Published: Mon, March 18, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

YouTube, Facebook under scrutiny after streaming Christchurch terror attack

YouTube, Facebook under scrutiny after streaming Christchurch terror attack

In a statement, Facebook said it had deleted some 1.5 million copies of the video in the first 24 hours after the attack.

While Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has indicated her intentions to look into how social media can be better regulated, Mouat noted that this can take time.

Gunmen staged the terrorist attacks on two mosques packed with worshipers attending Friday prayers in the South Island's city, which killed 49 people and injured 48 others. Many internet users called for tech companies and news sites to take the material down. It blocked 1.2 million of them at upload, meaning they would not have been seen by users.

Many hours later, and long after he and other suspects had been arrested, others were still uploading the video to YouTube and other online video platforms. That included 1.2 million that were blocked during the upload stage.

Companies including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube scrambled to take it down, but once something goes viral on the social media, it's hard to stop its spread.

The gunman livestreamed the deadly massacre on Facebook. That same year, a video of a man shooting and killing another in Cleveland, Ohio, also shocked viewers.

"There must be a serious review of how these films were shared and why more effective action wasn't taken to remove them", he added.

Democratic U.S. Senators Cory Booker and Mark Warner, criticized the companies as being too slow in taking down the post.

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As a result, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have become fertile environments in which extremist subcultures can thrive and organize, she said.

But at least they tried.

Perhaps that's why, when Philando Castile was shot by a Minnesota police officer, his girlfriend's first instinct was to start broadcasting live on Facebook.

His Facebook account had 670 000 followers and, while he is "a big fan" of social media, he had to think hard about whether to remain on Facebook after the live-streaming of the mass shooting in New Zealand, he said in a Twitter post Saturday.

"New Zealand 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". It's also using audio technology to find posts of the video where the images are not as easily detected or not a match with the videos already removed. When the murder of a man in OH was livestreamed on Facebook in 2017, Zuckerberg offered condolences to the victim's family two days later. Facebook did not immediately respond to additional questions.

One of the shooters appeared to have live-streamed the attacks on Facebook that purportedly showed a gunman walking into a mosque and opening fire on the prayers. "It is ever clearer that YouTube, in particular, has yet to grapple with the role it has played in facilitating radicalization and recruitment", Warner said in a statement provided to CNN. It has since spread like wildfire, being reposted on YouTube and Reddit pages.

Regardless of all the efforts of social media companies to monitor these types of violent videos, experts say the reality is that many people will continue to watch.

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