Tech companies and 17 govts sign up to Christchurch Call

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「The meeting, the first of its kind, in Paris overnight saw all of the major technology companies, 17 countries and the European Commission sign up to the call initiated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron, in the wake of the Christchurch attack that killed 51 people.

The action plan asks tech companies to review the operation of their algorithms that are driving users towards or amplifying terrorist content online and find ways to intervene earlier.

Read the Christchurch Call agreement here:

In order to try and prevent an attack like the one at Christchurch ever happening again, tech companies have agreed to share the effects of algorithim secrets with each other.

Ms Ardern has called on them to report progress regularly to governments.

At a news conference, Ms Ardern described the agreement as "day one" in the change the world needed.

"Never before have countries and tech companies come together in the wake of an horrific attack to commit to an action plan that will deliver collaboratively work in new technology built to make our communities ultimately safer."

New Zealand and global investors worth more than $NZ5 trillion are uniting to put pressure on companies who have signed up to the Christchurch Call.

Launched alongside the summit in Paris overnight, the New Zealand Super Fund has coordinated the investor group, worth more than 15 times the GDP of the New Zealand economy.

The group wants to get Facebook, Twitter and Google - who all have social media platforms - to strengthen controls that will prevent the live streaming and distribution of objectionable content.

They plan to raise concerns with the companies' board and management on these issues.

The investor group is made up of 55 funds - 27 from New Zealand and 28 from across the globe.

New Zealand banks, ACC, and global trusts and pension funds make up the group.

Super Fund chief executive Matt Whineray said the group would hold the companies to account.

"Part of our engagement with social media companies will involve monitoring and ensuring accountability for the Christchurch Call commitments made. As shareholders and investors we will use our collective leverage to raise concerns with the companies' board and management on these issues."」

This Christchurch attack has really stirred up some trouble which resulted in this mess. Apparently the solution to preventing terrorism is to censor the internet of terrorism and extremism. Now lets look at the United States Patriot Act which is pretty similar to the Christchurch Call agreement. It was enacted after 9/11, the date that coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States occurred. Yes, what happened back then was sad and people thought that such an act was neccessary at the time but look at us now... It has done nothing except allow the United States to spy and surveil their own citizens (Over 99.9%) for the sake of 'terrorism' (Less than 0.1%). We have given up our liberty for the fake sense of security. There is seemingly not that much information if the act has actually prevented terrorism.

Now we are falling for the same bullshit once again with the Christchurch Call agreement.. And its not just one country this time - Its 17 countries and most of the massive tech corporations! That accounts for atleast over a few billion people on Earth because of one terrorist incident. It is scary the amount of power they hold together. "Well private companies can do whatever they want and people have to abide by their rules." Sure, you can go ahead and be abused all you want but I will be taking no part in that. Reminds me of this too. The internet belongs to NO ONE and it facilitates the free exchange of information among all people - The way it should be. However... With the rise of social media and governments fighting for control, the internet is in danger of being massively censored even more than it should be already. Censoring content on the internet does NOTHING. "Once its on the internet it will always be on the internet." It will be forever archived somewhere so whats the point of trying to sweep it under the rug? Theres already plenty of terrorism footage on, say, Youtube and other darker places of the internet. Why is it that we show footage of 9/11 but not the Christchurch attack? They're both acts of terrorism so whats the problem? All lame excuses to limit free speech even more. I guess its all about power and control in the end.

「The United States has snubbed the Christchurch Call summit by not attending or endorsing the agreement.

In a statement from the White House, a spokesperson said the US stood with the international community in condemning terrorist and violent extremist content online in the strongest terms.

But it said the US was not currently in a position to join the agreement, although it supported its the overall goals.

It cited freedom of expression and freedom of the press as reasons it would not be joining the agreement, and said promoting credible, alternative narratives was the best way to defeat terrorist messaging.

A day before the accord was signed, Facebook announced it was tightening rules on live streaming in response to the Christchurch terror attack and introducing a new would be a "one-strike policy" banning those who violate new Facebook Live rules.

Ms Ardern said Facebook's move was a first step. "We look forward to further work to stop social media being perverted as a tool for terrorists and preserving it instead as a means for individuals and communities to connect."

Facebook vice-president for global affairs Nick Clegg said even though chief executive Mark Zuckerberg wasn't at the meeting, the company was taking its commitment seriously.

"Jacinda Ardern and Mark Zuckerberg have spoken on more than one occasion in great detail about this, so I think in the end what most people would look for is substance rather than attendance."

In a statement, Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon said they were committed to doing all they could to fight the hatred and extremism that leads to terrorist violence. They said the Christchurch Call builds on the companies' other initiatives to prevent dissemination of terrorist and violent extremist content.

Microsoft president Brad Smith said tech companies had a practical nine-step plan that would have individual firms strengthen terms of service, put new safeguards on livestreaming, increase technology controls and human controls and publish more transparency reports.

The remaining steps were collective, relating to research and development, setting up a crisis protocol, and education about bigotry and hatred, he said.

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.」

The United States actually did not participiate in this agreement? And for the reasons of freedom of expression and freedom of the press concerns? Shocking! The US was so quick to enact the Patriot Act and now all of a sudden they want to protect their freedoms. On the other hand I am disappointed in Japan as they have if not the strongest freedom of expression. All the other countries I wouldn't be surprised that they gave in to this agreement. For the companies side, why the fuck is Qwant supporting this agreement? "It applies its sorting algorithms with the same requirements, without trying to put forward some websites because it would suit some particular business, political or moral agenda [...] Qwant presents the reality of a complex world, with diverse opinions, which make it rich and worth living." Their statement is now contradicting as soon as they signed this agreement.