12 May 2019

World leaders, social media heads to gather for summit on terrorism

10:22 am on 12 May 2019

There will be notable absences at a summit to crackdown on social media being used for terrorism in Paris this coming week.

Emmanuel Macron and Jacinda Ardern have announced a joint effort to work toward curbing terrorism on social media. File photo.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern earlier announced a joint effort to work toward curbing terrorism on social media. Photo: AFP

Neither Mark Zuckerberg nor Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook are attending, nor is the United States President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, the heads of state from Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Norway, Jordan, Senegal, Indonesia and the European Union will descend on Paris for the Christchurch Call summit chaired by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron.

There the world leaders will sign up to an agreement on how to try to end the use of social media to organise and promote terrorism.

It comes after 51 people died in Christchurch as the result of a terrorist attack that was livestreamed on Facebook.

Technology representatives including Twitter's CEO Jack Dorsey, former deputy British prime minister Nick Clegg on behalf of Facebook and Microsoft's president Brad Smith will attend.

Google, Amazon and Wikimedia will also be there.

Former UK deputy Prime Minister and Facebook Head of Global Policy and Communication, Sir Nick Clegg, speak to media outside Dublin's Marker Hotel on the day Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Dublin.

Nick Clegg, who is Facebook's head of global policy and communication, will be in Paris for the summit. Photo: AFP

Ms Ardern said her conversations with Mr Zuckerberg had been "really consistent and high level'' but "of course" she would have preferred for him to attend the summit in person.

While she hasn't spoken directly to Mr Trump about the Christchurch Call, she said she had "no qualms promoting to any world leader'' the terrorism issues arising out of the use of social media.

The list of attendees includes:

  • European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
  • French President Emmanuel Macron
  • Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
  • UK Prime Minister Theresa May
  • Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar
  • Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg
  • Jordan King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein
  • Senegal President Macky Sall
  • Indonesia Vice President Jusuf Kalla
  • Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey

NZ expresses gratitude to Canada

Meanwhile, New Zealand's high commissioner in Ottawa is thanking Canada publicly for condemning online extremist material.

Daniel Mellsop said that Canada's Quebec province - where six Muslim worshippers were killed by a gunman in January 2017 - has also helped with advice for New Zealand after the 51 killings in Christchurch.

  • 'We all need to act' - PM says NZ and France will try to end use of social media for acts of terrorism
  • Facebook should turn off livestreaming - Privacy Commissioner
  • Governments gear up to crack down on social media