USA declines to support Christchurch Call for Action

USA declines to support Christchurch Call for Action

The Christchurch Call makes clear that fighting extremism online, including the white supremacist ideology behind the New Zealand massacre, must be an worldwide effort.

"While the United States is not now in a position to join the endorsement, we continue to support the overall goals reflected in the call".

Major tech companies have pledged to review the way their algorithms are funnelling users toward extremist content and to share their findings with each other, as part of the agreement reached overnight, reports RNZ's Jo Moir from Paris.

Silicon Valley tech giants expressed their support for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's so-called "Christchurch Call", named for the city where the gunman attacked two mosques on March 15 and broadcast his killings live.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who has negotiated the pledge in the weeks since the Christchurch terror attack of March 15, has been careful to keep it as narrow as possible, in order to allay free speech concerns.

Facebook has come under intense scrutiny in recent years over hate speech, privacy lapses and its dominant market position in social media.

Facebook was criticised for its inability to curb down the live videos of the New Zealand mass shooting at a mosque on March 15 in which almost 50 people were killed.

Facebook said in a statement today it was introducing a "one-strike" policy for use of Facebook Live, temporarily restricting access for people who have faced disciplinary action for breaking the company's most serious rules anywhere on its site. It noted that while it was trying to take down the killer's video of the Christchurch attack, edited versions were being posted "not always intentionally" by Facebook users.

"Tackling these threats also requires technical innovation to stay ahead of the type of adversarial media manipulation we saw after Christchurch", Facebook's vice president of integrity, Guy Rosen, said in a blog post.

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While it is a voluntary framework, it has been given additional heft after an endorsement from 55 investor funds that will use its $5 trillion in assets to push the tech companies to follow through on their pledges.

The context: The move is a response to anger over the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was broadcast live on Facebook.

Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey, Facebook Vice President for Global Affairs and Communications Nick Clegg and Google Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker will attend the meeting, according to the French president's office.

User Reporting of Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content.

In response, Ardern, New Zealand's prime minister, has urged the tech giants to take more responsibility and ensure they "are not perverted as a tool for terrorism".

While the restrictions apply exclusively to the platform's Live feature, the company said it had plans to extend them to other areas over the coming weeks, beginning with preventing those that are banned from creating ads on Facebook. While admitting that most countries already have laws governing such content, and most tech platforms already prohibit its sharing under their terms of usage, the proposal calls for closer cooperation between corporations, NGOs, and law enforcement, as well as between countries.

The Christchurch Call does not define what constitutes "extremism", and its enforcement is entirely dependent on individual governments.

Large social media companies, facing fierce criticism, have hired more content reviewers, altered their standards and banned some prominent figures known for promulgating conspiracy theories and hateful content.

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