The leaders of France and New Zealand joined with the world’s biggest online platforms to help curb hate speech

At a summit in Paris Wednesday, representatives from Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc., committed to use and develop rules, algorithms and direct intervention to curb the uploading, promotion, amplification and distribution of violent extremism on social media platforms. The initiative calls for hate speech to be “immediately and permanently” taken down, though isn’t legally binding.

French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, were joined by leaders from the U.K., Canada, Jordan, Indonesia and others to approve the push they dubbed the “Christchurch Call.” The U.S. abstained from a formal endorsement of the agreement due to concerns about restricting free speech, but said it agreed in principle.

The call comes after the March 15 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 51 people were killed by a right-wing extremist who had posted racist manifestos online and then live-streamed his rampage. Facebook and Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube were widely criticized for failing to quickly remove the video from their platforms.

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Ad Age – May 15, 2019.

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