Facebook confirmed that it has deleted a video that appears to be a live-stream of the Christchurch shooting that happened in New Zealand on Friday afternoon local time. It has also deleted the account that the video was posted from.
The video, seen by Business Insider, shows a person loading a shotgun and an assault rifle into a silver vehicle and driving to a mosque. When the person arrives at the mosque, they walk through a gate and start firing on people inside.
Police have confirmed “significant” fatalities but have not yet confirmed the official death toll.
“Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the community affected by this horrendous act,” said Facebook’s Mia Garlick, director of policy for Australia and New Zealand.
“New Zealand 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,” Garlick continued. “We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware. We will continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues.”
Facebook, which does not allow mass murderers to have an account on its platform, will continue to look for copies of the video on its platform and remove them as and when it finds them.
Facebook uses a combination of technology and human moderators to review and remove content that violates its policies.
It will also delete any content that praises or supports the shooter or the act.
There was another shooting at a separate mosque nearby; no footage has emerged from that attack.
Three men and one woman are currently being held in custody by New Zealand police.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern spoke during a press conference on Friday afternoon: “It is clear that this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days. Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.
“Many of those impacted by the shootings may be migrants, and they have chosen to make New Zealand their home. They are us. The person who perpetuated this violence is not,” she said.
“There is absolutely no place in New Zealand for such extreme acts of unprecedented violence.”
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