Christchurch terror attacks: Videos still on social media - expert

10:53 am on 24 April 2019

Videos of the Christchurch mosque attack are still readily available online, an expert in tracking terrorist content says, and social media companies have been resistant to offers of help in curbing them.

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Global Intellectual Property Enforcement Center's Eric Feinberg said he had found copies available on Facebook and YouTube - some as old as the day the shootings occurred and some more recently re-uploaded.

He told Morning Report they were still being found on Facebook, Instagram - which is owned by Facebook - and YouTube, owned by Google.

"Facebook and Instagram have taken some action in taking them down but there is still other, what we call, 'raw' videos of the attack remaining on Facebook and Instagram.

"Currently, I checked, the ones that we reported and New Zealand Herald reported on YouTube have been removed."

He said hundreds of thousands of people had accessed the videos.

"The YouTube video we took down ... had over 720,000 views. Some of the other YouTube videos we saw had between 5000 and 15,000 views. Mostly the Facebook and Instagram ones ranged from a few hundred to maybe 15,000 views."

He said GIPEC uses a system using AI to find duplicate videos, by searching hashtags and communication strands.

"What we did immediately after the attack we converted code into code in Arabic ... and that's how we were picking them up ... In fact most of almost all the videos we searched were in Arabic."

He said social media companies like Facebook and Twitter had so far been unwilling to work with outsiders to find ways to remove the content.

"Where possibly the social media companies need to improve is logic.

"We've approached Facebook and Twitter, we've had meetings with them, we've presented to them what we have - myself and other subject matter experts with similar technologies.

"Having outside companies like ourselves which will charge them a fee so we can help them do this better? They've been resistant to it."

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