Paris, May 16 : New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and France President Emmanuel Macron have jointly initiated a plan -- Christchurch Call to Action -- to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.
The initiative has come in wake of deadly March 15 attack in New Zealand that killed 51 people.
"On 15 March 2019, two months ago, an attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand left 51 people dead and 39 injured. To spread terror, the perpetrator live-streamed the attack on Facebook for almost 17 minutes. Lives were taken, lives were destroyed, as thousands of viewers watched helplessly online. The video was shared thousands of times, including on other platforms such as YouTube, despite measures to take it down." Elysee said in a statement.
The statement further said that this attack showed that the Internet has become one of the preferred vehicles for terrorists to take action and spread their propaganda. Allowing the Internet to be used as a tool to spread terror would jeopardize the safety of our citizens. All actors – States, Governments and digital companies – needed to act quickly not only to react to the attacks but to be proactive and anticipate online threats.
"On 15 May 2019, at the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, 10 Heads of State and Government as well as leaders of digital technology companies and organizations, all of whom are ready to take action, met in Paris. Together, they are launching an unprecedented joint initiative: The “Christchurch Call To Action” to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online", they added.
For the first time, the 'Christchurch Call To Action' commits Governments and digital technology giants to take a series of concrete measures to eliminate terrorist and extremist content online and put a stop to the instrumentalization of the Internet by terrorists. It is based on one conviction: an open, free and safe Internet offers extraordinary benefits, but freedom of expression does not mean freedom to terrorize.
Apart from France and New Zealand, the plan was signed by Canada, Ireland, Jordan, Norway, the United Kingdom, Senegal, Indonesia and the European Commission, as well as Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Qwant, Twitter, Youtube and DailyMotion. Australia, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden also expressed their support for the initiative. (UNI)