Published: Thu, May 16, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Facebook limits livestreaming ahead of tech summit in Paris

Facebook limits livestreaming ahead of tech summit in Paris

Facebook announced that it was putting $7.5 million into research partnerships with three USA universities to improve image and video analysis technology.

They're working all day on the "Christchurch Appeal", named after the New Zealand city where 51 people were killed in a March attack on mosques.

Organized in response to the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, it's just a manifesto from world leaders and tech companies to combat online extremism.

The Prime Minister has arrived in Paris ahead of the Christchurch Call summit overnight on Wednesday and she's not ruling out a late appearance from the United States.

The summit comes as there is a growing realisation that the current abuse of social media by extremists must be countered, after the Christchurch attacker broadcast live footage on Facebook from a head-mounted camera.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted the event with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has been calling for technology executives to sign a pledge as the "Christchurch Call".

The news release explained that the policy until now had been to remove any video that violated the site's community standards, and to suspend any users who repeatedly posted banned content. People were only banned from the site altogether, it said, "either because of repeated low-level violations, or, in rare cases, because of a single egregious violation (for instance, using terror propaganda in a profile picture or sharing images of child exploitation)".

In an opinion piece in The New York Times on May 11, Ardern said the "Christchurch Call" will be a voluntary framework that commits signatories to put in place specific measures to prevent the uploading of terrorist content.

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"Today we are tightening the rules that apply specifically to Live", Rosen wrote.

The tougher restrictions will be gradually extended to other areas of the platform, starting with preventing users from creating Facebook ads. "Facebook has made a tangible first step to stop that act being repeated on their platform".

"There is a lot more work to do, but I am pleased Facebook has taken additional steps today ... and look forward to a long-term collaboration to make social media safer", she said in a statement.

New Zealand officials said she found a natural partner for the fight against online extremism in Macron, who has repeatedly stated that the status quo is unacceptable.

There were 1.5 million attempted uploads of the gunman's video within 24 hours of his livestream, and its AI technology automatically blocked 1.2 million of those uploads.

"One of the challenges we faced in the days after the attack was a proliferation of many different variants of the video of the attack", vice-president of integrity Rosen said. New Zealand had its experience and changed its laws.

"There's no word on what the rules are, so that makes it very hard to determine whether or not posts and video content are in breach of the rules". It's one of those gooey global accords that doesn't really require anybody to do anything other than say they'd like to do something.

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