Tech Companies Scramble to Remove New Zealand Shooting Video

17 Mars, 2019, 09:13 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Facebook, social media criticized as slow to stop New Zealand video

At least 49 people have been killed and 48 injured in shootings at Masjid Al Noor and the Linwood Masjid mosques in Christchurch.

But a few hours later, footage from the stream remained on Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc's YouTube, as well as Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp.

"New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we removed both the shooter's Facebook account and the video", said Mia Garlick, a Facebook representative in New Zealand.

Facebook, YouTube and other social-media platforms are struggling to scrub offensive content from sites that generate billions of dollars in revenue from advertisers.

Facebook and YouTube did not immediately respond to HuffPost's request for comment on the matter.

Copies of the footage reviewed by Reuters showed that some users had recorded the video playing on their own phones or computers to create a new version with a digital fingerprint different from the original.

"There is no fool-proof way to catch acts of violence on video or images with the technology that we have today", she said.

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, said on Twitter he felt "absolutely sickened" that the alleged gunman referred to him during the livestream. "Platforms can't prevent that, but much more can be done by platforms to prevent such content from gaining a foothold and spreading".

Motherboard has found out that once a live video has been flagged on Facebook, moderators will have the ability to " ignore it, delete it, check back in on it again in five minutes".

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In the United States, the assault in Chicago of an 18-year-old man with special needs, accompanied by anti-white racial taunts, in 2017, and the fatal shooting of a man in Cleveland, Ohio, that same year, were also live-streamed. After more than a day, and 370,000 views, Facebook removed the video. "Can we ever make live videos safe?"

"The responsibility for content of the stream lies completely and exclusively on the person who initiated the stream".

The rampage's broadcast "highlights the urgent need for media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter to use more artificial intelligence as well as security teams to spot these events before it's too late", Ives said.

"Our hearts are broken over today's awful tragedy in New Zealand", read the statement.

Ionescu said that's because video and images are harder to block than words.

Satellite navigational audio could also be heard in the video as he drove to the mosque.

Members of a group called "watchpeopledie" on internet discussion board Reddit, for example, discussed how to share the footage even as the website took steps to limit its spread.

First and foremost, the prime minister of the country, Jacinda Ardern, made an emotional statement after the shootings, calling Friday "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

"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.

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