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

17 March 2019

"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".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern alluded at a news conference to anti-immigrant sentiment as the possible motive, saying that while many people affected by the shootings may be migrants or refugees, "they have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home". "49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured".

Following the shootings, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all said they were taking action to remove the videos.

In 2017, a father in Thailand broadcast himself killing his daughter on Facebook Live.

Alex Zhukov, founder and chief technology officer of LIVE4 developer VideoGorillas, said the LIVE4 services transmitted footage directly to Facebook and his company did not have the ability to review it first. It has also focused on developing artificial intelligence systems to catch material without the need for users to report it first.

"We're also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we're aware", Facebook said. "Something must have changed in him during the years he spent travelling overseas".

At least some expect Facebook to suffer consequences.

Adding to the challenge for social media sites, once original videos are pulled, different versions from downloaded or recorded copies start cropping up, and the never-ending cycle continues.

The company's profit margins fell past year as it spent to address the challenge, and stock analysts are bracing for further short-term hits to its profitability, whether or not regulations materialize and despite relatively few alternatives for advertisers.

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Shares of Facebook closed down 2.5 percent on Friday.

Users intent on sharing the violent video took several approaches.

Just before the alleged gunman opened fire, he urged viewers to subscribe to the popular YouTube channel PewDiePie, which itself has been criticised for posting offensive footage in the past. Others shared shorter sections or screenshots from the gunman's livestream.

Facebook acted swiftly to contain the fallout.

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.

"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". "We will continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues".

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the events in Christchurch represented "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence", and that numerous victims could be migrants or refugees, according to The Associated Press.

The major internet platforms have pledged to crack down on sharing of violent images and other inappropriate content through automated systems and human monitoring, but critics say it isn't working.

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