New Zealand shooting shows how YouTube and Facebook spread hate and violent images — yet again – Chicago Tribune

Friday’s slaughter in two New Zealand mosques played out as a dystopian reality show delivered by some of America’s biggest technology companies. YouTube, Facebook, Reddit and Twitter all had roles in publicizing the violence and, by extension, the hate-filled ideology behind it.

These companies – some of the richest, most technologically advanced in the world – failed to rapidly quell the spread of troubling content as it metastasized across platforms, bringing horrific images to internet users worldwide.

The alleged shooter, a heavily armed man authorities have not yet named, also released a 74-page manifesto denouncing Muslims and immigrants that spread widely online. He left behind a social media trail on Twitter and Facebook that amounted to footnotes to his manifesto. Over the two days before the shooting he posted about 60 of the same links across different platforms, nearly half of which were to YouTube videos that were still active late Friday.

The horror began Friday morning in New Zealand, as the alleged shooter used Facebook to live-stream his assault on Al Noor Mosque, one of two Christchurch mosques that he attacked and the scene of most of the 49 fatalities. Many hours later – long after the man and other suspects had been arrested – some internet users still were uploading and re-uploading the video to YouTube and other online services. A search of keywords related to the event, such as “New Zealand,” surfaced a long list of videos, many of which were lengthy and uncensored views of the massacre.


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