New Zealand, France announce bid to end violent extremism online

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media during a press conference at the Justice Precinct in Christchurch on March 28, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 24 April 2019
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New Zealand, France announce bid to end violent extremism online

  • A French Muslim group said on Monday it was suing Facebook and YouTube for allowing the grisly live broadcast of Christchurch massacre to be streamed

WELLINGTON: New Zealand and France will bring together global leaders at a Paris summit next month aimed at stopping social media being used to organize and promote terrorism, the countries’ leaders announced Wednesday.
Political leaders and tech company executives have been called to a meeting — to be co-chaired by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron — in Paris on May 15.
They will be asked to commit to a pledge called the “Christchurch Call” designed to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content online.
Ardern said the March 15 terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, in which 50 Muslim worshippers were killed, saw social media used “in an unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate.”
The mosque attacks were live-streamed on the Internet and showed distressing footage of the gunman firing indiscriminately at men, women and children.
In Paris, the Elysee presidential palace said the meeting would ensure that “new, concrete measures are taken so that what happened in Christchurch does not happen again.”
Nearly six weeks after the massacre, social media sites are still struggling to stamp out copies of the gunman’s video.
“We’re calling on the leaders of tech companies to join with us and help achieve our goal of eliminating violent extremism online at the Christchurch Summit in Paris,” Arden said.
The meeting will be held alongside the “Tech for Humanity” meeting of G7 Digital Ministers, and France’s separate “Tech for Good” summit also scheduled for May 15.
“We all need to act, and that includes social media providers taking more responsibility for the content that is on their platforms, and taking action so that violent extremist content cannot be published and shared,” Ardern said.
“It’s critical that technology platforms like Facebook are not perverted as a tool for terrorism, and instead become part of a global solution to countering extremism.”
Macron has previously stated his ambition for France to take a leading role in devising new regulatory measures “to reconcile technology with the common good.”
Ardern said the joint action was not aimed at curbing freedom of expression but at preventing extremist violence from spreading online.
“I don’t think anyone would argue that the terrorist on March 15 had a right to livestream the murder of 50 people and that is what this call is very specifically focussed on,” she said.
A French Muslim group said on Monday it was suing Facebook and YouTube for allowing the grisly live broadcast of Christchurch massacre to be streamed.
The livestream lasting 17 minutes was shared extensively on a variety of Internet platforms and uploaded again nearly as fast as it could be taken down.
New Zealand has banned both the livestreamed footage of the attack and the manifesto written and released by Brenton Tarrant, who faces 50 murder charges and 39 of attempted murder following the mosque attacks.


Arab News women driving cover wins further recognition in DNA Paris Design Awards

Updated 23 May 2019
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Arab News women driving cover wins further recognition in DNA Paris Design Awards

  • Arab News scooped the awards for its front page by “New Yorker” illustrator Malika Favre, which was published to mark the move to allow women in Saudi Arabia to drive
  • It has won numerous awards since its publication and been one of the most retweeted artworks celebrating women driving in the Kingdom

LONDON: Arab News has continued its success on the international awards stage by winning two honorable mentions at the DNA Paris Design Awards.

The newspaper scooped the awards for its front page by “New Yorker” illustrator Malika Favre, which was published to mark the move to allow women in Saudi Arabia to drive.

The honorable mentions were for the categories “Graphic design - Editorial” and “Graphic design - Key art (Posters, covers, illustration).”

"For Arab News to be recognised again on a global scale with this award is a great honor," Simon Khalil, global creative director at Arab News, said. “Our women drivers cover has been recognised with eight design awards so far and this highlights just how important this moment in history was for women across the Kingdom.

 “Malika Favre was the obvious choice for our cover, and her illustration brilliantly captures the significance of this moment on the day Saudi Arabia changed forever."

The illustration was commissioned by Arab News for the cover of a special souvenir edition on June 24 of last year. It has become one of the most retweeted artworks celebrating women driving in the Kingdom.

The cover has won numerous awards since it was published. In March, it was recognized by SND awards, one of the most prestigious in the industry.

In February, the cover image was recognized in the international design awards run by “HOW” magazine.

The DNA Paris Design Awards honors international architects and designers “who improve our daily lives through practical, beautiful and innovative design,” according to its website.