Macron, Ardern to Meet Twitter, Facebook, Google on Hate Speech

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Facebook gives the impression that it's stopping the vast majority of extremist posts before users ever see

The announcement comes as Jacinda Ardern co-chairs a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Wednesday seeking to have world leaders and chiefs of tech companies sign the "Christchurch Call", a pledge to eliminate violent extremist content online.

Weeks after the massacre, Facebook said that the 17-minute video wasn't reported during the period it was live, and that the first user report came 12 minutes after the livestream ended.

Ahead of a summit on online extremism, Ardern was responding to a question asking whether countries can learn from New Zealand.

"This call to action is not just about regulation, but instead about bringing companies to the table and saying, 'You have a role too, and we have expectations of you, '" Ardern told CNN.

The company says it will spend $7.5 million to partner with three universities to develop tools preventing modified versions of terror videos from being reposted.

The US tech giant announced that it will tighten rules in order to curb the spread of hate and terrorist ideas online in the aftermath of New Zealand's mosque shootings, which were livestreamed on Facebook.

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Now Ardern is turning her efforts toward another factor in the violence that day: the social media platforms on which the gunman live-streamed his attack.

The money will go to research improved detection of manipulated images, video, and audio, something that could also help deal with things like deepfakes. She has said the Christchurch call is not about limiting free expression, but rather "preventing violent extremism and terrorism online". "To be honest, I do not understand the United States", Ardern said.

However, to the disappointment of some, a notable absentee will be Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, who held talks in Paris with Macron last week. Facebook served as an organizing tool for the deadly neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville in 2017, for example, and lesser-known fringe websites hosted hateful screeds penned by the man accused of opening fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue past year.

According to the nine-point plan, each company will update its terms of service, create more ways for users to report or flag inappropriate content, invest in technology to detect and remove such content and publish regular transparency reports.

The systems would not have to actively remove risky content, but could filter them out so they are not recommended or shown in people's search results and news feeds, limiting their spread. Facebook did not specify all the rules that it will use to enforce the new one-strike approach, but pointed to current community standards that prohibit spreading terrorist propaganda on the social network.

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