Christchurch call: is it enough?

Peter Thompson and Marcin Betkier discuss the background and challenges of the Christchurch Call.

Spotlight Lecture Series

August 2019

Following the horrific terrorist attacks on the Christchurch mosques earlier this year, a group of governments and online service providers signed the Christchurch Call to Action at a summit initiated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. The document outlines voluntary commitments to address violent extremist content online.

Although few would dispute the need to curb online extremism, the Christchurch Call raises many other questions concerning the governance of social media. What should we demand from digital intermediaries, internet service providers, and governments to ensure online media serve the wider interests of the public? Is the Christchurch Call agreement sufficient? What other interventions might be needed, and who can be trusted with regulatory powers over the media?

Victoria University of Wellington’s Peter Thompson and Marcin Betkier discuss the background of the Christchurch Call and challenges that decision-makers face to address the problems that digital technologies pose to media, society, and regulatory regimes.

Peter Thompson is a senior lecturer in Media Studies and chair of the Better Public Media Trust.

Marcin Betkier is a lecturer at the School of Law and the author of recently published book Effective Privacy Management for Internet Services.

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