Facebook to tighten livestream access after Christchurch attacks | News | DW | 30.03.2019
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Facebook to tighten livestream access after Christchurch attacks

Social media giants, including Facebook and Twitter, were heavily criticized after the terror attacks on New Zealand mosques for their perceived inactivity in dealing with material livestreamed by the suspect.

Facebook's chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg admitted Saturday that the social media giant had not done enough in the aftermath of the March 15 terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which saw 50 people killed.

An Australian white supremacist has been charged with murder over the attack and is expected to reappear in court next week.

The alleged attacker livestreamed the attacks on Facebook for 17 minutes before the company removed it after being alerted by police. Clips from the stream had already gone viral.

Read more: New Zealand reopens mosques targeted in terror attack

Watch video 03:05

Memorial service for victims of mosque attacks

'Must do more'

"In the immediate aftermath, we took down the alleged terrorist's Facebook and Instagram accounts, removed the video of the attack, and used artificial intelligence to proactively find and prevent related videos from being posted," Sandberg said in a letter to the New Zealand Herald newspaper.

"We have heard feedback that we must do more — and we agree," she added.

"In the wake of the terrorist attack, we are taking three steps: strengthening the rules for using Facebook Live, taking further steps to address hate on our platforms, and supporting the New Zealand community," she wrote.

Facebook on Wednesday announced it was extending its ban on hate speech to include content related to white nationalism and separatism on both its Facebook and Instagram platforms. It will be enforced as of next week.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern urged social media companies to take more responsibility for their content. The Australian government plans to introduce new laws to prevent people from "weaponizing social media platforms."

Read more: Turkey's Erdogan shows Christchurch mosque shooting video again despite protest from New Zealand

shs/jlw (dpa, AFP)

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