Facebook had to remove 1.5 million videos of New Zealand mosque shooting
The terrorist attack took 49 innocent lives
Facebook have revealed that they had to remove 1.5 million videos of the recent terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
The shooting occurred on Friday afternoon local time, as a man gunned down 49 people in two different mosques, injuring at least 20 more.
The culprit filmed the entire attack, live streaming it on Facebook, and the footage quickly circulated on social media in the aftermath. 1.2 million videos were prevented at the point of upload, while 300,000 more have had to be removed by Facebook.
Facebook's newsroom account on Twitter said: 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..."
The thread of tweets began with words of sympathy for those who were affected by the attack.
“Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by the horrendous shootings in New Zealand.
— Facebook Newsroom (@fbnewsroom) March 15, 2019
Facebook then explained that: "police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video. We're also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.
Mia Garlick of Facebook New Zealand has pledged to "continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues.”
Facebook also pledged to remove any version of the video, even those which have had graphic content removed, out of respect for the victims of the tragedy.
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
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, which is being treated as a terrorist attack as it emerged that the shooter is a white supremacist and targeted his violence towards the Muslim community, Australian senator Fraser Anning released a statement blaming the attack on muslim immigration.
"Today's shootings in Christchurch highlight the growing fears within our community both in Australia and New Zealand over the increasing muslim presence," he said.
He has since been hit over the head with an egg by a young boy, Will Connolly, who has been widely praised online for standing up to Islamophobia.