UK home secretary warns tech companies over Christchurch content

Tech companies that “don’t clean up their platforms” must be “prepared to face the force of the law,” U.K. Home Secretary Sajid Javid said today.

The warning was delivered in reaction to Friday’s terror attack in New Zealand, which left 49 people dead and 20 seriously injured after a shooter targeted two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

Javid’s statement comes as the U.K. government prepares to publish a delayed “online harms” white paper this month, setting out how it plans to impose a duty of care on tech companies.

Writing in the Express, Javid said online platforms have a responsibility “not to do the terrorists’ work for them.” The Christchurch gunman filmed his attack and live-streamed it to Facebook. “Tech companies must do more to stop his messages being broadcast on their platforms,” Javid wrote.

“Allowing terrorists to glorify in the bloodshed or spread more extremist views can only lead to more radicalisation and murders,” he continued.

“This is the type of illegal behaviour that our new Online Harms White Paper will address.”

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