New Delhi, May 16: India has lent its support to a new global initiative to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online and exploitation of the Internet by terrorists.
World leaders and tech/digital companies met in Paris on Wednesday to take action against violence and online hate and extremism.
President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveiled the initiative called the Christ Church Call in the French capital, France Diplomatie said in a statement.
Through the Christchurch Call – named after the New Zealand city in which 51 people were killed in terrorist attacks broadcast live on the Internet on March 15, 2019 –, 10 heads of state, government and international organizations, as well as major players in the digital sector, pledged to take collective action, in coordination with civil society, to eliminate this online content.
President Macron and Prime Minister Ardern had mobilised the heads of state and government, international organizations and leaders of businesses and digital organizations to take action against terrorist and extremist content online and end the exploitation of the Internet by terrorist actors.
The Christchurch Call is an action plan that commits governments, international organizations and Internet players to take a series of measures, in particular: developing tools to prevent the downloading of terrorist and violent extremist content; combating the causes of violent extremism; improving transparency in the detection and removal of content; and ensuring that the algorithms designed and used by businesses do not direct users towards violent extremist content, so as to reduce their viral nature.
“We’ve taken concrete measures to prevent a tragedy like the one in Christchurch from being repeated. The terrorist attack on 15 March was a shock, particularly because of the way it exploited social media. With the Christchurch Call, we’ve adopted a unique approach to resolve this problem,” said Ardern.
“We must make efforts on behalf of the people affected by the Christchurch attack, and of other towns and cities in the world hit by terrorism and violent extremism.”
The participants reached an agreement to continue cooperative work in order to improve collective security. They agreed on a package of measures and long-term cooperation to make the Internet safer.
The Christchurch Call takes account of the fact that state regulation alone will not suffice to resolve the problem. It is necessary to call on the creativity and technical know-how of Internet businesses and organizations to come up with solutions, whilst ensuring respect for Internet freedom and preserving the Internet’s ability to act as a force for good.
“We must build a free, open and safe Internet, which makes it possible for everyone to share, learn and innovate, but also allows us to uphold our values, protect our fellow citizens and give them a sense of responsibility,” said Macron.
New Zealand and France will present the Call to other countries and companies and take forward these objectives in other international fora.
"We shall have a further meeting this year, during the United Nations General Assembly’s high-level segment, where we hope significant progress will be made in this area," both leaders said.
The Call was adopted by France, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, Jordan, Norway, the United Kingdom, Senegal, Indonesia, the European Commission and by Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Qwant, Twitter, YouTube and DailyMotion.
Australia, Germany, India, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden are some of the countries which have supported the Call.
Reports from the United States meanwhile said the White House is abstaining from the move, citing respect for “freedom of expression and freedom of the press.” (UNI)