Paris, May 16: Months after the Christchurch terror attack that was live-streamed on Facebook, the social media giant decided to tighten rules for using its video live streaming feature. In March, a white supremacist gunman used Facebook Live to stream his rampage at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, killing 51 people. Since then, the pressure was building up on Facebook to curb misuse of its video live streaming feature.
In a bid to stop the spread of offensive videos, Facebook on Wednesday said it would ban users from using the live streaming feature if they violate its policies. "Today we are tightening the rules that apply specifically to Live... From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time -- for example 30 days -- starting on their first offence," Guy Rosen, Facebook's vice president of integrity, wrote in a blog. Who Is Brenton Tarrant, The Australian 'Right-Wing Terrorist' Who Live Streamed Christchurch Mosque Shooting?
"For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time," Rosen said. "Following the horrific recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand, we’ve been reviewing what more we can do to limit our services from being used to cause harm or spread hate," he added. New Zealand Mosque Shooting Was Live Streamed on Facebook by Shooter, Graphic Video Goes Viral.
Reacting to Facebook's new restrictions, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: "There is a lot more work to do, but I am pleased Facebook has taken additional steps today." She and French leader Emmanuel Macron have prepared to launch a "Christchurch Call" initiative to tackle the spread of violence and extremism online. Leaders from Britain, Canada, Norway, Jordan and Senegal will also participate in the initiative.
The political meeting in Paris will run in parallel to an initiative launched by Macron called "Tech for Good" which will bring together 80 tech executives to discuss how to harness technologies for the common good. Top officials from US tech giants Wikipedia, Uber, Twitter, Microsoft and Google will attend, but not Zuckerberg, who met privately with Macron last week.
The US government has not endorsed the Christchurch Call and will be represented only at a junior level at a meeting of G7 digital ministers which is also taking place Wednesday in Paris. (With PTI inputs)