NZ leader urges global action on dangers of social media, Latest World News - The New Paper

NZ leader urges global action on dangers of social media

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CHRISTCHURCH : New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern yesterday called for a global response to the dangers of social media as the Muslim community began burying their dead five days after the twin-mosques massacre.

A white supremacist gunman streamed his 17 minutes of carnage in which he is accused of killing 50 Muslim worshippers during their Friday prayers.

Facebook said the livestream from Christchurch was viewed fewer than 200 times but it had to remove a staggering 1.5 million videos as footage of the slaughter went viral.

Ms Ardern said that while her focus was on New Zealand, there were issues world leaders needed "to confront collectively".

"We cannot, for instance, just simply deal with some of the issues we face with our social media to be dealt with on a case-by-case basis," she said.

"There is an argument there to be made for us to take a united front on a global issue. This is not just an issue for New Zealand, the fact that social media platforms have been used to spread violence (and) material that incites violence. All of us need to present a united front."

In the US, a congressional panel said it was asking top executives from US tech firms to explain the proliferation online of the "horrific" video.

The House Committee on Homeland Security called it "critically important" to filter such violent images.

Social media companies have long argued hey are not responsible for what is put on their platforms, but Ms Ardern has countered that they cannot simply be "all profit, no responsibility".

A 44-year-old businessman was remanded in custody on charges of distributing footage of one of the mosque shootings.

Ms Ardern also said New Zealand would hold two minutes of silence as a mark of respect for the dead on Friday, and women were being encouraged to wear headscarves to show support for the Muslim community. - AFP