Mosque shooter livestreamed attack on Facebook, posted white nationalist manifesto on Twitter

Brenton Tarrant

At least 41 were killed at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch while at least seven people died inside the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque, and one person died in hospital.

A horrific video of the New Zealand mosque massacre was blocked by Facebook during its livestream but circulated on other social media, highlighting the challenges faced by internet platforms in curbing the spread of violent content.

Brenton Tarrant, an Australian who carried out the deadly attack in the city of Christchurch, had live-streamed the attack and was later taken into custody after he was identified in the video, AFP reported.

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.

Silicon Valley was unsuccessful in removing the content completely from their platform even as they tout next-gen AI and machine learning that has been created to stop this very thing from happening.

Facebook has said it uses a combination of technology tools along with its own monitors and community reports to take down inappropriate content.

And Silicon Valley firms said they were doing their best to clamp down on the dissemination of the grisly video streamed by the killer himself.

Copies of the footage reviewed by Reuters showed that some users had recorded the video playing on their own phones or computers to create a new version with a digital fingerprint different from the original.

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In August, a shooting at a Madden 19 video-game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, was captured on live video. "We would strongly urge that the link not be shared".

Downing Street has also demanded United Kingdom news and media companies remove from their websites terrifying footage.

Portions of the video were also spreading by individuals on Twitter, which said it, too, was working to remove the content and had suspended the shooter's account. "Twitter has rigorous processes and a dedicated team in place for managing exigent and emergency situations such as this".

"Our hearts are broken over today's awful tragedy in New Zealand", read the statement.

Alphabet Inc's YouTube said: "Please know we are working vigilantly to remove any violent footage". Facebook said it had deleted the gunman's accounts "shortly after the livestream commenced" after being alerted by police. Authorities made Facebook aware of the video shortly after the video began, according to Mia Garlick, Facebook's director of policy for Australia and New Zealand.

NZ police have asked the public not to share the "extremely distressing" video on any social media platform. Keeping this in mind it is right now unclear how the Christchurch shooter was allowed to stream for a good 17 minutes before the footage was cut. In another case, the video was shared by a verified Instagram user in Indonesia with more than 1.6 million followers.

It also was using audio technology to detect Christchurch broadcast footage, in which gunshots could be heard and music played in the attacker's vehicle, according to a copy reviewed by Reuters.

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