New Zealand's prime minister says she'll do all she can to stop the man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks spreading his message of hate at his trial.
New Zealand's prime minister says she'll do all she can to stop the man accused of the Christchurch mosque attacks spreading his message of hate at his trial.

NZ PM aims to limit spread of hate

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says she will do all she can to stop a man accused of killing 51 Muslim worshippers from spreading his message of hate at his trial.

She also hopes artificial intelligence will one day stop such attacks from being broadcast online.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Thursday, Ardern described how she made decisions after the March 15 attacks at two Christchurch mosques, including introducing sweeping gun reforms and starting a global discussion on keeping violent extremism from the internet.

Australian white supremacist Brenton Tarrant, 29, has been charged with 51 counts of murder, 40 counts of attempted murder and one count of terrorism in the attacks and goes on trial next June.

Ardern said she thought Tarrant would try to use the trial to promote his views.

"It's clear that a part of this individual's motivation is creating a platform for himself. I think that's absolutely clear," she said.

"And I think every opportunity we can to deprive the alleged terrorist of that should be utilised."

Ardern said she was limited in what she could do but was encouraged by the pledge of New Zealand's major media outlets to avoid promoting white supremacist ideology when covering the trial.

Ardern said she stood by her decision to never speak the alleged gunman's name.

"If someone's motivated by infamy, then you deprive them of it," she said.

The gunman livestreamed his attack on Facebook. Ardern said she hoped artificial intelligence could be used to stop future attacks from being broadcast, and that everybody had a responsibility to prevent such broadcasts from continuing to happen.

"Even Facebook have made moves around the way that they utilise livestreaming and who can access it," she said. "In the future, I believe we can actually use AI technology increasingly."

Ardern vowed to change New Zealand's gun laws after the attacks, and less than a month later all but one of the country's 120 lawmakers voted in favor of banning assault weapons.

A gun buyback scheme that ends later this month has seen 37,000 newly banned weapons turned over to police, although some estimates indicate there could be many thousands of banned guns that haven't been turned in.



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