On Monday, July 25, 2022, major tech companies such as Meta and Google decided to self-regulate themselves in order to reduce irrational content in New Zealand. Experts remarked that these companies took a move that was far beyond the possibilities of government regulations. The companies that gave a head start to this reformation were Alphabet’s Google (NYSE: GOOGL), Meta Platforms Inc. (NYSE: FB), Amazon (NYSE: AMZN), Twitter (NYSE: TWTR), and Tiktok.
Brent Carey, the Netsafe Chief, made a statement that these tech giants would follow the code of reducing harmful or irrational content in New Zealand through self-regulation. He added:
NZTech, the Industry lobby group, would be accountable for these tech companies’ efforts in meeting the requisites. These obligations include curbing irrational and unsophisticated content in New Zealand, revealing how they prevent them, and enabling independent scrutiny of results. Graeme Muller, the NZTech Chief Executive Officer, commented on this and said:
In addition to agreeing to the change, companies like Meta and Tiktok also revealed that they were optimistic about the code in order to make online social media platforms safer and devoid of harmful content. However, we have the interest groups in a totally different direction who want regulations to be made that define actions to be taken against these organizations if they fail to meet their obligations. These groups seek a place for public complaints. They even highlighted that the self-regulation move being administered by an industry body and not government would be a downside as well.
Mandy Henk, Chief Executive Officer of Tohatoha NZ, a non-profit organisation that works closely on the social reach and implications of modern technology, said in a statement quoted by Reuters that:
Therefore, the implementation of the code that these tech companies are going to adhere to would be a lot more difficult than thought. However, it is hoped that the code, which is named as the ‘Aotearoa New Zealand Code of Practice for Online Safety and Harms’, is successfully executed.