Facebook, Google sign agreement to reduce harmful content in New Zealand
Sydney, Australia, Jul 25 (EFE).- Five technology giants, including Facebook and Google, agreed in New Zealand on a code of conduct, which came into force Monday, to take action against the publication of harmful content on their websites and platforms, while some critics said it is insufficient.
Meta (Facebook and Instagram), Twitter, Google (YouTube), Tik Tok and Amazon (Twitch) committed to actively reduce content linked to the sexual exploitation and abuse of minors, bullying or cyberbullying, incitement to violence, violent or graphic publications, misinformation and the dissemination of false news.
Netsafe, an independent internet rights organization that developed the code, said in a statement released Monday that with this self-regulation the public will have greater power to complain – through a mechanism not yet established – against harmful content posted on the Internet.
The code also opens the door for multinationals to be sanctioned for contravening its principles and obliges companies to publish annual reports on the steps taken to implement it.
“The reports offer consumers the opportunity to protect their interests and the public to examine what action a company takes if it fails to meet its code commitments,” Netsafe CEO Brent Carey said.
The Netsafe manager said this set of rules is the fastest way to reduce harmful content, while the New Zealand Home Office could still take a year in its review of legislation to regulate publications on social networks.
The code, developed after 10 weeks of consultations with civil, government and public sector representatives, was inspired by digital security principles implemented in New Zealand as well as Australia and the European Union.
But the creation of this code drew criticism from various digital groups, such as TohatohaNZ or InternetNZ, who said the multinationals lack a significant commitment.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s government launched an international initiative called “The Christchurch Call” to regulate hateful content on social media after the March 2019 supremacist attack on two mosques in her country, which killed 51 people and injured 49 others.
The perpetrator of the attack partially broadcast the massacre live on Facebook. EFE