Published: Thu, March 21, 2019

Australian PM pushes for regulation of "ungoverned" social media

Australian PM pushes for regulation of

The horrific incident was live-streamed on Facebook.

In his letter, the prime minister says it's unacceptable to treat the internet as an ungoverned space.

Australia Prime Minister Scott Morrison (C) with other politicians and religious leaders attend an interfaith service at St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney on Sunday, in memory of those who lost their lives in the Christchurch mosque attacks.

"I want Australians to earn more, and I want Australians to keep more of what they earn", he told reporters in Perth.

On Friday, a white supremacist went on a shooting rampage in two mosques in Christchurch, killing 50 people.

Morrison said the technology giants should be compelled to act quickly in "removing of content by actors who encourage, normalize, recruit, facilitate or commit terrorist and violent activities".

The prime minister said if social media companies could target advertising "almost like they are reading your mind" then they could write algorithms to screen out violent content.


Opposition Leader Bill Shorten agreed.

"I do not believe it is beyond the technological capacity of some of the richest, largest, most powerful, cleverest, most sophisticated businesses in the world, not to be able to better monitor the material before they publish it", he told reporters in Western Australia.

"It is imperative that the global community works together to ensure that technology firms meet their moral obligation to protect the communities which they serve and from which they profit".

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her government did all it could to remove online footage after the attack but it was up to the digital platforms to make sure it was deleted.

He has also taken aim at tech companies for their seeming inability to stop the propagation of extremist content, such as live footage shot by the gunman as he rampaged through the Al Noor mosque.

"Once it is uploaded then it's nearly impossible to take it down before it at least gets spread to a few other users", he told ABC Radio National. "They've created these capabilities, and in the overwhelming majority of cases, they're available for peaceful and happy purposes, but we do know that they can be used and weaponised by terrorists of any description", he told the press.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said there should be debate about the role of public ownership and control of online platforms.

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