The use of social media to spread hate speech and incite violence will likely be discussed by the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing network of countries, Government minister Andrew Little says.

Little, who is responsible for New Zealand's security agencies, said Cabinet had yesterday discussed options for dealing with social media after the mosque massacre was livestreamed on Facebook then shared via social media.

Both he and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have acknowledged it would take combined efforts of countries to make a difference.

Ardern said today it was "horrendous" that the mosque gunman's video of the shooting could still be viewed on Facebook.


Little, who is also in charge of the Harmful Digital Communications Act, said there was a willingness in Government to now look more closely at what was wrong with social media - and what powers could be used to rein in the worst aspects of it.

"We know this is an area of work that other governments are looking at, the UK in particular and the US. We accept we have to work with other governments to do that."

New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Britain and the United States make up the membership of Five Eyes group and Little has been in touch with almost all of them.

"At the weekend I had calls from my Canadian counterpart, my Australian counterpart and a message from the UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid. The issue of social media and its social responsibility was raised in all of those conversations and messages," he said.

There would be a meeting of Five Eyes partners in the UK later this year and Little said it was very likely that working together on the issue would be high on the agenda,
"recognising that we we're going to have to work with others to make meaningful change".

The first of the two mosque shootings were livestreamed on Facebook for 17 minutes.

Facebook has removed around 1.5 million versions of the video but Ardern said today it was not acceptable that it could still be viewed.

The Government had contacted Facebook and the social media giant had outlined the efforts it was making to remove the shooting video, she said.


"It's our view that it cannot, should not, be distributed, available, able to be viewed. It is horrendous," Ardern told reporters this morning.

"While they've given us those assurances, ultimately the responsibility does sit with them.
"I want them, very much, to focus on making sure that [the video] is unable to be distributed."

Ardern believed the video would have an impact on those who viewed it: "You can't have something so graphic available and it not. That is why it is so important that it is prioritised, that it is removed."

Chief Censor David Shanks has effectively banned the video by classifying it as objectionable.

Sharing it will now carry a fine of up to $10,000 or up to 14 years' jail.

Privacy Commissioner John Edwards has called on Facebook to give the names of people who distribute the video to police.


An 18-year-old man has already appeared in court in Christchurch charged over sharing the video and has been remanded in custody.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has also called for a crackdown by G20 nations on social media giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter following the attacks.
Australia is a member of the G20 group of countries but New Zealand is not.

The Australian newspaper said that according to leaked correspondence, Morrison had written to Shinzo Abe, The Prime Minister of Japan which is hosting the summit in June, asking for a crackdown to be a top agenda item.

The G20 is an annual meeting of the world's 19 largest economies plus the EU.