May 31, 2023
The Code receives international praise from the World Economic Forum (WEF).
The WEF has recognised New Zealand’s new industry led online safety code for “boosting accountability, and improving collaboration between technology platforms, government, and civil society” in its latest digital safety insight report.
Launched last year, as a global first, the Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Practice for Online Safety and Harms commits technology companies such as Google (YouTube), Meta (Facebook and Instagram), TikTok, Twitch, and Twitter to reducing the risk of harmful online content.
“NZTech, which maintains the Code, is proud to see this world first initiative held up on the global stage. It’s not the total solution, but a big step forward in dealing with harmful online content, led by a multi stakeholder group,” says NZTech Chief Executive Graeme Muller.
“The report says the Code aligns with WEF’s risk assessment framework by having clear requirements to identify risk, reduce risk and mitigate harm.
“WEF also praises the Code for facilitating accountability through transparency reporting – a principle at the heart of the Code,” says Muller.
The Code commits signatories to a set of Guiding Principles and Commitments that aim to mitigate the risks and reduce the prevalence of harmful content in seven areas:
- child sexual exploitation and abuse
- bullying or harassment
- hate speech
- incitement of violence
- violent or graphic content
The development of the Code was led by Netsafe and has already attracted international attention since its launch.
“The Code is a positive example of what can be achieved when we work together. The fact that WEF has identified that collaboration and also noted the positive potential of the self-regulatory model is a great outcome.
“The intention and development of the Code brings a uniquely New Zealand flavour to some universally understood principles. The Code is encapsulated by Mahi tahi (solidarity), kauhanganuitanga (balance), mana tangata (humanity), and mana (respect). Together, they are critical and necessary to realising the purpose and aspirations of the Code,” says Netsafe Chief Executive Brent Carey.
Oversight Committee members announced
“Today, NZTech is also announcing the members of the Code’s Oversight Committee, a group of people to bring a wide range of skills from diverse backgrounds that will be vital to ensuring the success of the Code,” says Muller.
The Code’s aim is to ultimately help create a safer online experience for Kiwis by enabling industry to build cohesion and process improvements around addressing online safety and harm concerns. It creates a complaint mechanism, sanctions regime, reporting and independent review functions.
NZTech is an NGO funded by over 1,000 member organisations that are working to help create a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous Aotearoa New Zealand underpinned by good technology.
FURTHER INFORMATION | Please contact email@example.com
Code’s Oversight Committee members:
Jason is a strong supporter of te reo Māori and tikanga Māori. He has spent a considerable amount of time involved in kaupapa Māori education as an advocate, board member of a kura kaupapa, and parent. He brings experience of representing the voice of tamariki and whānau in kaupapa Māori education and is currently a panel member of the Māori Education Oversight Group – Te Paeroa.
With over 30 years of experience in communications and marketing, Jason has demonstrated a particular focus on engaging with Māori communities. Since 2017, he has held the position of General Manager Engagement and Communications at Waikato-Tainui. In the past, he has also worked as an advisor across various public sector agencies and Parliament, equipping him with a deep understanding of systems and the ability to drive meaningful change. He is the current Chair of the Iwi Communications Collective.
Murray Bruges is the Executive Director of the Helen Clark Foundation. Prior to the Foundation, Murray worked for Fonterra Co-operative Group in Auckland on resource management and environmental policy. From 2011 to 2020, Murray worked for the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in a range of roles focused on trade, economic, tech and climate policy, including a three-year posting to the New Zealand Consulate General in Los Angeles. Earlier in his career, Murray worked for the Ministry of Fisheries on a range of policy issues. He lives in Auckland with his wife and son.
Brent Carey is Chief Executive of Netsafe which he joined early May 2022. Brent has broad and extensive experience in regulatory, privacy, safety and response environments. Along with a good understanding of both local and global online industries and a commitment to community safety. He has previously held senior positions at the Australian Telecommunications Ombudsman and the Victorian Department of Justice. As New Zealand’s previous Domain Name Commissioner, Brent has promoted and advocated for fairness in the .nz domain name market and led responses to domain name abuse. Brent brings strong stakeholder management experience and technical awareness to the role of Netsafe CEO and is a member of several international bodies, including the International Council for Online Dispute Resolution and the crisis response working group of the Global Internet Forum to Counter-Terrorism.
Kathryn is a Senior Barrister at Walker Street Chambers in Christchurch and is one of New Zealand’s leading experts in Privacy Law and Employment Law. She regularly comments on privacy and employment matters in national media.
Kathryn is a Committee Member of the Privacy Foundation of New Zealand and a member of the New Zealand Council of Legal Education. A staunch Cantabrian, she is a Director of the Isaac Theatre Royal Charitable Foundation Board, Friends of Rotary Member of Christchurch South Rotary, Duty solicitor for the Canterbury Community Law Centre and provides free seminars and training for charities and community organisations.
Nurain founded Authenticity Aotearoa, a charity empowering women of colour. With 10 years’ experience as a director, Nurain serves as Trustee of Foundation North, a philanthropic funder, and is a Member of the New Zealand National Advisory Council on the Employment of Women. She is also the Founder of Rehendhi Consulting, an executive leadership coaching and consulting social enterprise focusing on multinational corporations and their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies. Nurain is currently Executive Vice Chair at Hotels Resorts Construction Pvt Ltd, an award-winning contractor providing turnkey resort construction and investment services. She lives between New Zealand and the Maldives.
Hilary Souter is the Chief Executive of the Advertising Standards Authority and has worked in the wider media industry on a range of issues to support responsible advertising for over 25 years.
She manages code reviews for advertising for children and young people, alcohol, finance, gambling and therapeutic and health advertising, and runs the secretariat that annually processes over 1500 enquiries and complaints.
Hilary is a guest lecturer on advertising standards at New Zealand universities and gives regular presentations to both domestic and international audiences on the value of advertising self-regulation. Hilary lives in Wellington.
Other Members of the Oversight Committee:
Graeme Muller, CEO of NZTech
A representative of the Signatories.
ABOUT THE CODE:
The Code provides a governance framework that aims to enable the Administrator, a multitude of relevant stakeholders, as well as the public to hold Signatories to their commitments. Although voluntary, digital platforms who become Signatories commit to being held accountable.
The development of the Code from conceptualisation to the publication of the first draft for public feedback was led by Netsafe and aimed to bring industry together under a set of principles and commitments, as well as provide a best practice self-regulatory framework aimed at enhancing people’s safety and reducing harmful content online.The Code is an evolution of existing industry principles and standards that aims to broaden efforts, transparency and accountability for online safety and harm. It is built on existing practices in Aotearoa New Zealand and codes of practice in other parts of the world, mainly the EU Code of Practice on Disinformation, the EU Code of Conduct on Countering Illegal Hate Speech Online, the Australian Code of Practice on Disinformation and Misinformation and the Digital Trust & Safety Partnership Best Practice Framework. Most of the digital platforms who have been involved in the development of the Code are already signatories to or members of these other codes.