translated from Spanish: Social networks promise measures against extremist content

The main digital signatures pledged on Wednesday to take a series of measures to eradicate extremist content on the Internet, as part of an initiative launched in Paris following the Christchurch attack in New Zealand. » The dissemination of this type of online content has a negative impact on human rights «and» in our collective security, «said the signatories of this initiative, including Google, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, after a meeting held in Paris with World leaders. This international mobilization, dubbed «Christchurch Appeal», was initiated by New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, and French President Emmanuel Macron, two months after the attack on two mosques in NZ, which was Broadcast live on Facebook for 17 minutes. The terrifying images of this double attack that killed 51 people remained online for another 12 minutes before Facebook was alerted by a user and withdrew. But the video was downloaded and shared millions of times over the next few days.

Photo: AFP

«We can be proud […] We have taken concrete steps to prevent a drama like that of Christchurch from reproducing, «said Ardern. Our goal is never to reproduce the transformation of the Internet into a crazy propaganda machine, a goal sought by the terrorists of the extreme right and Islamist terrorists, «insisted Emmanuel Macron during a press conference. To prevent this from happening again, internet platforms pledged to «take transparent and specific measures to prevent violent or terrorist extremist content from being charged and disseminated on social networks,» says a statement. These firms will cooperate in the search for new tools to quickly identify and eliminate extremist content, such as sharing violent message databases or images, to ensure that they are not propagated across multiple platforms.

Photo: AFP

They also said they would explore the ability to adjust their algorithms to prevent this type of content from being viral and facilitate the reporting of violent content. » For the first time, governments, international organizations, companies and digital agencies have agreed on a series of measures and long-term collaboration to make the internet safer, «the French presidency said. In addition to France and New Zealand, this appeal was adopted by Canada, Ireland, Jordan, Norway, the United Kingdom, Senegal, Indonesia, and the European Commission. Other states, such as Spain, Australia and Germany, «supported» the initiative, said the Elysée Palace.

A first step
A few hours before the meeting, Facebook, which was criticized for having delayed to interrupt the video of the massacre in New Zealand, announced that it will restrict the use of its live video streaming platform. From now on, users who violate the rules of use of the social network, in particular those that prohibit «dangerous organizations and individuals», will be temporarily suspended from Facebook since the first infringement. » The terrorist of March 15 left in evidence that the live transmission of images can be used to propagate hatred. Facebook took a tangible first step to prevent that act from repeating on its platform, «applauded New Zealand Prime minister.» We must build a free, open and secure Internet, which gives everyone the opportunity to share, learn and innovate, but also allows us to defend our values, protect our citizens and hold them accountable, said the French president, Emmanuel Macron, host of the appointment in Paris. France, one of the countries most involved in this campaign, is preparing a bill that will force the deletion of the contents of the social networks reported within 24 hours, under penalty of fine. Paris hopes to promote this legislation at European level. Impossible
Some analysts questioned the effectiveness of the «Christchurch appeal», especially since the measures envisaged are not coercive. This is a declaration of principle. Of a political initiative, nothing more, «estimated Marc Rees, editor-in-chief of the French portal Next Inpact, specializing in new technologies.» It is not that Facebook or Twitter do not want to do it, but suppressing in real time a content posted online is simply impossible, «he added. This appeal was announced coinciding with the second «Tech for Good» summit, an initiative launched by Macron in 2018, to discuss how new technologies can contribute to the common good, such as education or health. This event was attended by executives from Wikipedia, Uber, Twitter, Microsoft and Google. Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder and CEO of Facebook, was not present, but he met in private with Macron last week. The United States, where the vast majority of internet giants were born, did not sign the «Christchurch appeal,» and was only represented at a junior level at a G7 ministerial meeting on digital matters, which was also held on Wednesday in Paris.

Original source in Spanish

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