Facebook and New Zealand government to hold talks 'at some point'

4:45 pm on 20 March 2019

Facebook has been in touch with the government, including the Prime Minister's office, and it's likely a meeting will take place between the social media giant and politicians soon.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg Photo: AFP

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been vocal about her distaste of the social media platform allowing the live stream and subsequent uploading and sharing of the accused Christchurch shooter's video.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said there will be talks shortly.

"Facebook has been in touch with the government and with the Prime Minister's office and with other Ministers - and there will be an exchange at some point," he said.

However, the prime minister's office said there was no meeting scheduled with Facebook.

State Services Minister Chris Hipkins said they were some real concerns about the way these platforms are operating.

"And the way they have been used in this case and in other cases, to provide a safe harbour for people who don't deserve it," he said.

Mr Hipkins said the government would take advice on how much it spends on advertising on the likes of Facebook and Google.

"We'll consider it at Cabinet, probably next week," he said.

"We obviously need to consider that carefully, but yes we are concerned about what's happening on some of the social media platforms."

Yesterday, Privacy Commissioner John Edwards called on Facebook to give the names of anyone who shared the livestream of the mosque shootings to police.

He said it was irresponsible for the social network to offer livestreaming if it could not detect and prevent abuse of the feature in a timely manner.

New Zealand internet providers Vodafone NZ, Spark and 2degrees have sent an open letter to the chief executives of social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Google saying more needs to be done to prevent horrific content from being uploaded.

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