World: New Zealand PM Ardern steps up fight against extremist online content - - PressFrom - Australia
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World New Zealand PM Ardern steps up fight against extremist online content

07:20  14 october  2019
07:20  14 october  2019 Source:   reuters.com

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New Zealand 's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) and French President Emmanuel Macron (C-L) attend a “The dissemination of such content online has adverse impacts on the human rights of the victims, on our collective security and on people all over the world,” the signatories said in a statement.

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WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced more funding and support on Monday to target violent extremist content online, just months after an alleged white supremacist livestreamed a massacre at two mosques in Christchurch.

The attack on March 15 that killed 51 Muslim worshippers was livestreamed on Facebook, and the video was shared on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook-owned apps Whatsapp and Instagram.

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Major tech firms have pledged to pursue a range of new measures aimed at stamping out violent extremist content on the internet, amid at growing pressure from governments in the wake of the massacres at two New Zealand mosques.

New Zealand prime minister @jacindaardern praises the work of the #TechforGood summit "The call is a roadmap to action," New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference with They also said they would explore tweaking their algorithms to prevent violent or hateful content from going

Ardern said the government was investing NZ$17 million ($10.73 million) over four years to boost New Zealand’s ability to find, stop and stamp out terrorist and violent extremist content online quickly.

The investment would be used to double the investigative, forensic, intelligence and prevention work of the Department of Internal Affairs, she announced at a press conference.

A new team of 17 people will be dedicated to tackling such content, the government in a statement.

The new department's powers include investigating and prosecuting those committing offences through both proactive detection and working with international and domestic partners, it added.

"Our online world must be a force for good where we can exchange ideas, share technology, and maintain civil liberties, while protecting New Zealanders from objectionable content,” Ardern said in the statement.

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Major tech firms on Wednesday pledged to come up with new measures for stamping out violent extremist content on the internet, amid growing pressure "The call is a roadmap to action," New Zealand Premier Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.

French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand 's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the launch of the 'Christchurch Appeal' against terrorism on the internet at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 15 May "The dissemination of such content online has adverse impacts on the human rights of the victims

"Countering violent extremism online is an important part of our response to the March 15 terrorist attacks," she added.

Silicon Valley tech giants and world leaders have endorsed a movement by Ardern called "Christchurch Call" which aims to establish ethical standards for tech companies and media outlets to avoid amplifying violent extremist content online.

Their commitment was tested last week as social media firms scrambled to scrub footage of a shooting outside a German synagogue that was livestreamed on Amazon's gaming subsidiary Twitch.

As with Christchurch, full copies and portions of the German video quickly began appearing elsewhere online, shared both by supporters of the gunman's anti-Semitic ideology and critics condemning his actions.

Ardern said in a press conference later that the attack in Germany last week was another reminder of the threat of online extremism.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon)

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