PM Jacinda Ardern leads global campaign to rid terrorism from social media

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is leading a global campaign to rid terrorism from social media. 

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The New Zealand and French leaders have announced what’s called the Christchurch Call today. Source: 1 NEWS

A New Zealand and France led global initiative will be held in Paris next month to try and stop extremism and terrorism being spread online. Ms Ardern will chair the May 15 meeting in Paris alongside French President Emmanuel Macron.

It comes after a 17 minute video of the Christchurch terrorist attack was livestreamed on Facebook by the gunman. It was viewed thousands of times before it was taken down. 

"What is clear is what happened on the 15th of March was unprecedented in the way it used online platforms to disseminate the terrorist attack. I don't think anyone would argue the terrorist on the 15th of March had a right to live stream the murder of 50 people," Ms Ardern said today. 

The Paris meeting aims to see world leaders and CEOs of tech companies agree to a pledge called the 'Christchurch Call' to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.

It is set to put pressure on internet companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google to take more responsibility for what is posted online. 

"What happened on the 15th of March in New Zealand was unprecedented in the way it used the internet. With that does come a responsibility to try and make change," Ms Ardern said. 

The 'Christchurch Call' will be presented to tech companies and world leaders in Paris in May at part of the G7 summit. It is set to be a delicate balancing act between freedom of speech and putting rules in place to stop the circulation of videos of terrorist acts.

Tech expert Paul Brislen said taming the internet will require international co-operation.

"It does require regulators and policing agencies and privacy commissioner, and the whole lot to all come together," he said. 

Ms Ardern confirmed today she has spoken to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg directly, saying the conversation was "very much about the 15th of March, our experiences and what we hope to do collaboratively in France when we come together". 

On March 30, Mr Zuckerberg published an opinion piece in the Washington Post calling for worldwide regulation of social media services in the wake of the Christchurch terrorist attack.

He wrote that companies and websites should not be solely asked to prevent harmful speech, election meddling and cyberattacks themselves, instead saying some of that must be done by government.