Tech companies scramble to remove New Zealand shooting video

A still image taken from video circulated on social media apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded shows him entering a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand

"While Google, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter all say that they're cooperating and acting in the best interest of citizens to remove this content, they're actually not because they're allowing these videos to reappear all the time", Lucinda Creighton, a senior adviser at the Counter Extremism Project, an global policy organization told CNN.

But the viral reach of yet another obscene video caused politicians around the globe on Friday to voice the same conclusion: Tech companies are failing. "What's going on here?" she said, referring to the shooter's ability to livestream for 17 minutes.

Damian Collins, the chairman of the Commons culture committee, said it appeared to be a "terror attack designed for social media" and demonstrated why there had to be "statutory regulation of the distribution of content online through social networks".

"There's no excuse for the content from that livestream to be still circulating on social media now", said Lucinda Creighton, a former government minister in Ireland and an advisor to the Counter Extremism Project, which campaigns to remove violent internet content.

The company's profit margins fell past year as it spent to address the challenge, and stock analysts are bracing for further short-term hits to its profitability, whether or not regulations materialize and despite relatively few alternatives for advertisers.

Facebook is "removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we're aware", she said.

Facebook and YouTube were created to share pictures of babies, puppies and other wholesome things, he said, "but they were expanded at such a scale and built with no safeguards such that they were easy to hijack by the worst elements of humanity".

After Facebook stopped the Christchurch livestream, it told moderators to delete any copies or complimentary comments on the attack.

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Users intent on sharing the violent video took several approaches. Reuters was unable to confirm the authenticity of the footage. Others shared shorter sections or screenshots from the gunman's livestream, which would also be harder for a computer program to identify. The shooting begins about six minutes into a 17-minute video reviewed by Reuters. The attacker plays music as he drives to the mosque, including a British grenadiers march and a Serbian anti-Muslim hate anthem called "Remove Kebab". Footage from this stream later found its way into other platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit.

YouTube, however, later pulled down the video.

Exact matches of removed material can not be uploaded again at YouTube and Facebook.

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.

Facebook, Twitter and YouTube yesterday all said they were taking action to remove the videos.

This is not the first time violence like this has been viewed on social media, despite efforts to prevent it.

Facebook has said it uses a combination of technology tools along with its own monitors and community reports to take down inappropriate content. "We will do whatever is humanly possible for it to never happen again".

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