BBC News:– A gunman opened fire in a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 49 people and injuring 20 more. As he did so, he filmed the entire crime and live-streamed it directly to Facebook.
What ensued was an exhausting race for social media pages to take the footage down, as it was replicated seemingly endlessly and shared widely in the wake of the attack.
And through social media, it found its way onto the front pages of some of the world’s biggest news websites in the form of still images, gifs, and even the full video.
This series of events has, once again, shone a spotlight on how sites like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Reddit try – and fail – to address far-right extremism on their platforms.
As the video continued to spread, other members of the public put up their own posts pleading with people to stop sharing it.
One pointed out: “That is what the terrorist wanted.”
The video, which shows a first-person view of the killings, has been widely circulated.
While huge numbers of people have been duplicating and sharing the footage online, many others responded with disgust – urging others not only not to share the footage, but not even to watch it.
Spreading the video, many said, was what the attacker had wanted people to do.
A lot of people were particularly angry at media outlets for publishing the footage.
Channel 4 News anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy, for example, specifically named two British newspaper websites and accused them of hitting “a new low in clickbait”.