Following Saturday’s , online platforms like Facebook, TikTok and Twitter are seemingly struggling to prevent various versions of the gunman’s livestream from proliferating on their platforms. The shooter, an 18-year-old white male, attempted to broadcast the entire attack on Twitch using a GoPro Hero 7 Black. The company told Engadget it took his channel down within two minutes of the violence starting.
Not going to share screenshots, but the rate at which versions of the Buffalo video continue to proliferate on Facebook and Twitter is astonishing. We’ve been here before with Christchurch and it continues to happen.
— Ryan Mac 🙃 (@RMac18) May 15, 2022
“Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents,” a Twitch spokesperson said. “The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.”
Despite Twitch’s response, that hasn’t stopped the video from proliferating online. According to , one link to a version of the livestream someone used a screen recorder to preserve saw 43,000 interactions. Another Twitter user they found a Facebook post linking to the video that had been viewed more than 1.8 million times, with an accompanying screenshot suggesting the post did not trigger Facebook’s automated safeguards. A Meta spokesperson told Mac the video violates Facebook’s .
LISTEN: Police commissioner explains what happened today in Buffalo.
— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) May 14, 2022
Responding to Mac’s Twitter thread, Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz she found TikTok videos that share accounts and terms Twitter users can search for to view the full video. “Clear the vid is all over Twitter,” she said. We’ve reached out to the company for comment.
Preventing terrorists and violent extremists from disseminating their content online is one of the things Facebook, Twitter and a handful of other tech companies they would do following the 2019 shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the first 24 hours after that attack, Meta said it , but clips of the shooting on the platform for more than a month after the event. The company blamed its tools for the failure, noting they had a hard time detecting the footage because of the way in which it was filmed. “This was a first-person shooter video, one where we have someone using a GoPro helmet with a camera focused from their perspective of shooting,” Neil Potts, Facebook’s public policy director, told British lawmakers at the time.
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