France’s Macron, New Zealand’s Ardern host Paris summit against online extremism

The summit is co-sponsored by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron

The context: The move is a response to anger over the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was broadcast live on Facebook.

Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has been under intense pressure since March when a white supremacist gunman used Facebook Live to stream his rampage at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, which left 51 people dead.

The New Zealand leader earned huge global prominence and respect after the attacks by reaching out to Muslim communities at home and vowing a widescale crackdown on extremist content.

"New technology to prevent the easy spread of terrorist content will be a major contributor to making social media safer for users, and stopping the unintentional viewing of extremist content like so many people in New Zealand did after the attack, including myself, when it auto played in Facebook feeds".

Starting Wednesday, people who break Facebook's "most serious policies" will be immediately banned from using Facebook Live for a period of time, such as 30 days.

New Zealand officials said Ardern found a natural partner for the fight against online extremism in Macron, who has repeatedly stated that the status quo is unacceptable.

A meeting of global leaders in Paris will seek to curb online violence, including the sharing of terror material.

Announced on Tuesday, the company will implement a "one strike" policy which will restrict anyone who violates the social network's community standards from using Facebook Live.

They have launched the "Christchurch Appeal", an inter-governmental call to put an end to terrorist acts stemming from online radicalisation. The Silicon Valley firm said it plans to extend the same restrictions to other parts of the platform, such as preventing people who post harmful content from buying ads.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed Facebook's pledge to restrict some users from Facebook Live and invest $7.5 million in research to stay ahead of users' attempts to avoid detection.

"This work will be critical for our broader efforts against manipulated media, including deepfakes", Rosen said, a reference to videos altered using artificial intelligence.

Facebook has said it removed 1.5 million videos globally that contained footage of the attack in the first 24 hours after it occurred. It said in a blog post in late March that it had identified more than 900 different versions of the video.

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.

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