Politicians call for crackdown on social media 'toxic swamp' after mosque shooting

CNET | 3/18/2019 | Claire Reilly
smnth28 (Posted by) Level 3
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A man sits outside the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, following the mass shooting.

Facebook has been accused of "going missing" when it comes to fighting hate speech and playing an "unrestricted role" in terrorist attacks, following two mass shootings at mosques in New Zealand on Friday.

Comments - Prime - Minister - Scott - Morrison

The comments come from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the country's opposition leader Bill Shorten, who have not held back in criticising the role technology companies have played in amplifying extremist views.

Both politicians warn that the internet has given a home to the kind of white supremacist hate speech espoused by the alleged mosque shooter (an Australian national), saying that tech companies must do more to stamp it out.

Letter - Prime - Minister - Shinzo - Abe

In a letter to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe ahead of the upcoming G20 summit in Osaka, Prime Minister Morrison said internet technologies are playing an "unrestricted role" in the spread of extremism, and that world leaders must lay out "clear consequences" not only for those who carry out terrorist attacks, but also "for those who facilitate them."

The letter was also sent to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern, who has previously said she plans on discussing the issue "directly with Facebook."

Morrison - Likes - Facebook - Twitter - YouTube

But while Morrison did not mention the likes of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube by name, his political opponent, Labor leader Bill Shorten, was more forthright.

"A platform like Facebook goes to potential advertisers and says, 'We know everything about the users of Facebook, we can tell you everything so that you can geo-target and you can market to them,'" Shorten wrote in an op-ed for the Herald-Sun newspaper. "Well, if that's your business model, fair enough; but you can't go missing when it comes to hate speech."

Media - Tool

"Social media is a marvellous tool that has the potential to empower us, but too...
(Excerpt) Read more at: CNET
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