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

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"We continue to be proactive in our efforts to counter terrorist content online while also continuing to respect freedom of expression and freedom of the press", the White House said in a statement on Wednesday, explaining that it was "not now in a position to join the endorsement" even though it supported the pledge's "overall goals".

In what is believed to be a world-first, major tech companies Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook, Google and Amazon released a joint statement saying they would set out concrete steps to address the abuse of technology to spread terrorist content.

"The Governments, commit to Counter the drivers of terrorism and violent extremism by strengthening the resilience and inclusiveness of our societies to enable them to resist terrorist and violent extremist ideologies, including through education, building media literacy to help counter distorted terrorist and violent extremist narratives, and the fight against inequality", the declaration (Christchurch Call) adopted.

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Facebook said it's tightening the rules for its livestreaming service with a "one strike" policy applied to a broader range of offences. "Facebook has made a tangible first step to stop that act being repeated on their platform", she said.

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.

In Wednesday's agreement, which is not legally binding, the tech companies committed to measures to prevent the spread of terrorist or violent extremist content.

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Countries including Australia, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands, Spain, India and Sweden said they backed it, as did USA tech giants Microsoft, Alphabet's Google and its video platform YouTube and Amazon.

User Reporting of Terrorist and Violent Extremist Content.

"Our goal is to minimise risk on live while enabling people to use live in a positive way every day", Facebook Vice President of Integrity Guy Rosen said in the statement.

Ardern also said prior to the ban, New Zealand had "pretty permissive gun legislation", and while she thinks guns are necessary in some instances, she felt the laws went too far.

Ardern said Tuesday that the meeting "is not about regulation, it is about bringing companies to the table", adding Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has given "Facebook's support to this call to action".

The company said it plans to extend the restrictions to other areas over coming weeks, beginning with preventing the same people from creating Facebook ads. If a user continued to post content that violated the standards, Facebook temporarily blocked the user's account, removing the ability to broadcast live.

"We welcome the continued momentum provided by support for the Christchurch Call as we work with worldwide partners towards our mutual objectives for an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure internet".

Two months after the mass shooting at a mosque in New Zealand was live-streamed by the accused gunman on Facebook, the company is introducing new rules for the feature. The most serious offenses will result in a permanent ban.

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