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Live broadcast of New Zealand massacre prompts calls for regulator

Live broadcast of New Zealand massacre prompts calls for regulator

The company said 1.2 million of those videos were blocked from upload but it's not clear how many people watched the 300,000 videos that made it through the cracks before they were deleted.

The removal of the purported mass shooting videos highlights the daunting task the company faces on properly moderating the site.

Facebook said that it removed 1.5 million videos of footage from the shooting rampage at two mosques in Christchurch within 24 hours of the attack, underscoring the massive game of whack-a-mole social media giants have to play with even the most high-profile problematic content on their platforms. It blocked 1.2 million of them at upload, meaning they would not have been seen by users.

The gunman used online forum 8chan to post a link to a live Facebook broadcast from his shoulder-mounted camera as he started shooting at two mosques.

Garlick said Facebook will also remove "any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as we're aware".

Both Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Youtube said they are also using automated tools to identify violent content and remove them.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said authorities did whatever they could to purge the web of the images but laid the responsibility at the door of the Silicon Valley giants. A 17-minute Facebook live video was the result.

Facebook said it "quickly removed" the video, while YouTube said it was "working vigilantly to remove any violent footage". Forty-one people were killed at the Al Noor mosque on Friday.




"One of the most complex global governance challenges confronting the worldwide community is the norms of how social media is to be regulated - with the added complexity that the objects of such norms are no longer sovereign states, but private businesses with platforms larger than most countries by population".

Damian Collins, the Tory chairman of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee, called for a review into how the footage was shared and "why more effective action wasn't taken to remove them".

The big social media platforms have expended more effort policing copyrighted material than the kind of graphic content posted by the Christchurch shooter, according to Jean Burgess, a professor of digital media studies at Queensland University of Technology in Australia.

The inability of social sites to stop the video circulating was having an effect in other ways in New Zealand.

In the United States, those sites have also been criticised for spreading political misinformation, with Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg being called before Congress.

"This is an issue that I will look to be discussing with Facebook", she warned.

This is not the first time livestreaming of a shooting incident has taken place on social media.

New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs said people posting the video online risked breaking the law. "Take some ownership. Enough is enough".

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