Weekly briefing: Christchurch call

A weekly round-up of relevant IEP data providing insight into the world around us.

Friday 17 May, 2019: Can the frenetic capabilities of the internet be controlled? Perhaps in the name of the Christchurch mosque massacre victims. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, along with French President Emmanuel Macron, announced a plan in Paris this week to eliminate violent extremism online and stop the internet being used as a tool for terrorists. The ‘Christchurch Call to Action’ asks signatory nations, and tech companies, to work together to prevent violent extremist internet content, to review algorithms promoting this content, and develop regulations. Britain, Canada, Australia, Jordan, Senegal, Indonesia, Norway and Ireland intend to sign the non-binding commitment, as did tech giants Microsoft, YouTube and Google. But the US stated it would not endorse the international pledge, citing respect for freedom of expression and freedom of the press. In the worst massacre in New Zealand’s history, 51 people were murdered while praying in a Christchurch Mosque as the attack was livestreamed on Facebook. The original video was viewed 4000 times before being removed. Within the first 24 hours, 1.5 million copies of the video had to be taken off the same platform.

New Zealand by the numbers

Global rank: 2 out of 163 countries, on the Global Peace Index.
Regional rank:
1 out of 19 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.
Positive Peace: 8 out of 163 countries, on the 2018 Positive Peace Index.

The Christchurch massacre came as a shock to New Zealand, which consistently ranks as one of the most peaceful nations in IEP rankings.

Source: Global Peace Index