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Newsroom: Jo Moir on the Christchurch call, but she loses the plot

19/05/2019

From Newsroom

Major tech companies have pledged to review the way their algorithms are funnelling users toward extremist content and to share their findings with each other, as part of the agreement reached overnight, reports RNZ’s Jo Moir from Paris.

I like Jo Moir, but I think this piece of the article seems to me to be somewhat inaccurate

The United States has snubbed the Christchurch Call summit by not attending or endorsing the agreement.

In a statement from the White House, a spokesperson said the US stood with the international community in condemning terrorist and violent extremist content online in the strongest terms.

But it said the US was not currently in a position to join the agreement, although it supported its the overall goals.

It cited freedom of expression and freedom of the press as reasons it would not be joining the agreement, and said promoting credible, alternative narratives was the best way to defeat terrorist messaging.

Ms Moir  seemed to lose the plot here with her comment about snubbing the Christchurch Call – this article at The Washington Post gives a more balanced view

“It’s hard to take seriously this administration’s criticism of extremist content, but it’s probably for the best that the United States didn’t sign,” said James Grimmelmann, a Cornell Tech law professor. “The government should not be in the business of ‘encouraging’ platforms to do more than they legally are required to — or than they could be required to under the First Amendment.”

“The government ought to do its ‘encouraging’ through laws that give platforms and users clear notice of what they’re allowed to do, not through vague exhortations that can easily turn into veiled threats,” Grimmelmann said.

Precisely – let’s be frank we need the equivalent of a first amendment in NZ, especially with the appalling attitude of NZ politicians towards free speech.

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