Published: Sat, March 23, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

YouTube saw 'tens of thousands' of Christchurch attack videos uploaded

YouTube saw 'tens of thousands' of Christchurch attack videos uploaded

Following the live-streaming on social media of the mass shooting in New Zealand, the chair of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security wrote a letter to top executives of four major technology companies urging them to do a better job of removing violent political content.

"The video was viewed fewer than 200 times during the live broadcast", Facebook said.

The company said yesterday it had either deleted or killed upon upload about 1.5 million copies of the offending video.

The company said a year ago it was investing in artificial intelligence and hiring up to 20,000 people by the end of 2018 to identify and remove harmful content.

According to a Bloomberg report, users had reported that video of the attack was still widely available hours after being first uploaded to the shooter's Facebook account. Nonetheless, they say Facebook can not deflect responsibility.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Tuesday criticized the "continuing and unrestricted role" played by internet technology in the New Zealand shooting and other terrorist attacks.

New numbers released by social media companies confirm what has been apparent since the Friday killings: A single video that had been seen live by a relatively small audience had become, at the speed of the web, impossible to contain, propelled by the same social-media infrastructure that has helped make American tech one of the most popular and wealthiest industries in history.

Germany introduced a law in 2018 that gives authorities the power to fine social media platforms if they fail to quickly remove hate speech.

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Speaking at a news conference on Sunday, Ms Ardern said had been contacted by Facebook's operations chief, Sheryl Sandberg."Certainly, I have had contact from Sheryl Sandberg". A Washington Post search of keywords related to the event, such as "New Zealand", surfaced a long list of videos, many of which were lengthy and uncensored views of the massacre.

Facebook removed the video "within minutes'" of being notified by police, said Chris Sonderby, Facebook's deputy general counsel.

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.

Nayab Khan, 22, cries at a vigil to mourn for the victims of the Christchurch mosque attacks in New Zealand, at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., March 15, 2019.

Facebook said the video was viewed 4,000 times in total before it was removed. "It's hard not to conclude that they are doing it deliberately to prevent Facebook from stopping it for at least a period of time".

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, a group of global internet companies led by Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft and Twitter, said it has identified 800 different versions and added them to a shared database used to block violent terrorist images and videos.

"We designated both shootings as terror attacks, meaning that any praise, support and representation of the events violates our Community Standards and is not permitted on Facebook", Sonderby said.

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