Mosque attacks  |  16 May 2019

Christchurch’s civic leaders are endorsing international efforts to stop social media platforms from being used to spread violent, extremist content.

 Mayor Lianne Dalziel and Christchurch City Councillors say the Christchurch Call pledge should help prevent other cities from suffering the tragic loss experienced when a gunman attacked two Christchurch mosques, killing 51 people.

Mayor Lianne Dalziel

Mayor Lianne Dalziel

“As a Council we have called on social media platforms to take responsibility for ensuring that such atrocities cannot be live-streamed and that messages of hate cannot be shared.

“We are pleased this goal is also a focus for so many others globally and that 17 governments and many of the world’s leading social media platforms have so far signed the Christchurch Call to work to stop the internet being used as a tool for terrorists,’’ the Mayor says.

Signed in Paris, the Christchurch Call is an action plan that commits government and tech companies to a range of measures, including:

  • Developing tools to prevent the upload of terrorist and violent extremist content.
  • Countering the roots of violent extremism.
  • Increasing transparency around the detection and removal of harmful content.
  • Reviewing how companies’ algorithms direct users to violent extremist content.

“Live streaming of this atrocity should never have been allowed to happen, and today is a first step towards ensuring it can never happen again,” Mayor Dalziel says.

“There is, however, much more that needs to be done by all to ensure there is no place in our society for hate and intolerance.

“At the same time, many people are expressing an interest in finding out about different cultures and faiths and we want to play a role in making this happen.

“When you think about the importance of freedom of expression, that’s about hearing a diversity of views and we need to be open to hearing from everyone.”