Facebook’s reputation has taken a battering since the shooting at mosques in Christchurch took place last month which left 50 dead and many injured. Speaking about the role of Facebook in the Christchurch shooting and the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, New Zealand’s privacy commissioner, John Edwards has lashed out at the social media giant and labelled it as “morally bankrupt pathological liars who enable genocide (as in Myanmar),” according to a report by ZDNet.
Edwards added that the company’s refusal to “take responsibility for the attacks or harm done to the society” comes as a shock to everyone.
In an interview with Radio New Zealand on Monday, Edwards said that the social media giant still had no system in place to avert any attack like the Christchurch shooting and following its refusal to delay any live streaming as an interim measure, it would still be difficult for New Zealand to act.
“This is a global problem. The events that were live-streamed in Christchurch could happen anywhere in the world, and it’s a problem that governments need to come together and force the platforms to have a solution for,” said Edwards.
“It may be that regulating, as Australia has done just in the last week, would be a good interim way to get their attention and say ‘Unless you can demonstrate the safety of these services, you simply cannot use them’,” he added.
In a stern action last week, the Australian government has decided to rein in the social media companies, including Facebook who the government believes are lax in their attitude in keeping a check on the content shared on the platform. The House of Representatives in Australia has passed the Criminal Code Amendment (Unlawful Showing of Abhorrent Violent Material) Bill 2019, which requires social media platforms to “expeditiously” remove content that shows kidnapping, murders, rape, or terrorist attacks.
The report goes on to add that witnesses to any of these acts of crimes that are not affiliated with the perpetrators, such as those who happen to live-stream the activity, are not covered by the Bill.
It is important to note here that the video of the terror attack in Christchurch was viewed nearly 4000 times on Facebook before it was finally reported and this took nearly half an hour. Edwards also highlighted Facebook’s use in targeting Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.