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Christchurch Call

  • 16 May 2019
  • 3 min read

India joined France, New Zealand, Canada and several other countries in launching a major initiative in Paris to combat terrorism and extremism online and to secure the internet.

  • Christchurch call: initiative was named after the New Zealand city where 51 people were killed in an attack on mosques.
    • The Christchurch attack highlighted the urgent need for action and enhanced cooperation among the wide range of actors with influence over this issue, including governments, civil society, and online service providers, such as social media companies, to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.
    • The gathering in Paris has been organized by France and New Zealand. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter also signed on to the document, pledging to work more closely with one another and governments to make sure that their sites do not become conduits for terrorism.

Highlights of Declaration

  • The initiative outlines collective, voluntary commitments from governments and online service providers intended to address the issue of terrorist and violent extremist content online and to prevent the abuse of the internet.
  • All action on this issue must be consistent with principles of a free, open and secure internet, without compromising human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression.
  • It also recognise the internet's ability to act as a force for good, including by promoting innovation, economic development and fostering inclusive societies.

Industry Standards

  • It encourages media outlets to apply ethical standards when depicting terrorist events online. Avoid amplifying terrorist and violent extremist content, with responsible coverage of terrorism and violent extremism.
    • It was also decided to implement immediate and effective measures to mitigate the specific risk that terrorist and violent extremist content is disseminated through live-streaming, including identification of content for real-time review.
  • U.S.’s stand: free-speech concerns prevented U.S. from formally signing onto the largest campaign to date targeting extremism online.
  • Free, open and secure internet is a powerful tool to promote connectivity, enhance social inclusiveness and foster economic growth.
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