Friday, 22 March, 2019

Social media platforms attempt to moderate spread of New Zealand shooting video

UK interior minister says social media firms must act after New Zealand shootings NZ gun incident shows how social media is used to share violent videos
Jeannette Daniel | 17 March, 2019, 12:14

Online accounts linked to gun attacks that killed 49 people and wounded at least 20 at two New Zealand mosques on Friday had in recent days circulated white supremacist imagery and extreme right-wing messages celebrating violence against Muslims and minorities on social media and message boards.

He enters the building and fires repeatedly at worshipers as he moves from room to room.

"There's no excuse for the content from that livestream to be still circulating on social media now", said Lucinda Creighton, a former government minister in Ireland and an advisor to the Counter Extremism Project, which campaigns to remove violent internet content.

"I can't speak for them but what I would say is that we need the government to really step in and be strict, don't be weak, to step in".

Internet platforms have cooperated to develop technology that filters child pornography, but have stopped short of joining forces on violent content.

A suspected gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants.

Mia Garlick, of Facebook in New Zealand, said, "We will continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues".

"We urge people to report all instances to us so our systems can block the video from being shared again". "This is a very real tragedy with real victims and we strongly encourage people to not share or view the video". "We are working to have any footage removed", the country's police department tweeted.

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Facebook, Twitter and YouTube said they would take down content involving the mass shootings which were posted online as the attack unfolded.

A Twitter spokesperson said issues such as the Christchurch video were handled rigorously by a dedicated team, adding that the platform cooperates with law enforcement.

YouTube tweeted about the shooting video, "Our hearts are broken over today's bad tragedy in New Zealand. We are working to have any footage removed", wrote New Zealand police on Twitter.

"Shocking, violent and graphic content has no place on our platforms, and is removed as soon as we become aware of it", said YouTbue.

The hours it took to take the violent video and manifesto down are "another major black eye" for social media platforms, said Dan Ives, managing director of Wedbush Securities.

"Facebook is an unmoderated platform where you can stream anything you want", she said, arguing that no meaningful measures have been taken since a 2017 Facebook livestream of a murder in Cleveland, Ohio. It remains unclear exactly how many perpetrators were involved.

"While Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter all say that they're cooperating and acting in the best interest of citizens to remove this content, they're actually not because they're allowing these videos to reappear all the time", Lucinda Creighton, a senior adviser at the Counter Extremism Project, an worldwide policy organization told CNN.

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