In with the huge news over the past week of a Queen's funeral, an escalated Russian war on Ukraine, and a United Nations General Assembly decrying inaction on climate change, was a significant story for New Zealand and the world.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern co-hosted a third summit of leaders in the Christchurch Call, an initiative born from the terror set upon Canterbury mosques in March, 2019.
The New York summit centred on three topics: responding to incidents of online terror and violent extremism; the future focus on new technology and young people; and tackling the algorithms we now believe responsible for radicalising people to acts of terror.
Basically, the latter seeks to unravel the computer-driven forced feeding of content to people like foie gras-fattened ducks. It's kind of like the old game of "Chinese Whispers" where players hear what they want to hear but algorithms ensure this continues ad infinitum.
By creating algorithms to identify social media users' interests and sending more similar material their way, technology has unleashed a menace akin to the mythical Pandora's Box.
It is not too much of a stretch, given the Greeks believed such an action would release "physical and emotional curses on mankind". How better to describe a person being propagated to such hatred that they would wage terror on their unsuspecting community?
Many social media companies apparently understand the "end-point" of their algorithms, but not "how they got there". They see the problem but do not need, or even want, to know why it's happening.
One of the key objectives of the Christchurch Call then is to better understand the impacts of algorithmic systems – including those that curate and recommend the content we see. This understanding is crucial to locating and deleting malicious content in order to make the internet safer.
There are huge challenges. Microsoft and Twitter are on board but not yet Meta or ByteDance, owners of Facebook and TikTok. The hope is they will join, once the Christchurch Call shows it can be done.
Along with climate change, war in Ukraine and, yes, debating our relationship with the British royal family, a war is raging in our very homes, for our minds and of those around us.
There is much to be gained by unravelling the algorithmic tangle technology has led us into, and proving circuit breakers are possible without compromising commercial sensitivity and user information privacy.
If we cannot rein in the malevolent forces of these algorithms, we are fated to go on reaping the harvest of physical and emotional curses.