New Zealand-H. Ardern, steps up the fight against the extremist content online

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern is announced more funding and support from the Monday to the goal of violent extremist content on the internet, just a few months after an alleged white supremacist has been online to see the carnage in two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

FILE PHOTO: prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern speaks at the Bloomberg the Global Business Forum in New York City, New York, New York, USA, on 25 September 2019. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

The attack on the 15th of March, and that killed 51 Muslim believers, is available to view online, on Facebook, and the video was shared on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook-owned apps, Whatsapp and Instagram.

Ardern said the government was investing a total of NZ$17 million ($10.73 million) over the next four years to boost New Zealand’s ability to find, stop, and stamp out the terrorist or violent extremist content online.

The investment will be used to double its investigative, forensic, intelligence, and the prevention department of the Ministry of internal Affairs, they announced in a press conference.

A team of 17 people that will be dedicated to the approach of such content, the government, in a statement.

The new department’s powers of investigation and prosecution of criminal offenses, both through proactive detection, and the opportunity to work with national and international partners.

“Our on-line world should be a force for good, where we can exchange ideas, share technology, and the maintenance of civil liberties, and whereas, the protection of New Zealand from unwanted content,” Ardern said in a statement.

“The prevention of violent extremism is an important part of our response to the March 15 of the terrorist attacks,” she added.

Silicon Valley’s tech giants, and world leaders have endorsed a move by Ardern called the “Bar Call”, which aims to establish standards of ethics for technology companies and the media, in order to prevent the strengthening of violent extremist content online.

Their dedication was put to the test last week when the social media companies scrambled to scrub the images from a shoot-out in a German synagogue, that is on-line at Amazon’s gaming subsidiary on the track.

As well as with the city of Christchurch, in full, copies, and parts of the German video that was not long before that, elsewhere online, and was shared by both the adherents of the shooter’s anti-semitic ideology, and critics to condemn his actions.

Ardern, said at a news conference later that the attack was in Germany last week, it was another reminder of the threat posed by online extremism.

Reporting by Praveen Menon

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