Centre for Internet & Society

In the wake of the Christchurch terror attacks, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, and the President of France, Emmanuel Macron co-chaired the Christchurch Call to Action in May 2018 to “bring together countries and tech companies in an attempt to bring to an end the ability to use social media to organise and promote terrorism and violent extremism.”

Fifty one supporters, including India, and eight tech companies have jointly agreed to a set of non-binding commitments and ongoing collaboration to eliminate violent and extremist content online. Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Google, and Amazon are all among the online service provider signatories that released a joint statement welcoming the call and committing to a nine-point action plan.

The Call has been hailed by many as a step in the right direction, as it represents the first collaboration between governments and the private sector companies to combat the problem of extremist content online at this scale. However, the vagueness of the commitments outlined in the Call and some of the proposed mechanisms have raised concerns about the potential abuse of human rights by both governments and tech companies.

This response is divided into two parts - Part One examines the call through the lens of human rights, and Part Two thinks through the ways in which India can adhere to the commitments in the Call, and compares the current legal framework in India with the commitments outlined in the Call.

Click to read the comments here. The comments were prepared by Tanaya Rajwade, Elonnai Hickok, and Raouf Kundil Peedikayil and edited by Gurshabad Grover and Amber Sinha.

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