New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called on tech companies to censor the “scourge of disinformation” during an address to Harvard University graduates.
With the Uvalde mass shooting still fresh on Americans’ minds, Ardern cited the Christchurch shooting in 2019 in her Thursday address as cause for her government to ban “military-style semi-automatics and assault rifles” and impose online censorship.
“We knew we needed significant gun reform, and so that is what we did,” Ardern said. “But we also knew that if we wanted genuine solutions to the issue of violent extremism online, it would take government, civil society and the tech companies themselves to change the landscape.”
Arden then called on social media platforms to develop “responsible algorithms” to censor “disinformation” and “make choices and decisions for us” about what information we see online.
“The time has come for social media companies and other online providers to recognize their power and to act on it,” Ardern said.
“That means upholding their own basic terms of service. That means recognizing the role they play in constantly curating and shaping the online environments that we’re in. That algorithmic processes make choices and decisions for us.”