Facebook limits livestreaming ahead of tech summit in Paris

Facebook announces changes on eve of Christchurch Call

Facebook to tighten live streaming rules after distribution of Christchurch massacre video

The US tech giant announced that it will tighten rules in order to curb the spread of hate and terrorist ideas online in the aftermath of New Zealand's mosque shootings, which were livestreamed on Facebook. Ardern is seen here laying a wreath at the Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland last month.

The "Christchurch call" initiative was pushed by Ardern after a self-described white supremacist gunned down 51 people in a massacre at two mosques in the New Zealand city in March, AFP said.

The New Zealand leader earned huge worldwide prominence and respect after the attacks by reaching out to Muslim communities at home and vowing a widescale crackdown on extremist content.

Facebook's Live streaming feature policy has changed.

France's president Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand's Prime minister Jacinda Ardern have joined forces to fight against online extremism. Therefore, if a user posted content leading to a terrorist website, they'd be banned from livestreaming.

The policy applies to content posted elsewhere on the platform, not just streamed.

Facebook said it planned to extend the new restrictions to other areas over the coming weeks, beginning with preventing the same people from creating ads on Facebook.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern welcomed Facebook's pledge to restrict some users from Facebook Live and invest $7.5 million in research to stay ahead of users' attempts to avoid detection. In the 24 hours after the attack, the company scrambled to remove 1.5 million videos containing footage of the bloodshed.

In an opinion piece in The New York Times over the weekend, Ardern said the Christchurch massacre underlined "a horrifying new trend" in extremist atrocities. "But that right does not include the freedom to broadcast mass murder".

While not having Facebook Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the meeting is regrettable, "what's fundamental is for Facebook to agree to this plan", Ardern told Le Monde in an interview published Wednesday.

The US government has not endorsed the Christchurch Call and will only be represented at a junior level at a meeting of G7 digital ministers which is also taking place on Wednesday in Paris.

"The pledge does not contain enforcement or regulatory measures".

US officials said they stand "with the worldwide community in condemning terrorist and violent extremist content online", and support the goals of the Christchurch document.

"Facebook's decision to put limits on live streaming is a good first step to restrict the application being used as a tool for terrorists, and shows the Christchurch Call is being acted on", Ardern said in an email from her spokesman, according to Reuters.

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