On 15 March 2019, a right-wing terrorist shot and killed 51 people in an attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The attacker streamed his heinous act live on Facebook – the 17-minute live stream was viewed around 4,000 times before it was removed from the platform. Two months later, on 15 May 2019, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron convened the Christchurch Call Summit, bringing together governments and technology companies. The goal: a voluntary commitment to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content on the internet.
But when is state intervention in specific internet content justified? How does one deal with the tension between protecting civil society and freedom of expression on the net? And how do global state regulatory measures differ from each other? Dr David Bromell is a Senior Associate of the Institute for Governance and Policy Studies (IGPS) at the Wellington School of Business and Government at the Victoria University of Wellington and conducts research on online social media regulation, internet censorship and filtering, among other topics. In his project as a CAIS Fellow, he looked in detail at the implications and successes of the Christchurch Call. In CAISzeit, Silke Offergeld (State Chancellery of North Rhine-Westphalia) and Dr. Matthias Begenat from the Center for Advanced Internet Studies (CAIS) talk to him about extremist content and its regulation, about the role of platforms and politics in the fight against hate speech, and about pluralistic societies and freedom of expression online.
Read the results of Dr David Bromell’s research:
- Dr. David Bromell – CAIS Fellow Page
- Bromell, D. (2021). After Christchurch: Hate, harm and the limits of censorship. Series of 7 working papers, IGPS/CAIS. https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/igps/publications/working-papers
Tips for further reading:
- Emcke, C. (2016). Against hate. Frankfurt a.M.: S. Fischer Verlag.
- Miller-Idriss, C. (2020). Hate in the Homeland: The New Global Far Right. Princeton; Oxford: Princeton University Press.
- Strossen, N. (2018). HATE: Why We Should Resist It with Free Speech, Not Censorship. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Waldron, J. (2012). The Harm in Hate Speech. Cambridge, Massachusetts; London, England: Harvard University Press.