Facebook appears 'genuinely committed' to change - NetSafe

Internet security group NetSafe is giving Facebook the benefit of the doubt, as the social network unveils a plan of action to tackle extremism and hate.

More than two weeks after the alleged Christchurch mosque attacker broadcast his killings on the site, Facebook's senior leadership have finally spoken out.

Chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg said on Saturday they might block people with previous violations of community standards from broadcasting live.

Netsafe CEO Martin Cocker says it will take time for the changes to start having an impact.

"When you're talking about developing new technologies and undertaking research, it's the results of that work that's really going to matter," he told Newshub.

"What we'll be looking for is updates from Facebook as to how that technology is advancing and developing, and what sort of impact it's having."

Cocker says it appears Facebook is "genuinely committed" to change, "or they wouldn't have such a senior person front it".

Facebook had previously announced a crackdown on white nationalist and separatist content, saying it's too close to white supremacist content, which was already banned.

He says everyday people can help improve what's on the site too.

"There's very little people can do to stop themselves being inadvertently exposed to that when videos become viral. When they do, or if they do see that kind of material, they should report it."

Facebook says more than 900 edited versions of the original broadcast exist, but get immediately removed as soon as they're uploaded.

"We have heard feedback that we must do more - and we agree," Sandberg said.

Chief Censor David Shanks, who declared the video objectionable and banned it from New Zealand, said the changes are too little, too late.

"I don't believe these issues will be resolved by leaving it up to global technology giants to make the changes that suit themselves. 

"We have had a graphic demonstration in New Zealand of how real and critical the risks and harms are. I think regulation will form an essential part of any effective response, alongside international agreement on where the lines are and how we enforce them."


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