Jacinda Ardern says more work needed to prevent online radicalisation after Buffalo shooting, tech giant talks


'Sophisticated' attempts to share material connected to the Buffalo shooting shows there is still a lot of work to do to prevent online radicalisation, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said after speaking to tech giants in the US today.

Ardern has spoken to media in Seattle today after spending some time at a community event there during her trip to the US.

After meeting with representatives from Amazon and Twitter today, Ardern was asked about the status of the Christchurch Call plan and said that things were "vastly different now than they were after our experience on March 15".

She said the tech companies were now working together to make sure they hasten the speed of content being removed, and also stop it being shared.

Buffalo's recent mass shooting event was "probably the first time where the attempts to share the content were quite sophisticated", showing there's more work to be done, she said

Ardern said people were downloading, reposting and relinking in new forums and platforms.

"Twitch is the place where this particular attacker chose to use the platform and via Amazon you have that connection to the Christchurch Call."

"Keep in mind, the Christchurch Call is not just about the issue of stopping people livestreaming attacks, it's also about what we can do to prevent radicalisation," she said.

"Everyone agrees we don't want to see violence, extremism, acts of terrorism fuelled by people's acts online."

The tech companies were looking at how their algorithms affect engagement and radicalisation, Ardern said, but there was still a long way to go.

Asked about recent gun violence in Auckland, and what that meant with New Zealand gun laws, Ardern said: "We've moved on one part of our problem but that doesn't mean the problem has evaporated, not at all."

When asked about Elon Musk's potential purchase of Twitter, and what that might mean, Ardern said the work they had done with the social media giant would continue, regardless of the ownership.

"Twitter, with its research projects with universities in New Zealand is already responding to calls we've made to work on these really tricky issues."

Ardern also spoke to Amazon about its $7.5 billion investment in New Zealand and said the company needed skills and talent to build domestically.

"They need 100,000 people with a specific skill set," and were already rolling out training in New Zealand.

"Retraining opportunities will be critical," she said.

Earlier today, Ardern signed a climate change deal with Californian governor Gavin Newsom in San Francisco, noting both bodies were present when the United Nations was founded in the same city in 1945.

She said the signing of a climate agreement with the US state of California reflected the two places' long-held shared values.

The partnership meant the two authorities would work together on strategies to reduce emissions.

Ardern said both places aimed to have net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and had comparable plans to achieve this.