May joins 'Christchurch Call to Action'

Prime Minister Theresa May has joined world leaders and internet companies for a Summit on tackling terrorist use of the internet.

The Online Extremism Summit was prompted by the Christchurch mosque attacks in March, which killed 51 people and was livestreamed on Facebook. It will focus international efforts to stop social media being used to organise and promote terrorism, with attendees expected to sign up to a joint pledge, called the ‘Christchurch Call To Action’.

The event will be co-chaired by French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. As well as May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker are expected to attend.

While the summit is being led by France and Canada, it follows the steps of the UK-led Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, led by Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Microsoft, which was created in the aftermath of the Westminster terror attack, and the development of new technology to automatically detect Daesh video propaganda.

Speaking ahead of the summit, May said: “The sickening attacks on Muslim worshippers in Christchurch shocked the world. That 1.5 million copies of the video had to be removed by Facebook - and could still be found on Youtube for as long as eight hours after it was first posted - is a stark reminder that we need to do more both to remove this content, and stop it going online in the first place.

“While we have seen significant progress on this issue since the terror attacks on the UK in 2017, the livestreaming of these attacks exposed gaps in our response and the need to keep pace with rapidly changing technological developments. My message to governments and internet companies in Paris will be that we must work together and harness our combined technical abilities to stop any sharing of hateful content of this kind.”


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