Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

09.26 24 Apr 2019


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The leaders of France and New Zealand have invited other world leaders and tech CEOs to a special summit in Paris, aimed at tackling terrorist and extremist content on social media

It comes in the wake of last month's Christchurch terrorist attacks, which left 50 people dead.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron will chair the Paris gathering on May 15th - exactly two months after the attacks at two mosques.

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Ms Ardern and Mr Macron are aiming to have world leaders and tech CEOs agree to a pledge - dubbed the 'Christchurch Call' - to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

Speaking about the event, Jacinda Ardern said: “The March 15 terrorist attacks saw social media used in an unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate.

"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."

She acknowledged that social media can connect people "in many positive ways", stressing that everybody wants that to continue.

However, she added: "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.

“For too long, it has also been possible to use these platforms to incite extremist violence, and even to distribute images of that violence, as happened in Christchurch. This is what needs to change.”

The aftermath of the Christchurch attacks saw social media platforms come under fresh scrutiny, after the shooter livestreamed the killings online.

Facebook also said users attempted to upload more than one million videos of the shootings to the platform in just 24 hours.

The social network pledged to take more action to prevent such videos spreading in the future.

In the weeks since, Facebook also announced a ban on any posts praising or supporting white nationalism and white separatism.


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