U.S. fails to join global pledge to address extremist content online

Thursday, 16 May, 2019

However the White House will not sign the agreement amid USA concerns that it clashes with constitutional protections for free speech.

The United States has snubbed the Christchurch Call tech pledge, saying it endorses the overall goals of the pledge but can not sign onto it. Honestly folks, if you're proposing a plan to fight extremists and terrorists on social media and Twitter is like "sure, why not", I promise you that your proposal is not really going to fight extremists and terrorists.

Dialogue with the USA was ongoing, she added.

On Wednesday, execs from Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and others will join French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Paris for the "Christchurch call to action".

"The March 15 terrorist attack highlighted just how easily lives treaming can be misused for hate".

A French presidential source said it was time for tech companies to "anticipate how their features will be exploited".

"For the past two years, we have started having exchanges with tech companies and heads of state - but we want to go further, and the aim of the Christchurch Call is to be more specific about removing the content online", he told a press conference. They'll also form incident management teams to respond in moments of crisis, like Christchurch.

In response to the March 15 terror attack, Facebook has already banned white nationalist and white separatist content, and recently removed controversial figures for promoting violence or hate including Alex Jones, Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer.

The comments came as five of the world's biggest tech companies pledged to tackle extremist material.

Other world leaders took part in the summit including Justin Trudeau of Canda (centre) and Theresa May of the United Kingdom (right).

That includes sharing the effects of their commercially-sensitive algorithms to develop effective ways to redirect users away from dark, single narratives.

A day earlier, White House officials raised concerns that the document might run afoul of the First Amendment.

Tech companies and governments also agreed to work together to counter violent extremism by developing interventions to redirect users away from extremist content. It also said it is investing $7.5 million in research partnerships with universities to better identify manipulated media.

"We welcome the continued momentum provided by support for the Christchurch Call as we work with worldwide partners towards our mutual objectives for an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet".

Ardern is playing a central role in the Paris meetings, which she called a significant "starting point" for changes in government and tech industry policy.

Why didn't the USA join?

"(We're) asking both nations and private corporations to make changes to prevent the posting of terrorist content online, to ensure its efficient and fast removal and to prevent the use of livestreaming as a tool for broadcasting terrorist attacks", she wrote in The Times.