Published: Wed, March 20, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter told to brief Congress after mosque shootings

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter told to brief Congress after mosque shootings

In the week since 50 people died in the New Zealand mosque terror attacks that was live streamed by the attacker, social media giants like Facebook and YouTube have faced global criticism for regulations on content that are not strict enough, and a slow response to their platforms being used by perpetrators of violence.

Facebook said the video was viewed 4,000 times in total before it was removed.

They confirmed the video was uploaded to Facebook 1.5 million times, but 1.2 million of those were stopped at upload, meaning they were never published.

Facebook said in a blog post Monday the first user report of the violent livestream came 29 minutes after it had started, about 12 minutes after the live broadcast had ended.

"Its important people are now clear they should not view, download or share the video", Shanks said.

The three USA tech companies have faced heavy criticism after they failed to identify and stop the spread of a video of Friday's attack in which 50 people at two mosques were killed.

"In light of the active investigation, police have asked us not to share certain details of what happened on Facebook". The social media giant, however, failed to confirm that it'd deleted all the videos from the platform.

To report live video, a user must know to click on a small set of three gray dots on the right side of the post. But Ardern maintains there were no specifics as to the location of the attack, or any clues as to how law enforcement could have stopped it.

"Our concern as an industry is that live-streaming of these events becomes the new normal", said Paul Head, chief executive of New Zealand's Commercial Communications Council, which represents the country's advertising agencies. The gunman live-streamed 17 minutes of the attack.

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The Australian Prime Minister is urging a crackdown on the live-stream and spread of such content, while New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has criticized the social media networks for their part, saying that "they are the publisher, not just the postman", as reported by Bloomberg.

Facebook's post didn't say how many videos or copies of videos have been removed since the first 24 hours after the attack.

Facebook's update yesterday seems created to demonstrate that the social network made reasonable efforts to prevent the video's spread despite factors outside its control.

Facebook said other variations of the video, like screen recordings, were harder to detect, and so it employed audio technology to weed them out.

According to the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism - a trade group formed by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube - more than 800 "visually distinct videos" of the attack had been digitally fingerprinted and banned.

They added, "We challenge Facebook and other platform owners to immediately take steps to effectively moderate hate content before another tragedy can be streamed online".

He said the back-end information linked to the original Facebook Live broadcast was identified in a way that meant any future uploads of the content could be detected and automatically removed.

Andrew Bascand, managing director of Harbour Asset Management, which prides itself on adhering to ethical investment principles, says "it's really disgusting" the way social media has developed but that is probably a reflection of society rather than the individual social media companies.

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