Microsoft calls tech industry a ‘event protocol’ after NZ shooting

Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith called for stronger tech industry content moderation after videos of a mass shooting in New Zealand went viral online.

Microsoft calls tech industry a'event protocol' after NZ shootingSmith said “words alone are not enough” to combat violent and hateful posts on tech platforms. Earlier this month, New Zealand livestreaming  attack where, platforms scrambled to remove the video, which was shared millions of times in edited versions.

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Microsoft is “exploring additional steps” to flag and remove violent, extremist content, he added. Smith proposed the tech industry as a whole collaborate to prevent extremism and violence on their platforms, as Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism group members YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft did two years ago.

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Tech companies could team up to create or enhance artificial intelligence tools that can “identify and apply digital hashes” to pre-existing videos and new or edited versions of violent content, Smith said.

The industry could also create a collaborative “major event” crisis protocol, he proposed, that would outline coordinated efforts to remove violent content and increase communication.

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“Maybe we would need to rely less heavily on content moderation and takedowns if platforms began to look a little more architecturally at the mechanisms they’re providing for spreading speech and the kind of speech they’re incentivizing people to provide and consume,” Bridy said.

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