YouTube, Facebook, Twitter scrambling to contain video of New Zealand mosque shooting

17 Mars, 2019, 12:13 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • New Zealand massacre shows how online users find ways to share violent videos

Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary, condemned tech firms' failure to stop the 17-minute video being shared for more than 10 hours after the self-professed white supremacist killer Brenton Tarrant opened fire on Muslims at prayer.

Facebook said it removed the stream after being alerted to it by New Zealand police.

The @brentontarrant Twitter account was suspended not long after the shooting on Friday, as was the brenton.tarrant.9 Facebook page.

Once a video is posted online, people who want to spread the material race to action.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all said they had taken steps to remove copies of the videos.

She said platforms like YouTube have the ability to find and remove violent videos with keyword searches, but that more people are needed to monitor the platforms. Authorities have charged a 28-year-old man in the attack and took others into custody.

The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs said in a statement that the video footage is "likely to be objectionable content under New Zealand law" and that "people who share the video of the shooting today in Christchurch are likely to be committing an offence".

As the New Zealand massacre video continued to spread, former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark in televised remarks said social media platforms had been slow to close down hate speech.

An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019.

The livestream of the mass shooting, which left 49 dead, lasted for 17 minutes.

New Zealand massacre shows how online users find ways to share violent videos

At least some expect Facebook to suffer consequences.

Facebook and YouTube were created to share pictures of babies, puppies and other wholesome things, he said, "but they were expanded at such a scale and built with no safeguards such that they were easy to hijack by the worst elements of humanity".

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

Users intent on sharing the violent video took several approaches ― doing so at times with an nearly military precision. Copies 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 to evade companies' detection systems. Others shared shorter sections or screenshots from the gunman's livestream, which would also be harder for a computer program to identify.

In August past year, a shooting at a Madden NFL 19 video-game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, was captured on live video. It starts with the attacker driving to a mosque. Footage from this stream later found its way into other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit.

It also was using audio technology to detect Christchurch broadcast footage, in which gunshots could be heard and music played in the attacker's auto, according to a copy reviewed by Reuters.

With billions of users, Facebook and YouTube are "ungovernable" at this point, said Vaidhyanathan, who called Facebook's livestreaming service a "profoundly stupid idea". Facebook says it does not want to act as a censor, as videos of violence, such as those documenting police brutality or the horrors of war, can serve an important objective.

"I think if you're above a certain viewership, we need to regulate them and we need to tax them properly because it's not fair".

Politicians in multiple countries said social media companies need to be more vigilant. "We will do whatever is humanly possible for it to never happen again". He added: "Take some ownership".

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