New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday that tech giants like Meta’s Facebook and world leaders needed to do “much more” to combat violent extremism and radicalization online.
In 2019, Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron launched a global initiative to combat online hate after a white supremacist killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand while live-streaming his rampage on Facebook.
More than 50 countries, international organizations, and technology companies, including Facebook, Google, Twitter, and Microsoft, have backed the Christchurch Call initiative.
Ardern said on Friday that the initiative’s first goal of establishing a crisis protocol, including a 24/7 network between platforms to quickly remove the content in response to events like those in Christchurch, had been met.
“We have had real-world stress testing of those systems, and they have worked very effectively,” Ardern said in an interview for the upcoming Reuters Next conference, https://reutersevents.com/events/next.
“I am confident that we are operating more efficiently than we were previously,” she added. “The next challenge, however, is to go even further.”
When asked what tech companies should do, Ardern responded, “much more.”
Ardern stated that the next step would be to focus on prevention, looking at how people find or come across hateful or terrorist-motivated content online and possibly becoming radicalized.
“That’s where we’re really interested in the ongoing work around algorithms and the role that we can all play to ensure that online platforms don’t become places of radicalization,” she explained.
The United States and the United Kingdom both attended a Christchurch Call conference earlier this year.