Ardern’s Harvard speech fuels calls for social media oversight in NZ | #socialmedia | #education | #technology | #infosec


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s speech has fuelled a fresh call for the Government to do more to police social media companies in New Zealand.

Internet NZ chief executive Andrew Cushen told 1News that social media platforms are continuing to radicalise people and the Government needs to step up and regulate them.

“I think the Government is missing an opportunity here, only Government can act to force social media to do better, we’ve seen good work happen over the last three years through the Christchurch Call but we are still seeing this harm occur now too.

READ MORE: Ardern focuses on online misinformation in her Harvard address

“We accept regulation in other forms of media so why not social media as well?”

Cushen said that social media algorithms often drive people deeper into more extremist content in ever-darker corners of the internet and said that’s how the platforms make their money.

“Asking them to do things differently is fighting what these entities are…. we have to get under the hood of these algorithms but the challenge will be that the social media entities won’t do that of their own volition.”

Cushen said that instead of asking social media companies to do better the Government should force them to do so.

“Our Prime Minister has led the way in terms of the Christchurch Call work…but we shouldn’t stop here, and we need to keep going with the tools that the Government has at its disposal in order to force and encourage better out of the social media entities.”

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