The Australian Government has blindsided Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern by announcing details of a trans-Tasman effort to tackle extremist content on social media.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told media at the G7 summit in France the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), his country and New Zealand are working together to create new rules to prevent online terrorist activity.

The rules would ask social media companies, such as Facebook and Twitter, to report how many attempts were made to upload extremist content, how many were blocked, how many were up more than an hour, how many people viewed them and what was done to fix the issue.

Morrison said the "Voluntary Transparency Reporting Protocols" would help deliver commitments made under the Christchurch Call in May.


"The OECD is not only a global leader in digital economy policy, from taxation through to artificial intelligence, but its member economies host many of the online platforms that provide content to consumers," Morrison said in a statement.

"It is for these reasons, the OECD is best place to develop a robust evidence-base to tackle this challenge."

Work has been going into the project in the background and New Zealand is putting $50,000 towards it, while Australia is throwing in $300,000.

Ardern's office on Monday confirmed she had not been told Morrison would be making the announcement.

But a spokesman for the Prime Minister said there was no expectation Australia would notify New Zealand about a routine foreign policy announcement.

"We see the project as part of the ongoing work around the Christchurch Call to tackle online extremism and we weren't planning to make any specific announcement in that space," he said.

Ardern gave no details about the protocols when asked about it during her weekly press conference earlier in the day.

"I'm looking to give an update off the back of the work on the Christchurch call in September. That will be our next check-in during the [United Nations] General Assembly," she said.


"But it is fair to say work has been ongoing."

Morrison has been seeking to push some of the world's most powerful leaders to take more action against the online distribution of extremist material on the sidelines of the G7 meeting in French city of Biarritz.

Australia has been invited as a special guest.

Morrison is hoping to build on momentum he gained on the issue after pressing it at the G20 meeting in Osaka in June.

His Government has also announced it will introduce laws blocking access to extremist content during crises – in a direct response to the live-streaming of the Christchurch mosque shootings.

Ardern on Monday said New Zealand's attention had been more on a global solution.


"For us the focus has been on pursuing some of those avenues that go beyond domestic legislation," she said.

Meanwhile, host France has been hoping to get internet companies to sign an agreement intended to build on the Christchurch Call.

Social media giants including Facebook and Snapchat are expected to shortly sign the "Charter for an Open, Free, and Safe Internet".

It's been reported the agreement – which aims to fight online hate speech - was meant to be inked on Friday but that its signing had been delayed, with the United States Government denying it had put pressure on the companies to pull out.