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Mission Creep: Microsoft Boss Suggests Joint Big-Tech Center After New Zealand Attacks Go Viral

Published: March 27, 2019
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Source: Nextgov

In the wake of the tragic mass murders in Christchurch, New Zealand, tech companies and lawmakers are wrestling with how to manage mass communication and the travails of the connected digital world.

Just before beginning his rampage on March 15, the shooter began streaming live video of the attacks. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube rushed to take the content down but new versions immediately popped up to fill the void. The incident showcased the full virality of the internet and the limits of big technology companies for policing their own platforms.

“Across the tech sector, we need to do more,” Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote in a blog post Sunday. “Especially for those of us who operate social networks or digital communications tools or platforms that were used to amplify the violence, it’s clear that we need to learn from and take new action based on what happened in Christchurch.”

Smith offers a range of suggestions, including building better tech to combat these issues and generally cultivating a “healthier online environment.” But he also suggests a more immediate, tangible option: establishing a joint response center where big tech companies can come together during major incidents.

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