Facebook has broken its silence over the Christchurch terror attacks by unveiling plans to combat hate speech.

In a letter provided to the Weekend Herald, the platform says they're looking into restricting access to Facebook Live and are working on banning hate groups, including ones within Australia and New Zealand.

They also plan to build better technology to identify violent videos and images.

However, technology commentator Paul Brislen is less than convinced.


He told Lorna Subritzky that this is very "light weight, entry level" plans, and it's too little and too late.

"This isn't the first time that FB Live has been used to live-stream atrocities as they happen. Three years ago, a man was shot dead in Ohio live on Facebook. They promised then they'd do something to change it... and nothing's changed."

Brislen believes that Facebook does have the technology and the ability to properly monitor this level of content, as they currently do it for Germany.

"The laws are very strict around far right and Nazi discussion. They do it for Germany. If you want to clean up your Twitter feed, I'd go into your settings and change your location to Germany and 90 per cent of the hate speech disappears."

He says that the only way that Facebook would listen will be if there is legislative pressure from governments around the world.

Brislen wants that pressure to be felt by all social media companies, as Facebook is not the only problem.

"If you find something horrible on YouTube, next all your recommends videos will be 'Do you want to look at this atrocity?'"

Brislen says the only thing which will force Facebook to change and better regulate its platform around hate speech and videos is fines.


"The only way they are going to change, the only thing that will force them to revisit any of this, is if we start issuing the kind of fines you're seeing in the EU at the moment, where they have just introduced new data protection laws and the first couple of fines have been handed out - €15 million ($24m) or 4 per cent of annual turnover - which ever is the highest."

Fines are the only way global social media giants such as Facebook and YouTube will adhere to, Brislen says.

"I'd be surprised if they make any changes to Facebook Live."