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France: Macron, Ardern pledge to curb online extremism at ‘Christchurch Call’ summit

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French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern underlined the danger of online extremism during a joint press conference in Paris on Wednesday, following the Christchurch Call summit.

The Christchurch Call is an intiative that aims at limiting the online presence of extremist content that sees governments and tech companies cooperating to that effect.

Macron called the Christchurch attack “the transformation of the Internet into a machine of crazy propaganda in the service of fracturing our society or bringing war against all. An objective shared by both terrorists of the extreme-right and Islamist terrorists.”

“The social media dimension to the attack was unprecedented. And our response today with the adoption of the Christchurch Call is equally unprecedented as well,” said Ardern, adding that “never before have countries and tech companies come together in the wake of a horrific attack to commit to an action plan.”

Following a meeting with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the French president repeated on Wednesday that Facebook is “engaged in a procedure of cooperation with the government aiming to deprive Facebook users of the possibility to stream live easily, when the content is reported as being dangerous.”

According to the Christchurch Call the cooperating government will be able to alert online platforms of “terrorist” content and ask them to remove it.

The initiative comes in the wake of a terrorist attack that took place in New Zealand on March 15, when a white supremacist killed 51 people at two Muslim places of worship in Christchurch, while broadcasting the entire attack online.

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