Whaleoil transcript: The PM’s plan to ‘crackdown on social media’

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – APRIL 24: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to the media at a media conference at Mt Albert Electorate Office on April 24, 2019 in Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand and France have announced that the two countries will lead global efforts to try to end the use of social media to organise and promote terrorism. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
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Du Plessis-Allan:

Okay, the Paris summit, the prime minister?s plan is to crack down on social media. I?m a little bit cynical about this, don?t think it?s going to work ? what are your thoughts?

Soper:

Well I?m totally cynical I must say. It?s incredible when you consider that her mate ol? Emmanuel Macron obviously got on the blower and said to her ?Look, we?re having a ?tech for humanity? meeting of G7 digital ministers? which are fairly low ranked ministers, Claire Curran, don?t forget, used to be ours, and France is the chair and they?re having a separate ?tech for good? summit on the same day, May 15th, and he would have said to Jacinda Ardern ?Why don?t you come along?? This man?s not the most popular person in France at the moment, Jacinda Ardern ? she?s internationally popular ? who better to have at a summit talking about these sorts of matters?

Ardern talked to journos earlier today Heather, and I think she started off anyway with a fair point.

Played recording. Ardern: I don?t think anyone would argue that the terrorists on the 15 March had a right to live stream the murder of 50 people and that is what this call is very specifically focused on. What happened on the 15 March in NZ was unprecedented in the way that it used the internet. Ah, and so with that does come a responsibility, ah, to try and make change. What it isn?t, however, is a draft set of regulation or a proposal um? in that sense because actually some of it comes down to the day to day practices that we see online. Ah, again highlighting that the reason we believe we?ll get um? ah? good collaboration is because this is very specific about terrorist activity.

Soper:

Yeah but therein lies the problem in my view Heather, that pledges are just that? ah, taking a position of honour? and there?s little honourable about the internet. Ardern went on to talk about what she is now referring to as the ?Christchurch Summit? in Paris. Listen carefully to this.

Played recording. Ardern: This is not about apportioning blame to any one element? ah?ah? for instance or claiming, for instance that we can resolve these issues simply by addressing ah? what?s happening on?ah? online platforms. Absolutely not. Our role of course is around social cohesion and around ah? what we are? what we are doing to promote diversity and inclusion so we can?t ah? I think, step away from that responsibility but nor can? ah? internet companies step away from theirs as well.

Soper:

Now I don?t know about you Heather, but I didn?t quite understand what that was all about.

Du Plessis-Allan:

Ah, look nor did I. (Soper laughs). Not? honestly, nor did I really. I wondered why you were playing it for a second. (Both laugh). If I can be completely honest.

Um, look, I? I asked the prime minister?s office today for? um, the pledge, right? This is the big document, the pledge, can we have a look at what the pledge is about and they said to me, look, we?ve got nothing to add beyond the prime minister?s statement that was put out. Which says to me actually, that they haven?t got the pledge? I?m reading between the lines?  the pledge isn?t ready, it?s?

Soper:

No, they haven?t, I can tell you they haven?t.

Du Plessis-Allan:

This is just kind of happened accidentally, has it?

Soper:

Well, no. The text is being worked on and don?t forget this story was broken by Macron himself. Ah, I don?t think the prime minister?s office was in any way prepared ah? for the story coming out first thing this morning. And the supreme irony in all of this Heather, is that this is the only country ah? that has carried out an international ah? act of terrorism on NZ soil and now we?re joining hands at a summit in Paris! I mean, there?s an irony in that.

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