Christchurch Call to Action Summit

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The Christchurch Call to Action Summit (also called the Christchurch Call), a political summit initiated by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern following the Christchurch mosque shootings of 15 March 2019, took place in Paris on 15 May 2019. Co-chaired by Ardern and President Emmanuel Macron of France, the summit aimed to "bring together countries and tech companies in an attempt to bring to an end the ability to use social media to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism".[1][2] World leaders and technology companies pledged to "eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online";[3] 17 countries signed the non-binding agreement.[4][5] The pledge consists of three sections or commitments: one for governments, one for online service providers, and one for the ways in which the two can work together.[6][7]

Signatories[edit]

Among the signatories to the pledge are the European Commission, and the governments of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Canada[8]
  • France
  • Germany
  • Indonesia
  • India[9]
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • The Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Senegal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom

The following online service providers also signed the pledge:[10]

The United States declined to attend,[11] expressing concerns that US compliance with the agreement could create conflicts with free-speech protections in the country's Constitution; the United States however did support the summit's "overarching message" and "endorsed its overall goals".[12][13]

Commentary[edit]

Bryan Keogh wrote in The Conversation that the summit "has made excellent progress as a first step to change, but we need to take this opportunity to push for systemic change in what has been a serious, long-term problem."[14] InternetNZ CEO Jordan Carter called the summit "a vital first step" to addressing terrorism and violent extremism online, saying that it was "important that governments and online service providers have come together on this issue, to agree real, actionable changes."[15] Jillian York of the Electronic Frontier Foundation praised the Call for asking companies to provide greater transparency regarding its moderation practices, while expressing concerns about how terms like "terrorism" and "violent extremism" are defined by various governments.[16]

Tom Rogan argued in the Washington Examiner that the Call's goal for governments to work with companies to stop "violent extremist content" would breach Americans' first-amendment rights, using war footage on YouTube as an example of content that could be blocked under the agreement.[17] Nick Gillespie of Reason criticized the summit, writing "it should be deeply worrying to anyone who believes in free expression that governments and corporations are openly working together to decide what is and is not acceptable speech."[18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NZ and France seek to end use of social media for acts of terrorism". Beehive.govt.nz. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  2. ^ "Core group of world leaders to attend Jacinda Ardern-led Paris summit". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  3. ^ "The Christchurch Call to Action". Document Cloud. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  4. ^ "Tech companies and 17 govts sign up to Christchurch Call". Radio NZ. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  5. ^ "Christchurch Call". Christchurch Call. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  6. ^ "The Christchurch Call pledge document in full". Stuff. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  7. ^ "Christchurch Call". Christchurch Call. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  8. ^ Levesque, Catherine (2019-05-16). "Canada introducing digital charter to combat hate speech, misinformation". National Post. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  9. ^ Mohan, Geeta (May 16, 2019). "India signs Christchurch Call To Action to combat online extremism". India Today. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  10. ^ "Tech companies and 17 govts sign up to Christchurch Call". Radio NZ. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  11. ^ Romm, Tony; Harwell, Drew. "White House declines to back Christchurch call to stamp out online extremism amid free speech concerns". Washington Post. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  12. ^ Cooke, Henry. "US snubs Christchurch Call tech pledge, but says it endorses 'overall goals'". Stuff. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
  13. ^ Barbaschow, Asha. "Christchurch Call: USA missing from 26 member pledge to eliminate violent online content". ZDNet. Retrieved 2019-05-17.
  14. ^ Keogh, Bryan. "The 'Christchurch Call' is just a start. Now we need to push for systemic change". The Conversation. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  15. ^ Paredes, Divina. "Christchurch Call outcome 'a vital first step' to address terrorism and violent extremism online". CIO New Zealand. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  16. ^ "The Christchurch Call: The Good, the Not-So-Good, and the Ugly". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 16 May 2019. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  17. ^ Rogan, Tom (15 May 2019). "Why the Trump administration had to reject the Christchurch Call". Washington Examiner. Retrieved 18 May 2019.
  18. ^ Gillespie, Nick (16 May 2019). "To Fight 'Extremism,' Journalists Are Praising Online Censorship". Reason. Retrieved 18 May 2019.

External links[edit]