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Facebook removed 1.5 mn graphic videos of the New Zealand shootings within 24 hours

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Internet companies including Facebook scrambled to remove graphic videos filmed by a gunman in the New Zealand mosque shootings that were widely available on social media for hours after the horrific attack.

Facebook said it took down a live stream of the shootings and removed the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts after being alerted by police.

Image: Reuters

The social media giant’s New Zealand spokeswoman, Mia Garlick has now posted an update on Twitter revealing that Facebook removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, within the first 24 hours of the attack.

Out of respect for the people affected by this tragedy and the concerns of local authorities, we’re also removing all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content.” — Mia Garlick, Facebook New Zealand

— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) March 17, 2019

The tweet further stated that over 1.2 million of the videos removed in that frame were blocked at upload. Garlick also put out another tweet stating that Facebook will be removing all edited versions of the video from its platform (that do not show graphic content), as a mark of respect for those affected by the tragedy.

In the first 24 hours we removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, of which over 1.2 million were blocked at upload…

— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) March 17, 2019

What Facebook does not state though is how many views, shares or comments the videos that still made it to Facebook generated.

At least 49 people were killed at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand’s third-largest city.

Using what appeared to be a helmet-mounted camera, the gunman live-streamed in horrifying detail 17 minutes of the attack on worshippers at the Al Noor Mosque, where at least 41 people died. Several more worshippers were killed at a second mosque a short time later.

The shooter also left a 74-page manifesto that he posted on social media under the name Brenton Tarrant, identifying himself as a 28-year-old Australian and white nationalist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

“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.

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