New Zealand Shootings: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Scramble to Pull Alleged Attacker’s Video, Hate Content – Variety

New Zealand Shootings: Facebook, YouTube, Twitter Scramble to Pull Alleged Attacker’s Video, Hate Content – Variety

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Internet platforms played a central role in the mass shootings at New Zealand mosques Friday — which left at least 49 dead — and immediately prompted renewed calls for Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to take much stronger steps to combat the spread of violent hate speech.One of the attackers live-streamed the attack on Facebook Live in a 17-minute video, which showed himself entering the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, and shooting multiple people. Prior to the massacre, the individual allegedly had posted a 74-page anti-Muslim manifesto decrying “white genocide” on Twitter and discussion site 8chan, a notorious haven for hate speech. In a forum on 8chan, someone on Friday at 1:30 p.m.
New Zealand time posted the message: “I will carry out and attack against the invaders, and will even livestream the attack via Facebook, ” Reuters reported. It’s not clear when Facebook removed the video or shut down the accounts in question. The company issued a statement from Facebook spokeswoman Mia Garlick, who said in part: “Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video. .


We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.”RelatedTwitter also disabled the profile of the alleged attacker, and YouTube said it was “working vigilantly to remove any footage” related to the Christchurch attacks. Still, some of the content posted by the alleged shooter continued to be available for hours afterward, as people cropped the video or posted the text of the manifesto as an image to avoid getting detected by the platforms’ automated systems, the New York Times reported.The internet giants have repeatedly vowed to crack down on violent extremism and hate-related content.
In 2017, for example, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft launched a cross-company effort to combat terrorism and extremist material. But as the events in New Zealand illustrate, they still are unable to stanch the viral propagation of disturbing and violent content in real time.Police in New Zealand said four people were in custody Friday evening in connection with the mass murders, and that one suspect — reportedly a 28-year-old Australian man with extreme anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views — was charged with murder.To be sure, even if Facebook and others had instantly blocked the suspected attacker’s use ....

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