Australia has finally secured an agreement with fellow G20 leaders to stop the spread of violent terrorism online following the Christchurch mosque terror attacks in March, this year.
Scott Morrison, the Australian Prime Minister and Jacinda Arden, the New Zealand Prime Minister had called out on social media companies for livestreaming terror attacks. The two leaders demanded faster action by all companies to take down the violent and terrorizing content.
Now social media companies are under pressure to act immediately when contacted by authorities to remove terrorist content or any other violent posts that seek to spread terror. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the proposal by Australia was agreed by a consensus with support from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other EU leaders.
The proposal came about following the Christchurch mosque terror attack, in which an Australian gunman killed 51 and wounded 49 while streaming the murders on Facebook. Morrison, in a letter, as per the Sydney Morning Herald, outlined a proposal for a global meeting to stamp out terrorist violence on social media. However, the idea was objected by the US and several other countries as they raised concerns that doing so would curb free speech.
This time around, with the support of fellow G20 leaders, the Australian prime minister achieved a breakthrough. The leaders issued their statement to ‘raise the bar’ for online platforms. They urged online platforms to meet the citizens’ expectations that they must not allow use of their platforms to facilitate terrorism and violent extremism conducive to terrorism.
“Platforms have an important responsibility to protect their users. The complexity of the challenge and the increasing sophistication of the criminals who would misuse the internet does not lessen the importance of platforms mitigating the proliferation of terrorist and VECT content, which harms society, via their platforms,” the statement read.
It further said the leaders underline the importance of online platforms addressing the matter in a timely manner while ensuring that documentary evidence is preserved.