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Big Techs Of Silicon Valley Outline Fight Against Online Extremism

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Six months after a suspect in the New Zealand mosque shooting streamed the massacre live on Facebook, big techs in Silicon Valley announced on Monday their intention to revamp an organisation they had established in 2017 to fight online extremism.

2019 has seen at least three online atrocities, one of which includes El Paso mass shooting which was traced to 8chan. 8chan is an online messaging board that has been used secretly by anonymous accounts to share extremist messages and applaud mass shooters. Law enforcement in El Paso are investigating a document they believe was written by the shooting suspect, Patrick Crusius. This writer applauded the mass shootings of the two mosques in Christchurch.

The document was filled with bile and racist hatred toward immigrants and Hispanics, whom they blame for taking up their jobs and blending the cultures in the US. 

At an event in New York, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said the group was working to give room for swift responses to emergency situations like fires and flood. “We’re trying to create a civil defence style mechanism. In the same way, we respond to emergencies like fires and floods we need to be prepared and ready to respond to a crisis like the one we experienced.”

Facebook was heavily criticised for not taking prompt action on the live-streamed shooting that took place in New Zealand. Even after the social network took down million copies of the shooting, other versions have been shared freely on WhatsApp, its encrypted messaging app. Unlike Instagram and Facebook, content cannot be monitored or moderated on its messaging app.

About how it would tackle the spread of the video footage on WhatsApp, Sandberg said at the event that the company had used information from Instagram and Facebook to take action against some WhatsApp users who still shared the footage.

After the massacre which led to the death over 50 people, the New Zealand and French government began to push for an initiative to encourage tech companies and countries to work together to bring end to online extremism fuelled by social media.

Amazon, LinkedIn and WhatsApp pledged their allegiance to support the organisation. 8chan, however did not give its support for the initiative. The messaging board has since this year been linked to three atrocities so far.

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