New Zealand mosque attacker's plan started and ended online

Facebook social media criticized as slow to stop New Zealand video

The livestream of the mass shooting, which left 49 dead, lasted for 17 minutes.

"Our hearts are broken over today's awful tragedy in New Zealand", YouTube, which is operated by Google, said in a Twitter posting.

While platforms including Twitter and YouTube said they moved fast to remove the content, users reported it was still widely available hours after being first uploaded to the alleged shooter's Facebook account.

A suspected gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a "manifesto" in which he denounced immigrants. In 2017 it said it would hire 3,000 people to review videos and other posts, on top of the 4,500 people Facebook already tasks with identifying criminal and other questionable material for removal.

Facebook acted swiftly to contain the fallout. Still, the problem persists.

"They have the tools with social listening to go in with keyword terms and have moderators view and remove all videos linked to this type of incident", she said.

"We are also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we are aware", it added.

Twitter said it had "rigorous processes and a dedicated team in place for managing exigent and emergency situations" such as this. "We also cooperate with law enforcement to facilitate their investigations as required", it said. In response, YouTube said it's "working vigilantly to remove any violent footage". "I think this will add to all the calls around the world for more effective regulation of social media platforms".

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Twitter also pulled down the original video and suspended the account that shared it on its platform, saying the user had violated its policies banning graphic, hate or terror content.

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

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

"There is no fool-proof way to catch acts of violence on video or images with the technology that we have today", she said.

"The stream is not analysed, stored or processed by LIVE4 in any way, we have no ability (even if we wanted to) to look at the live streams as they are happening or after it's completed", he said in written comments to Reuters.

Politicians in multiple countries said social media companies need to take ownership of the problem. 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.

"This is a case where you're giving a platform for hate", Democratic US Senator Cory Booker, who is running for president, said at a campaign event in New Hampshire. "We will do whatever is humanly possible for it to never happen again".

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