As Friday’s attack by an ISIS sympathiser in a New Zealand supermarket shows, ISIS’s extreme ideology still holds strong appeal for some disaffected Muslims living in the west.
Social media algorithms are akin to a licence to promote junk food or tobacco to children.
A scholar who has reviewed the efforts of nations around the world to protect their citizens from foreign interference says there is no magic solution, but there’s plenty to learn and do.
The US, Russia and China haven’t backed the NZ-led Christchurch Call to crackdown on online extremism. Without them, and key non-western media, the initiative is unlikely to make enough difference.
My assessment is that there are about 150 to 300 core right-wing activists in New Zealand. This might sound modest – but proportionate to population, it’s similar to extremist numbers in Germany.
Dozens of countries and hundreds of firms and nonprofits are fed up with digital violence and are working toward greater cybersecurity for all.
While the “Christchurch Call” summit has made concrete progress, we need to keep up the pressure on social media companies to become more transparent and accountable.
Being seen to lead is clearly an important political aspect of managing online content. But internet regulation must focus on creating policy that is clear, accountable, balanced and open to appeals.