Small Wars Journal

White House Will Not Sign On To Christchurch Call To Stamp Out Online Extremism Amid Free Speech Concerns

White House Will Not Sign On To Christchurch Call To Stamp Out Online Extremism Amid Free Speech Concerns by Tony Romm and Drew Harwell – Washington Post

The White House will not sign an international call to combat online extremism brokered between French and New Zealand officials and top social media companies, amid U.S. concerns that it clashes with constitutional protections for free speech.

The decision comes as world leaders prepare to announce the so-called “Christchurch call to action” on Wednesday, an effort named after the New Zealand city where a shooter attacked two mosques in an attack inspired by online hate and broadcast on social-media sites. The document calls on governments and tech giants to improve their efforts to study and stop the spread of harmful content.

U.S. officials said they stand “with the international community in condemning terrorist and violent extremist content online,” and support the goals of the Christchurch document. But the White House said in a statement it is “not currently in a position to join the endorsement,” which leaders from countries such as Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom are expected to sign. The decision puts the United States at odds with U.S. tech companies including Facebook and Google, which are expected to support the effort…

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