Tech giants and governments around the world – including the United States, and for the first time – are gathering Friday and Saturday, virtually to find better ways to stop the spread of violent extremism online while respecting freedom of expression.
This is part of a global effort initiated by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron in 2019, after the deadly attacks in their countries that were broadcasted or shared on social media.
The United States government and four other countries are joining the effort, known as the Christchurch Call, for the first time this year. The campaign includes about 50 countries in addition to technology companies including Twitter, Google, Facebook and Amazon.
The campaign is named after the New Zealand city where a right-wing extremist killed 51 people in a mosque in 2019 and broadcast the attack on Facebook.
Since the campaign was launched, governments and technology companies have in some cases collaborated to identify violent extremist content online. Nevertheless, Ardern said more concrete progress was needed to prevent its spread.
The meeting aims to revitalize coordination efforts, especially since US President Joe Biden took office, and to involve more technology companies. Macron and Ardern welcomed the US decision as a potential catalyst for stronger action.