10 countries agree to take steps to eliminate online extremism content- New Zealand PM

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

Wellington – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Thursday said 10 countries have agreed to take practical steps to eliminate extremist content so as to stop Christchurch terrorist attacks from happening again.

Ardern, who co-chaired Christchurch Call summit with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris, said in a statement released by the New Zealand government that the March 15 attack was shocking in its use of social media as a tool in the act of terror.

“For first time, governments and tech companies have jointly agreed to a set of commitments and ongoing collaboration to make the Internet safer.

Christchurch Call acknowledges that government regulation alone will not solve the problem, she said.

Ardern called for harnessing tech companies’ creativity and technical knowhow to find solutions while ensuring Internet freedoms are maintained and the Internet is protected as a force for good.

Ardern and Macron led a group of world leaders, tech companies and organisations to adopt a pledge that seeks to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content to stop Internet being used as a tool for terrorists.

Christchurch Call, named for the New Zealand city in which 51 members of its Muslim community were murdered in a live-streamed terrorist attack on March 15, took place in Paris.

Ardern saw leaders from 10 countries and major tech companies, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube, commit to a set of collective actions that aim to eliminate terrorism and violent extremist content online.

Christchurch Call is an action plan that commits government and tech companies to a range of measures, including developing tools to prevent the upload of terrorist and violent extremist content.

It also counters roots of violent extremism, increases transparency around the removal and detection of content and reviews how companies’ algorithms direct users to violent extremist content.