Published: Tue, March 19, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

New Zealand firms consider pulling ads from social media after mass shooting

New Zealand firms consider pulling ads from social media after mass shooting

Facebook said it now employs audio technology to help catch any new uploads because the platform had trouble detecting screen recordings and other variants of the shooting footage. The three social media giants, Facebook, Twitter and Google, scrambled to take down the video, but not before several copies of it were made and circulated on the internet.

The original video was hashed to remove existing and further posts.

YouTube and Facebook have defended themselves against accusations that they failed to act quickly enough in the wake of the Christchurch terror attack, arguing that their moderation is as good as possible given the number of videos uploaded.

Facebook - and other social media operators - have faced stern criticism and political pressure over the past few days to prevent access to first-person video of the attack on two mosques in the New Zealand city.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, with its live video app called Periscope, have all said they rely on video to drive revenue and user growth.

Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said Monday that the tech companies have "a lot of work" to do to curb the proliferation of content that incites hate and violence.

"No users reported the video during the live broadcast". Facebook did not say how many people had seen the remaining 300,000 videos.

"Including the views during the live broadcast, the video was viewed about 4000 times in total before being removed from Facebook".

"While they've given us those assurances, ultimately the responsibility does sit with them".

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Rashid's 22-year-old son, Talha Naeem , a civil engineering graduate, was among those who lost their lives in the shooting. He was left badly wounded after he launched himself at the shooter in a bid to protect fellow worshippers.


Social media firms' handling of the offensive content has been criticised.

Police in New Zealand said the video was now classified as an "objectionable publication", making it an offence to distribute or possess the material.

He said Facebook created a digital fingerprint of the initial livestream, which powered the bulk of the automatic removals and enabled more than 80% of the videos to be blocked before they were publicly posted.

Neal Mohan, YouTube's chief product officer, told The Washington Post that his platform also struggled to moderate the video successfully on its platform.

"The events in Christchurch raise the question, if the site owners can target consumers with advertising in microseconds, why can't the same technology be applied to prevent this kind of content being streamed live?" the Association of New Zealand Advertisers and the Commercial Communications Council said in a joint statement.

The company also revealed it removed the attacker's video "within minutes" of being contacted by the New Zealand Police.

Once the video was out in the wild, Facebook had to contend with other users trying to re-upload it to that site, or to Facebook-owned Instagram.

"ANZA and the Comms Council encourage all advertisers to recognize they have choice where their advertising dollars are spent, and carefully consider, with their agency partners, where their ads appear", it continued.

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