White House declines to back Christchurch call to stamp out online extremism amid free speech concerns

Jul 2014
65,126
53,474
CA
#1
The United States broke with 18 governments and five top American tech firms Wednesday by declining to endorse a New Zealand-led effort to curb extremism online, a response to the live-streamed shootings at two Christchurch mosques that killed 51. White House officials said free-speech concerns prevented them from formally signing onto the largest campaign to date targeting extremism online. But it was another example of the United States standing at odds to some its closest allies.

Leaders from around the globe, including British Prime Minister Theresa May, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, signed the “Christchurch Call,” which was unveiled at a gathering in Paris that had been organized by French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter also signed on to the document, pledging to work more closely with one another and governments to make certain their sites do not become conduits for terrorism. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey was among the attendees at the conference.

The companies agreed to accelerate research and information sharing with governments in the wake of recent terrorist attacks. “It is right that we come together, resolute in our commitment to ensure we are doing all we can to fight the hatred and extremism that lead to terrorist violence,” Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter said in a joint statement. (Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

But the White House opted against endorsing the effort, and President Trump did not join the other leaders in Paris. The White House felt the document could present constitutional concerns, officials there said, potentially conflicting with the First Amendment, even though Trump previously has threatened to regulate social media out of concern that it’s biased against conservatives.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/tech...-free-speech-concerns/?utm_term=.57355a742794

Sigh, I'm pretty sure "extremism" are "terrorist attack's" are not usually considered "free speech".