New Zealand massacre provides test for live video platforms

UK interior minister says social media firms must act after New Zealand shootings

UK interior minister says social media firms must act after New Zealand shootings

Speaking to Tom Watson, the former Facebook programmer called for tougher regulation of not just social media but the internet in general after at least 49 people were killed in the attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

As of writing, YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, have reportedly wiped most of the copies of the video from their platforms - though when exactly they managed to take it down and how much time it took remains unclear.

Action was not taken to remove it until New Zealand police alerted Facebook.

"All content praising, supporting and representing the attack and the perpetrator (s) should be removed from our platform", Facebook instructed content moderators in India, according to an email seen by Reuters.

"Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by the horrendous shootings in New Zealand", the company added.

About 70 others also received the screed moments before Friday attacks, including National Leader Simon Bridges and domestic and global media, the New Zealand Herald reported.

YouTube said: "Please know we are working vigilantly to remove any violent footage".

If Facebook wanted to monitor every livestream to prevent disturbing content from making it out in the first place, "they would have to hire millions of people", something it's not willing to do, said Vaidhyanathan, who teaches media studies at the University of Virginia. "There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque", he said.

The video's spread underscores the challenge for Facebook even after stepping up efforts to keep inappropriate and violent content off its platform.

"We are adding each video we find to an internal database which enables us to detect and automatically remove copies of the videos when uploaded again", Garlick added.

"Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online", New Zealand Police said on Twitter shortly after the shooting.

Shares of Facebook closed down 2.5 per cent on Friday.

With billions of users, Facebook and YouTube are "ungovernable" at this point, said Vaidhyanathan, who called Facebook's livestreaming service a "profoundly stupid idea".

The video footage, posted online live as the attack unfolded, appeared to show him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside. In another case, the video was shared by a verified Instagram user in Indonesia with more than 1.6 million followers.

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.

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, who uses the moniker PewDiePie, said on Twitter that he was "absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person". That year, a video of a man shooting and killing another in Cleveland also shocked viewers.

Reddit, meanwhile, banned forums named "gore" and "watchpeopledie" where the videos were posted and commented upon by users.