Social media platforms removing NZ shooting content

New Zealand

Brenton Tarrant, an Australian who carried out the deadly attack in the city of Christchurch, had live-streamed the attack and was later taken into custody after he was identified in the video, AFP reported.

"Police alerted us to a video on Faceook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter's Facebook and Instragram accounts and the video", the social network said.

Facebook is "removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we're aware", she said.

"Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by this horrendous act", Facebook New Zealand spokeswoman Mia Garlick said in a statement.

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs said in a statement that the video footage is "likely to be objectionable content under New Zealand law" and that "people who share the video of the shooting today in Christchurch are likely to be committing an offence". In response, YouTube said it's "working vigilantly to remove any violent footage".

Grygiel said it has become commonplace for perpetrators to use social media to gain attention to acts of violence, and that these are often shared on YouTube and other platforms.

"The responsibility for content of the stream lies completely and exclusively on the person who initiated the stream".

Earlier past year, YouTube star Logan Paul posted a clip of a dead body hanging from a tree in Japan, prompting the Google-owned video portal to remove his channels from a preferred advertising programme.

Buzzfeed reporter Ryan Mac, for instance, noted that YouTube's algorithm and moderation team flagged the videos as sensitive, but could still be viewed after consenting.

New Zealand police have also asked social media users to stop sharing footage of the incident.

Researchers and entrepreneurs specializing in detection systems said they were surprised that users in the initial hours after the attack were able to circumvent Facebook's tools. Many shooting games allow players to toggle between close-range and long-range weapons, and the gunman switched from a shotgun to a rifle during the video, reloading as he moved around.

The video footage, posted online live as the attack unfolded, appeared to show him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside.

Adding to the challenge for social media sites, once original videos are pulled, different versions from downloaded or recorded copies start cropping up, and the never-ending cycle continues.

A Facebook account bearing the same name as the alleged gunman apparently livestreamed the massacre on Facebook, and a manifesto was posted on a Twitter account by the same name as well. That year, a video of a man shooting and killing another in Cleveland also shocked viewers.

Other violent crimes that have been live-streamed include a father in Thailand in 2017 who broadcast himself killing his daughter on Facebook. "Because if you do, sharing this video is exactly how you do it", Moore said.

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