Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

New Zealand massacre provides test for live video platforms

New Zealand massacre provides test for live video platforms

The live footage of Friday's attacks, New Zealand's worst-ever mass shooting, was first posted to Facebook and has since been shared on Twitter, Alphabet Inc's YouTube and Facebook-owned Whatsapp and Instagram. "Please know we are working vigilantly to remove any violent footage". "We also cooperate with law enforcement to facilitate their investigations as required".

Theresa May's spokeswoman said: "Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other providers have taken action to remove the video and other propaganda related to the attack". New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also labeled it a "terrorist attack".

"New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we removed both the shooter's Facebook account and the video".

Other violent crimes that have been live-streamed include a father in Thailand in 2017 who broadcast himself killing his daughter on Facebook.

Social networks have been caught flat-footed in many cases by videos showing violent acts including suicides and assassinations.

Frustrated with years of similar obscene online crises, politicians around the globe on Friday voiced the same conclusion: social media is failing. Keeping this in mind it is right now unclear how the Christchurch shooter was allowed to stream for a good 17 minutes before the footage was cut.

The fallout from the attack featured all the astringent elements that have become hallmarks of such modern acts of nihilistic violence: a discussion of the negative externalities of a globalized world, a left-wing quick to blame firearm proliferation, a right-wing eager to highlight spiritual disrepair, and social media behemoths seeking but struggling to contain internet hysteria.

"I think something must have changed in him during the years he spent travelling overseas", she added.


Facebook told CNET it had removed the unverified footage and was also pulling down "praise or support" posts for the shootings. In the first 24 hours, we removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, of which over 1.2 million were blocked at upload.

Just before the alleged gunman opened fire, he urged viewers to subscribe to the popular YouTube channel PewDiePie, which itself has been criticised for posting offensive footage in the past.

New Zealand authorities said that three people had been arrested, but their identities were not made public.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported that Tarrant was a personal trainer in Grafton, New Zealand.

The rampage's broadcast "highlights the urgent need for media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to use more artificial intelligence as well as security teams to spot these events before it's too late", Ives said. "That's unacceptable, it should have never happened, and it should have been taken down a lot more swiftly".

YouTube tweeted about the shooting video, "Our hearts are broken over today's awful tragedy in New Zealand".

While Facebook has hired about 20,000 moderators, several media reports have highlighted the stress it puts on people to watch violent content, and problems dealing with live videos.

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