In the wake of the tragic mass killings in Christchurch, New Zealand, technology companies and lawmakers are struggling to manage mass communication and the trouble of the connected digital world.
Shortly before starting his rampage on March 15th, the shooter began broadcasting live video of the attacks. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube hastened to reduce the content, but the new versions appeared immediately to fill the void. The incident showed the full virality of the Internet and the limitations of the big technology companies for the surveillance of their platforms.
"Throughout the technology industry, we need to do more," Microsoft president Brad Smith wrote in a blog post on Sunday. "Especially for those of us who run social networks or digital communication tools or platforms that have been used to amplify violence, it is clear that we need to learn and take new actions based on what happened in Christchurch."
Smith offers a number of suggestions, including the creation of better technology to combat these problems and generally cultivate a "healthier online environment". But it also suggests a more immediate and tangible option: to establish a joint response center where large technology companies can meet during major incidents.
"The technology sector should consider creating an" important event "protocol, in which technology companies would work from a common virtual command center during a major incident," he wrote.
A center would allow the various platform providers to compare the notes on the origin and the nature of the content uploaded during these events, "while ensuring that we avoid limiting communications that are of public interest, such as the reports of journalistic organizations ", wrote Smith.
He also suggested creating a framework for "confirmed events" with set protocols that can be activated immediately.
Lawmakers are also interested in hearing from major technology companies on this issue. Representative Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., Announced a closed-door audition with the National Security Chamber committee set for Wednesday, to which he invited Microsoft, as well as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.