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PM Ardern had announced to the nation of New Zealand that the Royal Commission’s Inquiry into the March 15 Christchurch terror attacks could pose new YouTube and social media censorship.
A statement by the PM reads: “Before concluding, I want to remark briefly on the role of social media. You will be aware of the work we did in the aftermath of the attack to address some of these issues – that work is not complete.”
The man’s attack carried out on March 15 of 2019 was live-streamed to Facebook in front of viewers who watched as 51 were shot dead and 40 were injured. The attack began at the Al Noor Mosque in the suburb of Riccarton at about 1:40 pm, continuing at Linwood’s Islamic Centre at around 1:52 pm. The live stream ran for roughly 17 minutes before it was cut off, where the terrorist was arrested.
The Government has since actively removed any content in relation to the Christchurch terrorist attacks, including anyone who conspires and talks about it online — some New Zealanders have had knocks on their doors by Police officers for speaking about it, and some have been charged or jailed for releasing the footage to the public of the attack.
“For me, the report only further reinforced the need to continue,” said Ardern.
“What particularly stood out was the statement that the terrorist claimed that he was ‘not a frequent commenter on extreme right-wing sites and that YouTube was, for him, a more significant source of information and inspiration.'”
“This is a point I plan to make directly to the leadership of YouTube,” she concluded.
What this means for New Zealand, is that there may be a higher posed censorship around anti-terrorism, hate and gun-related content on social media platforms.