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Tech Companies Back Independent Watchdog To Tackle Online Extremism

By ET Bureau - September 24, 2019 2 Mins Read

Tech companies, online extremism

A global working group set up by Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft to remove extremist content will become an independent watchdog working “to respond quickly and work more collaboratively to prevent” attacks like Christchurch, said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Monday.

Ardern has pushed for stronger action since New Zealand’s worst peacetime mass shooting in March when a gunman attacked Muslims attending Friday prayers in Christchurch. He killed 51 people and broadcast the attack live on Facebook.

“In the same way that we respond to natural emergencies like fires and floods, we need to be prepared and ready to respond to a crisis like the one we experienced,” Ardern told reporters on the sidelines of the annual United Nations gathering of world leaders.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism was created in 2017 under pressure from U.S. and European governments after a spate of deadly attacks. It will now become an independent organization led by an executive director, funded by Facebook Inc., Google’s YouTube, Twitter Inc., and Microsoft Corp.

The organization would be governed by an operating board made up of company representatives and would have an independent advisory committee composed of government and civil society members.

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