Response to 'Christchurch Call' must define violent extremism, include civil society

The Congressional journal “The Hill” published an OpEd I wrote on the need for tech companies and governments to include a definition of violent extremism and include civil society in their meetings about addressing the spread of white nationalism and other forms of violent extremism on line.

"New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron recently convened governments and tech companies in Paris for the “Christchurch Call” summit to stop the spread of violent extremism on social media. Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon issued a joint statement in support of their call to action. President Trump decided not to join the pledge, expressing concern that it would limit free speech.

The Christchurch Call is a laudable, necessary initiative with two significant problems. First, it lacks a definition for violent extremism. A civil society counter-statement to the Christchurch Call asserts that, without a definition of violent extremism, vague calls for censorship make it more likely that abusive governments will censor human rights activists or minority groups under the guise of preventing terrorism. Second, the exclusion of civil society from the summit reduces the opportunity for meaningful accountability and people-powered solutions to the tech-terror nexus.

Click here to read the whole OpEd “Response to Christchurch Call must define violent extremism, include civil society”