Twitter, Microsoft To Invest Toward Christchurch Call Anti-Online Hate Project, Says New Zealand PM

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a joint research initiative on Wednesday under the Christchurch Call anti-online hate project with the United StatesTwitter Inc. TWTR and Microsoft Corporation MSFT. The anti-online hate project was launched in the wake of the mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques in 2019.

What Happened: Ardern said New Zealand, the U.S., Twitter and Microsoft Corporation would invest an undisclosed sum in developing new technology. Together, they will work on finding out how algorithms drive people towards violent and terrorist content online.

While making the announcement in New York after co-hosting a summit with French president Emmanuel Macron, Ardern noted that this initiative was aimed at helping researchers understand how algorithms affected internet users' experiences.

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The initiative, co-backed by Twitter and Microsoft, is, however, missing tech giants Meta Platforms Inc. META and Alphabet Inc. GOOG GOOGL

A statement by the New Zealand Prime Minister's office noted that the partners in the initiative would work together to build and test a set of privacy-enhancing technologies that, once proven, could form the basis for infrastructure to support the independent study of the impacts of algorithms.

"This initiative won't tell us all we need to know about the outcomes algorithms are driving online, it will help us better access data so researchers can answer these very questions," said the statement.

Ardern and Macron launched the Christchurch Call after 51 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch in March 2019. The gunman live-streamed his shooting spree on Meta’s Facebook.

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