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CHRISTCHURCH, AU. (THECOUNT) — Facebook and Youtube are scrambling to removed a video that was recorded by the GoPro wearing shooter who opened fire on worshipers at two mosques in New Zealand Friday.
The social media giants acted quickly to scrub the horrifying original footage appearing to show in real-time, the mass shooting that killed at least 49 individuals, but now the online services are trying to reign in numerous user repostings of the recorded version.
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“New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we removed both the shooter’s Facebook account and the video,” said Mia Garlick, a Facebook representative in New Zealand. “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, reports CBS.
Four people are in custody after “multiple casualties” were reported at multiple locations in Christchurch, according to New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush. The unverified footage was reportedly live streamed on the social network by the alleged shooter, prompting New Zealand police to provide a statement.
“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” said the New Zealand police. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”
Facebook said it had removed the unverified footage and was also pulling down “praise or support” posts for the shootings.
In a tweet sent from its official account, YouTube also committed to removing all footage.
“Our hearts are broken over today’s terrible tragedy in New Zealand,” read the statement. “Please know we are working vigilantly to remove any violent footage.”
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference the shootings were part “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
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