Signatories to the ‘Christchurch Call’: Australia, Canada, European Commission, France, Germany, Indonesia, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Jordan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Senegal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
Companies: Amazon, Daily Motion, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Qwant, Twitter, YouTube.
AMN / WEB DESK / PARIS
At the initiative of French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, several social media and Tech company and 17 world leaders on May 15 signed an unprecedented ‘Christchurch Call agreement’ to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online in Paris.
“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” said joint statement.
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.
On 15 March 2019, two months ago today, an attack against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand left 51 people dead and 39 injured. To spread terror, the perpetrator livestreamed 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.
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.
Other key leaders attended include Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Canadian Premier Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister Theresa May and EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker. Prominent figures from tech and social networks will also be present, like Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Uber CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi.
The support for the Christchurch Call To Action from the participants at the meeting in Paris on 15 May is the first step. Other countries, digital companies, NGOs, academics and stakeholders are now being urged to join.
EN DIRECT | Le Président @EmmanuelMacron et la Première ministre de la Nouvelle-Zélande @JacindaArdern lancent l’Appel de Christchurch à agir contre le terrorisme et l’extrémisme violent en ligne. #Christchurchcallhttps://t.co/CNbfo80u9e
— Élysée (@Elysee) May 15, 2019
This news story is edited by Andalib Akhter