How the New Zealand mosque shooting was designed to go viral

CNET | 3/19/2019 | Richard Nieva
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Mourners gathered in Auckland, New Zealand.

The tragic shooting spree in New Zealand has exposed yet again social media's difficulty policing itself.

Shooter - Christchurch - People - Mosques - Friday

A shooter in Christchurch killed 50 people at two mosques last Friday in a livestreamed attack that was designed to exploit how we share on the internet. In the hours after the attack, Facebook, Google and Twitter found themselves overwhelmed with trying to stop the spread of the footage online. New copies of the video, which are still fairly easy to find on the web, went up as quickly as the social media platforms pulled them down.

The spread of the mosque attack video brings new scrutiny to big tech's inability to take down the graphic content that flows through its products. Leaders from around the world are calling on the companies to do better.

Criticism - Lawmakers - Begin - Scale - Influence

The new criticism comes as lawmakers and the public begin reconsidering the scale and influence of Silicon Valley companies. For the past two years, large tech companies have been called to task for the unintended consequences of their platforms, which range from the rise of misinformation to the prevalence of data misuse.

How did this video get out on the web?

Week - Gunman - Fire - Mosque - Christchurch

Last week a gunman opened fire at first one, then another, mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, while worshippers were gathered for Friday prayers. The gunman wore a camera on his military-style helmet, streaming video of the massacre over Facebook Live as he stalked victims.

The massacre, which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a "terrorist attack," claimed 50 lives. An Australian suspect, Brenton Harrison Tarrant, emailed the prime minister a manifesto outlining his beliefs just minutes before the rampage began. He has been charged with murder.

Days - Shooting - Suspect - Photos - Weapons

Days before the shooting, the suspect also posted photos of what appear to be the weapons he planned to use in the...
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