French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hosted Paris Summit against Online Extremism, known as the “Christchurch Call”.
This new initiative was named for the city where a mass slaughter had happened on March 15, and was aimed at curbing extremism online was hosted by Macron and Ardern for other world leaders and leading teach chiefs on Wednesday (15).
The Christchurch Call was pushed by Ardern after a self-described white supremacist gunned down 51 people in a massacre at two mosques in New Zealand in March and broadcasted live on Facebook.
Participants were subject to ask to commit to pledges to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content on social media and other online platforms.
French President Emmanuel Macron hosted Ardern, British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canada's Justin Trudeau and other leaders on the summit to support the new initiative.
Signatories would "encourage media outlets to apply ethical standards when depicting terrorist events online, to avoid amplifying terrorist and violent extremist content," although the initiative is non-binding, light on details and leaves countries and companies to decide how to apply guidelines.
Countries including Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, India and Sweden backed the new initiative, as did US tech giants Microsoft, Alphabet's Google and its video platform YouTube, and Amazon.
‘Crooked’ Policy of the Trump Administration
According to reports, the United States of America has not endorsed a global pledge as requested to step up efforts to end internet hatred.
The summit organized to advocate communal harmony and ending of extremism was simply neglected by the United States citing respect for ‘freedom of expression and freedom of the press’.
So, apparently, the Trump Administration easily spurned the meeting of world leaders and tech giants disdainfully!
The US White House made a statement saying the US was "not currently in a position to join the endorsement," although it added: "we continue to support the overall goals reflected in the call".
The French President has put a positive spin on the US White House response;
"We'll do everything we can so that there is a more concrete and formal commitment, but I consider … the fact that the US administration said it shared the objectives and the common will as a positive element."
'Facebook Live' to be blocked at some point, Facebook announced
Facebook has announced steps to temporary blockage of users promoting hatred by violating its policies on live video broadcasting, in the wake of an international outcry over the tragic Christchurch event.
Facebook said in a statement it was introducing a "one-strike" policy for the use of ‘Facebook Live’--a service which lets users broadcast live video. Those who break Facebook’s most outspoken of rules anywhere on its platform would be temporarily restricted from broadcasting live videos, their statement said.
Facebook did not specifically mention which offences would be traced in such restriction, or to which degree these suspensions would last at this point. However, a spokesperson representing the company said it would not have been possible for the Christchurch killer to access ‘Facebook Live’ on his account under the new rules.
During summit, New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern defined the changes "a good first step to restrict the application being used as a tool for terrorists, and shows the Christchurch Call is being acted on".
The company also said it would fund research at three universities on techniques to detect manipulated media, which its systems struggled to spot in the aftermath of the attack.
The New Zealand Prime Minister added that the research was welcome, however that Facebook had been slow to remove edited and manipulated videos of the Christchurch killings, ending in many people all over the world, including herself, seeing video of the deaths viewed in their newsfeeds.
ABC news quoted on Thursday (16) Facebook has come under intense scrutiny in recent years over hate speech, privacy lapses and its dominant market position in social media. The company is trying to address those concerns while averting more strenuous action from regulators.