New Zealand mosque gunman livestreamed shooting, published manifesto before terrorist attack

17 March, 2019, 09:16 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Facebook and YouTube rush to remove New Zealand shooting footage

Facebook New Zealand spokeswoman Mia Garlick said the video of the attack was "quickly removed" and any "praise or support" for it was being taken down.

But hours after the attack copies of the video were still available on Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc's YouTube, as well as Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp. "We are working to have any footage removed".

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.

The New Zealand Herald said the 16,500-word screed was sent to the New Zealand Prime Minister, the country's National Leader, as well as domestic and global media.

"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". Scrawled in English and several eastern European languages were the names of numerous historical military figures - many of them Europeans involved in fighting the Ottoman forces in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The app is usually used to share videos of extreme sports and live music, but on Friday the footage recreated the carnage of a computer game, showing the attacker's first-person view as he drove to one mosque, entered it and began shooting randomly at people inside.

Frustrated with years of similar obscene online crises, politicians around the globe on Friday voiced the same conclusion: social media is failing.

PewDiePie, whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, said on Twitter he felt "absolutely sickened" that the alleged gunman referred to him during the livestream.


As Peter Kafka quoted Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg in Recode from a post relating to the spread of misinformation by Russians on the platform in 2017; these platforms put no roadblocks to the spouting of hate speech and now a terrorist attack before it has actually happened. "I think this will add to all the calls around the world for more effective regulation of social media platforms".

Users intent on sharing the violent video took several approaches - doing so at times with an nearly military precision.

YouTube, which publicises itself as being on the forefront for taking down copyrighted content on its platform, was unable to take down videos that contained at least a part of the massacre's footage.

New Zealand authorities said that three people had been arrested, but their identities were not made public. Others shared shorter sections or screenshots from the gunman's livestream, which would also be harder for a computer program to identify. Politicians in multiple countries said social media companies need to be more vigilant.

"Extremists will always look for ways to utilise communications tools to spread hateful ideologies and violence", she said.

"The content of the video is disturbing and will be harmful for people to see", he said.

A spokesman for New Zealand's interior ministry said the video is likely to be classified as objectionable content under local law, and could be illegal to share.

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