“This is spreading like a virus,” Ms Hochul said, urging social media executives to review their policies to ensure “everything in their power is being done to ensure this information is not disseminated.”
There may not be any easy answers. Platforms like Facebook, Twitch and Twitter have made strides in recent years, the experts said, to remove violent content and videos faster. After the New Zealand shooting, social platforms and countries around the world joined an initiative called the Christchurch Call to Action and agreed to work closely together to counter terrorism and violent extremism. One tool that social sites have used is a shared database of hashes, or digital traces, of images that can flag and quickly remove inappropriate content.
But in this case, Ms Douek said, despite the hash system, Facebook seems to have come up short. Facebook posts that linked to the video posted on Streamable generated more than 43,000 interactions, according to CrowdTangle, a web analytics tool, and some posts were active for more than nine hours.
As users attempted to flag the content as infringing Facebook ruleswho don’t allow content that “glorifies violence,” in some cases have been told that the links do not violate Facebook’s policies, according to screenshots viewed by The New York Times.
Facebook has since started removing posts with links to the video, and a Facebook spokesman said the posts violated the platform’s rules. When asked why some users were told that posts linking to the video did not violate its standards, the spokesperson had no answer.
Twitter had not removed many posts with links to the shooting video, and in several cases the video had been uploaded directly to the platform. A company spokeswoman initially said the site could remove some instances of the video or add a warning about sensitive content, but Twitter later said Twitter would remove all videos related to the attack after The Times asked for clarification.
A spokeswoman for Hopin, the video conferencing service that owns Streamable, said the platform is working to remove the video and delete the accounts of those who uploaded it.