Facebook says it removed 1.5 mln videos of the New Zealand mosque attack

This image grab from a self-shot video that was streamed on Facebook Live by the man who was involved in two mosque shootings in Christchurch shows the man holding a gun as he enters the Masjid al Noor. (AFP)

Reuters

Facebook Inc said it removed 1.5 million videos globally of the New Zealand mosque attack in the first 24 hours after the attack.

“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…,” Facebook said in a tweet late Saturday.

The company said it is also removing all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content out of respect for the people affected by the mosque shooting and the concerns of local authorities.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg has sent condolences over the shootings.

“Certainly, I have had contact from Sheryl Sandberg. I haven’t spoken to her directly but she has reached out, an acknowledgment of what has occurred here in New Zealand,” Ardern said a media conference when asked if Facebook should stop live-streaming.

“This is an issue that I will look to be discussing directly with Facebook,” Ardern said, adding Sandberg has shared condolences over the shootings in Christchurch on Friday.

The death toll in the New Zealand mosque shootings rose to 50 on Sunday. The gunman who attacked two mosques on Friday live-streamed the attacks on Facebook for 17 minutes using an app designed for extreme sports enthusiasts, with copies still being shared on social media hours later.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she wants to discuss live streaming with Facebook.

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