Adapting for new technology
Technology and its use evolve constantly. Right now, for example, there are rapid developments in generative and foundational artificial intelligence (AI), immersive technologies, and the decentralised web.
AI could transform the ability to respond to terrorist and violent extremist content, providing better detection, prevention, and intervention capabilities, and the opportunity to scale and diversify safety tools in new contexts and languages.
Conversely, without safeguards, it is inevitable advanced AI capabilities will be weaponised by terrorists and violent extremists for propaganda, recruitment, and orchestration of attacks.
At the 2023 Leaders’ Summit, Leaders endorsed continuing to draw on the expertise of the Call community, working with the international community on frameworks to mitigate these risks, and engaging with civil society to ensure human rights are protected.
In 2023, Anthropic and Open AI became Call supporters, joining several existing Call supporters that have developed advanced AI capabilities. Work is underway to help realise the potential of AI, including a new collaboration between Microsoft and Tech Against Terrorism to pilot the use of advanced AI to enhance existing tools and, over time, make next-generation detection services available to smaller platforms.
There is a real risk of terrorist and violent extremist exploitation of smaller platforms. These platforms can encounter challenges when responding to crisis incidents, moderating content, and publishing transparency reports, while also complying with international laws and respecting human rights. Smaller providers may not have the necessary resources, systems and tools to do this effectively. Some smaller platforms also choose to remain unmoderated.
The Call Community is increasing outreach to the tech sector with the objective of increasing awareness, capacity and willingness among smaller platforms to deal with terrorist and violent extremist content. It is also seeking to better understand and to share advice on how the Call commitments can best be advanced in unmoderated spaces online, and looking to support or provide tools that can be utilised by the whole tech industry.
It is looking to support or provide tools that can be utilised by the whole tech industry. This includes, for example, the 2023 launch of Altitude(external link), a free, open-source tool developed by Google’s Jigsaw and Tech Against Terrorism, in collaboration with the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), to help platforms protect their communities from terrorist and violent extremist content.
Gender-based hate and violent extremism
There are demonstrated linkages between targeted violence and gender-based hate. The Call Community is looking to deepen the evidence on the role of gender-based extremism online as a contributing factor in violent extremism and terrorism online. Greater understanding of this will inform specific policy responses, and activity across the Call work plan.
At the 2023 Leaders’ Summit, Leaders welcomed the report on Misogynistic Pathways to Radicalisation(external link) prepared by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue in association with the Christchurch Call and the Global Partnership for Action on Gender-Based Online Harassment and Abuse. Leaders noted the importance of taking action to address anti-LGBTQIA+ violence and gender-based violence as vectors of radicalisation, developing and implementing multistakeholder recommendations on this important issue and continuing to deepen the evidence base to support further action.
The Call Community is also seeking to deepen engagement with organisations representing communities impacted by terrorism and violent extremism online, including women, LGBTQIA+ communities, youth, and intersectional communities.
Protecting a free, open and secure internet
The commitment to a free, open and secure internet that respects human rights is the foundation for all work on the Call. The Call Community seeks to actively protect and enhance these principles while delivering on the Call commitments. The complex nature of internet infrastructure and the ongoing development of related technologies make this challenging and important work.
Within the Call Community experts and key actors are working to grow understanding and develop tools to ensure this principle is respected and protected by regulators and online service providers, across activities including transparency reporting, crisis response, and content moderation.
Related issues and initiatives
Governance of online issues is a complex and evolving global effort. While the Call objective is to eliminate terrorist and violent extremist content, the Call Community wants to ensure that the Call work complements and contributes to broader tech governance efforts. It does this by sharing information and participating in parallel initiatives on related issues.
The Christchurch Call model involves coordinating action by bringing together governments, online service providers and international organisations with affected communities, civil society, and technical experts.
At the 2023 Leaders’ Summit, Leaders agreed that the Call Secretariat will investigate partnerships with complementary initiatives that share the Call’s commitment to human rights and a free, open, and secure internet; to coordinate efforts towards eliminating terrorist and violent extremist content online; and to consider how work on related issues such as information integrity, the safe and responsible deployment of artificial intelligence, and youth radicalisation, can help enhance the fulfilment of the Call commitments, and to make it easier for small institutions, governments, and organisations to participate in multistakeholder efforts to shape technology norms.
At the 2022 Summit, Call leaders identified young people as a priority group for the Call Community. They are often early adopters of new technology, are more likely to be exposed to terrorist and violent extremist content, and in some circumstances are more susceptible to online radicalisation.
Alongside the 2023 Leaders’ Summit, the Christchurch Call hosted its first Youth Engagement meeting, where young people shared their priorities in countering terrorist and violent extremist content online, and views on how they think the Call should do this work. Leaders welcomed the initiative to launch a Youth Reference Group for the Christchurch Call to ensure young people can have input to the Call Community and its work year-round.
The Call Community is also prioritising outreach to online service providers that serve a younger audience as part of building a multistakeholder community, with a focus on those at the forefront of emerging technologies such as immersive gaming platforms.