In the wake of a horrific terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed at least 50 people on Friday, social media giant Facebook along with others have been scrambling to delete re-uploaded versions of the 17-minute livestream the terrorist broadcasted of the attacks.
Facebook reportedly removed 1.5 million copies of edited and unedited versions of the video in the first 24 hours since the attack, noting that 1.2 million versions were blocked before being published.
Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer told the Washington Post that video uploads were occurring at a rate of as much as one per second and YouTube had to disable certain search features to help stop the spread.
Mohan also said the company turned off some forms of human review to speed up the process of deleting the videos.
Reddit, known for its general lack of censorship, removed a subreddit called r/watchpeopledie. The forum is a place known for hosting video content of gruesome deaths and was taken down after the page posted links to the unedited video of the massacre.
While the Coast Report Editorial Board appreciates the efforts of these social media companies in the wake of the terror attack, we feel more can be done to stop the viral spread of this traumatizing content.
Hours after the attack several copies of the video were still available and easily searchable on several social media platforms, according to a report from WIRED Magazine.
While these companies have implemented artificial intelligence systems and even created a Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism to share intelligence on terrorist content, they have yet to implement the systems to work for live broadcasted content.
This means the ability to moderate live video and remove it is left up to human review.
Once a live video has been flagged by a user, the reviewer then has the option to ignore or delete a post.
They can also check back in five minutes or escalate the case to a specialized review team.
The Coast Report editorial staff finds it unacceptable that it took the largest social media company in the world over a quarter of an hour of death and violence being live streamed to shut down the video and several more hours to curb the re-uploads.
More money and resources need to be dedicated to stopping this kind of content being able to be broadcast on social media platforms and lawmakers agree.
These platforms need to start focusing on stopping the spread of hateful and violent content instead of being so concerned with censoring the female nipple.