The horrendous massacre in Christchurch has prompted Sajid Javid to make the traditional vague politician's plea to tech companies to sort it out somehow.
Using a platform well known for allowing horrendous things to circulate unchecked, Javid tweeted:
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) March 15, 2019
Tut, you really need to do more, guys. Just, like, more. More what? We don't know. How do you fund it? No idea. Just do more, okay?
Javid wasn't finished, though. Using another interesting choice of platform, he writes in the Daily Express:
"The live-streaming of these terrorist murders in New Zealand is absolutely repellent.
This video is still circulating online and I urge everyone to stop viewing and sharing this sick material. It is wrong and it is illegal.
Online platforms have a responsibility not to do the terrorists’ work for them. This terrorist filmed his shooting with the intention of spreading his ideology. Tech companies must do more to stop his messages being broadcast on their platforms.
Allowing terrorists to glorify in the bloodshed or spread more extremist views can only lead to more radicalisation and murders.
This is the type of illegal behaviour that our new Online Harms White Paper will address.
Tech companies who don’t clean up their platforms should be prepared to face the force of the law."
Quick plug for the government's latest panacea, there.
While the original livestreamed attack was broadcast on Facebook for 17 minutes, all the tech platforms said they were working hard to keep copies and reuploads off their servers. Facebook says it managed to block 1.5 million reuploads -- although 300,000 slipped through.
Twitter commentators pointed out that sites like YouTube seem to manage content-matching just fine when it involves copyrighted material.
YouTube can identify copyrighted music that has been slowed down or distorted for copyright purposes, but it can't pick up copies of the Christchurch video?
— Mike Stuchbery💀🍷 (@MikeStuchbery_) March 15, 2019
Simultaneously to Mr Javid's comments, a group of MPs suggested taxing social media companies to pay for research into its effects on mental and physical health.
The tax could perhaps also go towards counselling for the people involved in actually finding and removing this stuff from social, after an alarming report from The Verge found they often ended up traumatised or believing conspiracy theories themselves after seeing the worst of humanity day after day. [BBC]
Main image via Pexels