New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern urges global action on social media perils after mosque massacre
New Zealand Prime Minister
Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday (March 20) 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
Ardern said while her focus was on the people of New
Zealand, there were issues world leaders needed "to
"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 United States, 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 that they are
not responsible for what is put on their platforms but
Ardern has countered that they cannot simply be "all
profit, no responsibility".
A 44-year-old businessman was remanded in custody
after a preliminary court appearance in Christchurch
Wednesday on charges of distributing footage of one of
the mosque shootings.
If found guilty, he faces up to 14 years in jail.
Ardern also announced New Zealand would hold two
minutes of silence as a mark of respect for the dead on
Friday and women in the country were being
encouraged to wear headscarves to show their support
for the Muslim community.