Facebook and YouTube rush to remove New Zealand shooting footage

Postado Março 17, 2019

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. However, it did not mention his plans for the mass shooting. Magnus Ranstorp of the Swedish National Defense College told the Associated Press that the manifesto published by the New Zealand assailant, Brenton Tarrant, is shorter and "more sloppy" than the Breivik publication-popular on the dark recesses of the internet; claims proliferated Friday that Tarrant was in contact with Breivik devotees. He also posted on the 8-chan message board.

Tarrant outlined his reasoning for the terrorist attacks in the 74-page document sent to officials and media.

"The mail was setting his reasons for doing it. I don't care about your profits", Democratic U.S. Senator Cory Booker, who is running for president, said at a campaign event in New Hampshire.

In his manifesto, titled "The Great Replacement", Tarrant explained that his actions were "revenge" for Islamic terrorist attacks across the globe, and said he hoped to spark a civil war in the US.

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Google all use artificial intelligence combined with human monitors to try to stop videos depicting violence from being shared, but it appears none of the platforms initially caught the video that streamed live for 17 minutes.

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.

Soon afterwards, the footage was available on Google, YouTube, Reddit, and other social media sites.

Those references appeared to be created to capitalize on the way search algorithms tend to surface information.

At the time of publishing this article, Facebook has yet to post a statement.

"Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by this horrendous act", Facebook New Zealand spokeswoman Mia Garlick said in a statement.

"Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online", New Zealand police said in a Twitter post.

"Our hearts are broken over today's bad tragedy in New Zealand".

Besides acting on user complaints about copies, YouTube said on Friday that it was trying to identify copies with an automated tool that finds videos likely to be violent in nature based on a combination of the title and description of the video, the characteristics of the user uploading it and objects in the footage.

In a statement to HuffPost, a Twitter spokesperson said the company is "deeply saddened by the shootings", noting that it has procedures for addressing such content.

A Twitter spokesperson said issues such as the Christchurch video were handled rigorously by a dedicated team, adding that the platform cooperates with law enforcement. Tech companies have pledged to improve their filtering and prevention efforts while balancing those measures against the drive to protect the open spirit of the platforms, which enabled them to grow so explosively over the past decade.