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Videos of New Zealand terror attack still circulating on Facebook and Instagram
Posted On May 2, 2019
Almost seven weeks after a terrorist attack on a New Zealand mosque was streamed live on Facebook, copies of the video are still circulating on Facebook and Instagram.
The existence of the videos, some of which have been on the platforms since the day of the attack, are indicative of the challenge tech companies face in combating the spread of white supremacist and other terror-related content on their platforms and raises questions about the effectiveness of Facebook’s efforts to do so in particular.
Nine videos on Facebook and Instagram showing parts of the terrorist’s original livestream were identified by Eric Feinberg of the Global Intellectual Property Enforcement Center, who tracks terror-related content online, and who provided them to CNN Business. All nine videos were posted the week of the attack and have remained on the platforms since.
Facebook said in the days after the attack, which occurred at two mosques and killed dozens, that it was working to remove all copies of the video from its platforms.
In one case on Instagram a copy of the video showing the gunman shooting in one of the mosques triggered Instagram’s “Sensitive content” feature, a warning the company places on some videos that says, “This video contains sensitive content which some people may find offensive or disturbing.” Despite triggering that warning, the video itself, which was viewed more than 8,000 times, remained on the platform.