Social sites failed to block New Zealand attack video
Mar 16, 2019 (Agencia EFE via COMTEX) —
Christchurch (New Zealand), Mar 16 (efe-epa).- Scenes of the New Zealand mosque massacre were streamed live on Facebook and posted on YouTube and Twitter, a gruesome example of how social media platforms can be used to spread terror despite heavy spending by their owners to contain it, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report made available to EFE on Saturday.
New Zealand police said the footage of the attack on a pair of mosques, which left 49 dead, was “extremely distressing” and urged people not to circulate it.
Yet the video was widely available online Friday as the tech platforms scrambled to pull down the offending posts only to have them reappear elsewhere.
The 17-minute video shows a gunman walking through a mosque and firing at worshipers who slump to the floor.
At one point the man, whose face is visible in parts of the video, appears to gun down a victim at close range before reloading and continuing the rampage.
A Facebook Inc. spokeswoman said the company removed the video after New Zealand police flagged it, and deleted the Facebook and Instagram accounts belonging to the alleged shooter, Brenton Tarrant, who has been charged with murder.
Twitter Inc. said it had suspended Tarrant’s account and was working to remove the video from the platform. A spokesman for YouTube, a unit of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, said it has removed thousands of videos related to the incident and that “shocking, violent and graphic content has no place on our platforms.”
All three platforms have struggled to block, uncover and remove violent content despite a public outcry and political pressure.
They have invested heavily in artificial-intelligence systems designed to detect violence, and have