glade, Kootenay and Arrow Lakes some of the ferry crossings in Interior

Most Read