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Wed May 15, 2019, 05:11 PM

White House declines to back Christchurch call to stamp out online extremism amid free speech concer [View all]

Source: Washington Post

The United States on Wednesday broke with 18 governments and top American tech firms by declining to endorse a New Zealand-led response to the live-streamed shootings at two Christchurch mosques, saying free-speech concerns prevented the White House from formally signing onto the largest campaign to date targeting extremism online.

The “Christchurch Call," unveiled at an international gathering in Paris, commits foreign countries and tech giants to be more vigilant about the spread of hate on social media. It reflects heightened global frustrations with the inability of Facebook, Google and Twitter to restrain hateful posts, photos and videos that have spawned real-world violence.

Leaders from across the globe, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, pledged to counter online extremism, including through new regulation, and to "encourage media outlets to apply ethical standards when depicting terrorist events online.” Companies including Facebook, Google and Twitter, meanwhile, said they’d work more closely to ensure their sites don’t become conduits for terrorism. They also committed to accelerated research and information sharing with governments in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was among those who attended.

The call is named after the New Zealand city where a shooter killed 51 people in a March attack broadcast on Facebook and posted afterward on other social-media sites. Facebook, Google and Twitter struggled to take down copies of the violent video as fast as it spread on the Web, prompting an international backlash from regulators who felt malicious actors had evaded Silicon Valley’s defenses too easily. Before the attack, the shooter also posted a hate-filled manifesto that included references to previous mass killings.


By Tony Romm and Drew Harwell May 15 at 3:56 PM

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2019/05/15/white-house-will-not-sign-christchurch-pact-stamp-out-online-extremism-amid-free-speech-concerns/

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Reply White House declines to back Christchurch call to stamp out online extremism amid free speech concer [View all]
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