Jacinda Ardern has good grounds to invite Sheryl Sandberg to cut the charm offensive and immediately axe all livestreaming on Facebook until it can guarantee no more live coverage of terrorism.

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After Facebook's abject failure to swiftly remove the livestream that the mosque shooter posted to its platform, the chief operating officer's shallow condolences should be seen for what they are.


As Mary Anne Franks, a professor of law at the University of Miami, told Bloomberg there is "simply no responsible way to moderate a true livestreaming service". Facebook has always known the service has the potential to "encourage and amplify the worst of humanity, and it must confront the fact that it has blood on its hands" in relation to Christchurch.

Too tough? Maybe not.

It was inevitable that Sandberg should seek to leverage a personal connection with Ardern to defuse the growing anger worldwide over Facebook's moral delinquency.

She hosted Ardern in the US in 2017 where they had a conversation about the "great work" Facebook was doing in New Zealand including launching Amber Alerts "to keep children safe". Sandberg also wrote the testimony when Ardern appeared on Time magazine's "Time 100" list in 2018 describing her as a "political prodigy".

"At a time when conservative politicians are ascendant across Europe and the US, she's proudly progressive — with a raft of plans to fight economic inequality, address climate change and decriminalise abortion," wrote Sandberg.

"In a world that too often tells women to stay small, keep quiet — and that we can't have both motherhood and a career — Jacinda Ardern proves how wrong and outdated those notions of womanhood are. She's not just leading a country. She's changing the game. And women and girls around the world will be the better for it."

In fact, all people will "be better for it" if Ardern simply uses her prime ministerial platform to "change the game" as far as Facebook is concerned.

This is a multinational tech giant now governed by greed and with little respect for the communities it operates within. This includes the Cambridge Analytica scandal, allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and more recently, as reported by the New York Times, the decision to hire a PR firm to look into the finances of high-profile investor George Soros days after he publicly criticised the big US technology companies.


Already there are signs Ardern is standing her ground, making it clear she wants actions and accountability from Facebook. Not words.

New Zealand businesses like Spark are endeavouring to exert pressure by withdrawing advertising from its platform.

Yesterday, it joined with Vodafone and 2degrees to write an open letter to Google, Twitter, as well as Facebook, calling on them to "urgently discuss" a solution to the live footage issue.

"We call on Facebook, Twitter and Google, whose platforms carry so much content, to be a part of an urgent discussion at an industry and New Zealand government level on an enduring solution to this issue," the letter said.

The letter was addressed to Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter boss Jack Dorsey, and Google chief executive Sundar Pichai.

But this should go further.


It is obscene that a New Zealand teenager should have been able to repost the livestream of Friday's mosque shootings after the terrorism act had occurred. That teenager also posted messages "inciting extreme violence" and faces criminal charges in the Christchurch courts.

But Facebook — which profits mightily from being the distribution platform for such filth — faces no criminal sanctions.

The question is why not? Surely, NZ authorities are looking to potential grounds to hold Facebook to legal account?

Ironically, Sandberg was brought into Facebook more that a decade ago to be the "adult in the room".

Her fortunes — she is now worth $US1.3 billion ($1.89b) according to Forbes — have flourished.

But Facebook has bred itself into a monster. Sandberg should address it or "lean out".