Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that NZ and France will lead global efforts to try to end the use of social media to organise and promote terrorism.
The announcement comes in the wake of the 15 March Christchurch terror attacks.
Ms Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron will lead a meeting in Paris on 15 May, that will bring together other world leaders and tech companies.
"The March 15 terrorist attacks saw social media used in an unprecedented way as a tool to promote an act of terrorism and hate. We are asking for a show of leadership to ensure social media cannot be used again the way it was in the March 15 terrorist attack," Ms Ardern said.
Watch Jacinda Ardern addressing the media after the announcement:
"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.
"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.
"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. This meeting presents an opportunity for an act of unity between governments and the tech companies."
Ms Ardern told Morning Report that since the attacks, there had been a clear call for New Zealand to take on a leadership role in combating violent extremism online.
"There is a role for New Zealand to play now in ensuring we eradicate that kind of activity from social media, in particular to prevent it from ever happening again. We can't do that alone," she said.
"This isn't about freedom of expression, this is about preventing violent extremism and terrorism online.
"I don't think anyone would argue that the terrorist, on the 15th of March, had a right to livestream the murder of 50 people, and that is what this call is very specifically focussed on," she said.
Ms Ardern said she's met with a number of tech CEOs, including Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, and held meetings with executives from Microsoft, Twitter, and Google.
"When we actually distil this down, no tech company, no country, wants to see online platforms used to perpetuate violent extremism or terrorism. We all have a common starting point. It all then comes down to what it is we are each prepared to do about it.
Voluntary approach only option
Technology correspondent Bill Bennett said a voluntary approach was the only option for getting technology companies to sign up to a crackdown on terrorist behaviour through social media.
He said American technology companies didn't tend to respond to regulation around social media.
"They don't see themselves as being responsible for content that's published on their sites anyway. They see themselves as being some kind of neutral thing," Mr Bennett said.
He added that France was taking the lead with New Zealand because it's chairing a G7 summit on digital issues next month.
But National Leader Simon Bridges questioned whether the global conversation would translate into anything meaningful.
He was cynical about why Ms Ardern was focusing on the issue.
"I think New Zealanders will say, hey, if you're not also progressing policy, plans and actions around our housing, health, and education, why is this the big thing?
"Is it just a distraction tactic?".
New Zealand needed to be cautious about going down a path that would see the casual erosion of freedoms, Mr Bridges said.
"Many are saying right now in Sri Lanka that the social media black out there was wrong and was an overreaction.
"I don't think it would be the sort of thing we would have wanted to see in the aftermath of our tragedy", he said.
The Auckland Tamil community have gathered at a vigil in central Auckland tonight for victims of the Sri Lankan bombings.
About 40 people congregated in Aotea Square to remember the 359 people who died in the Easter Sunday terror attacks.
One woman, Nirusha George, says Sri Lankans here are frustrated by the lack of information they are able to get.
She says the freeze on social media has made it particularly difficult for families to find out if their loved ones are safe.
Ms George says there is also a huge feeling of sadness that a decade of peace since the end of the country's civil war has ended in such violence.
"Initially we were able to talk to friends and family, at this stage we're still not sure of who was involved, if people are still okay, or safe, or not.
"Personally for us, we know our immediate family is safe, but still extended family and whatnot, we're unsure."