New Zealand mass shooting shows tech companies can’t control viral tragedies – CNET


New Zealand mass shooting shows tech companies can’t control viral tragedies

Facebook and YouTube are struggling to keep videos of a terror attack designed to go viral off their platforms.


A police officer secures the area in front of the Masjid al Noor mosque after a shooting incident in Christchurch on March 15, 2019.

Tessa Burrows / AFP/Getty Images

For every video of the mass shooting in New Zealand that YouTube and Facebook blocks, another two or three seem to replace it.

On Friday, a gunman in Christchurch, New Zealand, attacked Muslims praying at a mosque and livestreamed the shooting on Facebook. The social network removed the video and deleted his account, but the clip was downloaded and has since spread across the internet.

It’s been re-uploaded to YouTube multiple times, often within minutes of each other, as YouTube continues to take the clips down. 

“Shocking, violent and graphic content has no place on our platforms, and we are employing our technology and human resources to quickly review and remove any and all such violative content on YouTube,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement. “As with any major tragedy, we will work cooperatively with the authorities.” 

YouTube said it’s encouraging users to to flag any videos showing this clip and has been removing thousands of videos related to the shooting in the last 24 hours.

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