Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for global restrictions on social media in the wake of last weeks Christchurch mosque shootings, one of which was live-streamed on Facebook and viewed thousands of times before being removed.
In a letter to Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Morrison asked the G-20 chair to make the issue central to the world leaders’ upcoming summit in Osaka this June.
“It is unacceptable to treat the internet as an ungoverned space” Morrison wrote in the letter which he shared on twitter
I’ve written to Japanese PM @AbeShinzo as G20 President to have the leaders of the world’s biggest economies ensure social media companies implement better safeguards to ensure their platforms can’t be exploited by terrorists or to spread hate speech. pic.twitter.com/LEQacLqSYi
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 18, 2019
RT reports: In a report on the incident, Facebook said that less than 200 people actually watched the carnage unfold live, but the archived video of the attack in which 50 people were killed and over 40 injured was then reportedly streamed some 4,000 times before it was eventually taken down. The first user complaint was lodged some 29 minutes after the attack had begun.
Morrison questioned social media giants’ ability to police their own platforms, especially in light of such graphic and disturbing content being shared so easily across multiple platforms, as a terrorist attack was underway.
The company claims it removed 1.5 million copies of the videos of the attack in the first 24 hours, 1.2 million of which were “blocked at upload.” YouTube was heavily criticized for its perceived failure to adequately quarantine and remove any clones of the mosque attack video.
“If they can write an algorithm to make sure that the ads they want you to see can appear on your mobile phone, then I’m quite confident they can write an algorithm to screen out hate content on social media platforms,” Morrison told reporters in Adelaide.
However, Morrison has already received criticism, with some dubbing his call to action “collateral censorship” amid fears of overreaction and knee-jerk regulations.