Christchurch shooting: Celebrities, politicians react to New Zealand mosque attacks

Brenton Tarrant

Enlarge Image Brenton Tarrant AP

The live footage of Friday's attacks, New Zealand's worst-ever mass shooting, was first posted to Facebook and has since been shared on Twitter, Alphabet Inc's YouTube and Facebook-owned Whatsapp and Instagram. "We are working with social media platforms, who are actively removing this content as soon as they are made aware of an instance of it being posted". "We also cooperate with law enforcement to facilitate their investigations as required", it said. Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have removed and blocked hundreds of different versions of the video.

Their response has been widely condemned, with Home Secretary Sajid Javid saying "enough is enough" and accusing YouTube, Google, Facebook and Twitter of not taking ownership of this content being shared on their networks.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the document did not detail his murderous plans. It said it had removed the unverified video along with the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts. Many shooting games allow players to toggle between close-range and long-range weapons, and the gunman switched from a shotgun to a rifle during the video, reloading as he moved around.

Hours after the shooting, Reddit took down two subreddits known for sharing video and pictures of people being killed or injured -R/WatchPeopleDie and R/Gore - apparently because users were sharing the mosque attack video.

Frustrated with years of similar obscene online crises, politicians around the globe on Friday voiced the same conclusion: social media is failing.

"What's going on here?" she said, referring to the shooter's ability to livestream for 17 minutes.

"I think something must have changed in him during the years he spent travelling overseas", she added.

NZ police have asked the public not to share the "extremely distressing" video on any social media platform.

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

Users intent on sharing the violent video took several approaches. "We are working to have any footage removed", the country's police department tweeted.

Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, who uses the moniker PewDiePie, said on Twitter that he was "absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person".

The revelation is the latest news that showed how large a role technology played in shooter Brenton Tarrant's planning of his crime, which was live streamed via Facebook.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the events in Christchurch represented "an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence", and that numerous victims could be migrants or refugees, according to The Associated Press.

"Extremists will always look for ways to utilise communications tools to spread hateful ideologies and violence", she said. "The content of the video is disturbing and will be harmful to people to see", he said.

"Our hearts are broken over today's awful tragedy in New Zealand", YouTube, which is operated by Google, said in a Twitter posting. "That's unacceptable, it should have never happened, and it should have been taken down a lot more swiftly".

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