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India Signs ‘Christchurch Call to Action’ to Tackle Extremism Online

Emmanuel Macron
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern with her
French counterpart, President Emmanuel Macron.

India, along with 25 signatories, has agreed to assist one another and to build momentum and widen support for the ‘Christchurch Call to Action’. The document is aimed at stopping abuse of the Internet by extremists.

India signed the ‘Christchurch Call to Action’ on Wednesday to combat online extremism. The agreement was initiated by the French and New Zealand governments, along with top social media companies. The international Call has come in the backdrop of Christchurch attacks on March 15 that killed 51 people.

According to a statement issued by the 17 signatory countries, “the dissemination of such content online has adverse impacts.” It stated that the human rights of the victims, security, and people worldwide are under great threat.

The meeting was attended by representatives of online giants like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Facebook and Amazon. India attended the meeting along with 25 other nations. These included France, New Zealand, European Commission, Ireland, Norway, Canada, UK, Indonesia, Australia, Germany, Japan, Spain, Netherlands, and Sweden.

The Call intended to address the issue of terrorist and violent extremist content online. It is introduced to prevent the internet abuse as appeared in and after the Christchurch attacks. The document stresses on the fact that it does not impact the rights of people’s free speech.

However, the US has decided not to sign the document amid free speech concerns. “We continue to be proactive in our efforts to counter terrorist content online. We maintain that the best tool to defeat terrorist speech is productive speech,” the White House officials said.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her French counterpart President Emmanuel Macron organized call to action. It was unveiled on Wednesday in Paris. All signatories have “affirmed” their willingness to continue to work together to widen support for the Call.

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