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Germany: Suspected gunman in synagogue shooting livestreamed attack on Twitch; platform says it "has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct"

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Article
10 October 2019

Germany shooting suspect livestreamed attempted attack on synagogue

Author: Julia Carrie Wong, The Guardian

The suspected gunman in the Yom Kippur synagogue attack in Halle, Germany, broadcast his rampage on the livestreaming platform Twitch...

About 35 minutes of video was broadcast live on Twitch, an Amazon-owned platform that is primarily used by video game players, the company confirmed Wednesday. Twitch removed the video but copies had already been downloaded and shared elsewhere on the internet, highlighting the challenges faced by platforms attempting to stymy the dissemination of such material...

The Halle attack is the second livestreamed rightwing extremist attack this year, following the March massacre of 51 Muslim worshippers in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was broadcast on Facebook Live...

“This video was not surfaced in any recommendations or directories,” the company said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Instead, our investigation suggests that people were coordinating and sharing the video via other online messaging services.” ...

Becca Lewis, a research affiliate at Data & Society who studies online political subcultures, [said] tech companies should work to limit the reach of such videos...

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Article
10 October 2019

Germany shooting: 2,200 people watched on Twitch

Author: BBC News

About 2,200 people watched a gunman's video of his attack outside a synagogue in Germany before it was removed from video-streaming site Twitch...

The company said the account that live-streamed the attack had been created two months before the incident. It had only attempted to live-stream once before.

Twitch said it had shared a "hash" of the video with a group of tech companies including Microsoft and Facebook.

A video hash is essentially a "fingerprint" of a video that helps platforms detect if the same footage has been uploaded on their service...

In March, an attack on a New Zealand mosque in which 51 people were killed was live-streamed on Facebook.

The social network was criticised for failing to prevent copies of videos of the Christchurch mosque shootings from being shared on its platform.

Facebook has since discussed plans to train algorithms to recognise videos of shootings so they can be detected and removed more quickly...

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Article
9 October 2019

2,200 Viewed Germany Attack Before Twitch Removed Post

Author: Tiffany Hsu, The New York Times

On Wednesday, a heavily armed man with a head-mounted camera live-streamed his shooting rampage in Halle, Germany, on Twitch for more than 35 minutes. Two people were killed and two others injured in the attack, which took place outside a synagogue and in a kebab shop.

Twitch said on Twitter that only five people had watched the live stream of the shooting. But 2,200 people viewed a recording of the attack, which stayed up for 30 minutes before it was flagged and removed...

[T]he company said in a statement that it was “shocked and saddened” by the shooting in Germany.

“Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct, and any act of violence is taken extremely seriously,” Brielle Villablanca, a spokeswoman for Twitch, said in the statement. “We worked with urgency to remove this content and will permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act.” ...

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, a nonprofit organization formed in 2017 by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube, said in a statement that it was “actively removing perpetrator-created content related to the attack” in an attempt “to prevent its viral spread across our services.” Amazon is also a member of the forum...

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