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March 15 survivors retraumatized by link to live video of Buffalo attack

Survivors of the Christchurch mosque attack received graphic videos of the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York – likely from a white supremacist supporter of the atrocities.

At least three survivors, who are still nursing various gunshot wounds from the March 15 attack in Aotearoa three years ago, have been re-traumatized by an ‘unknown person on Facebook’ sharing TikTok footage of the attack which has killed 10 people and injured three in a supermarket on Sunday (New Zealand time).

A member of the March 15 community, who was too scared to be named, believed he had been targeted by a supporter of the terror attacks, as a video combined footage of the two.

TikTok condemned the footage, saying it has zero tolerance for extremist content and “stands with” Christchurch survivors.

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The Prime Minister’s Christchurch Call co-ordinator said there was “zero tolerance” for such hateful ideology and content to be shared, especially to re-traumatise survivors of the attack. Aotearoa.

The link, sent by an “unknown Facebook person” via Messenger directly after the shooting, directed them to videos posted by two TikTok accounts.

It was “horrific” and re-traumatizing for survivors of the March 15 attack, they said.

The person flagged the videos as “Dangerous Organizations and Individuals – Terrorism” on Sunday, but a single user was immediately removed.

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For the other, the platform replied: “We found [the] the video does not violate our Community Guidelines. We understand that you may not want to see this type of content, so we will show you fewer videos like this. »

The two TikTok users used a photo of the Christchurch terrorist outside the High Court as their profile picture.

It was “awful” to get a response that the video of people being killed was OK.

“I can’t believe they said that. It’s not acceptable. They thought it had now been removed because the link no longer worked.

The Facebook user who shared the link has since been blocked and appeared as an unnamed Facebook account, they said.

Acting Chief Censor Rupert Ablett-Hampson announced on Monday that the Buffalo shooter’s video and manifesto are now illegal. Twitch, where the video was broadcast, says it was removed from the site within two minutes.

A TikTok spokesperson said it was aware of “reports of New Zealanders seeing and reporting extremist content on our platform and we are actively monitoring the situation”, but the source content was not from TikTok. .

The platform had “no higher priority than protecting the safety of our community,” and its guidelines clearly stated zero tolerance for extremist content.

“We don’t allow people to use our platform to threaten or incite violence, or to promote violent extremist organizations, individuals, or acts.

Flowers and tributes line the entrance gates of the Masjid An-Nur Mosque (Al Noor Mosque) after the March 15 terrorist attack.

Joseph Johnson / Stuff

Flowers and tributes line the entrance gates of the Masjid An-Nur Mosque (Al Noor Mosque) after the March 15 terrorist attack.

“TikTok stands with the victims of the Christchurch shootings and the wider New Zealand community in condemning this appalling behavior.”

Paul Ash, the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Cyber ​​and Digital and Christchurch Appeal Coordinator for the Prime Minister and Cabinet Ministry, was unaware the video had been shared on TikTok or to survivors of the 15 March.

Seeing the video would be “obviously very distressing for them”.

He “strongly encouraged” people not to interact with the now illegal content and to contact the police, Netsafe and whatever platform they saw it on.

Jacinda Ardern (centre left) and Emmanuel Macron (centre right) of France lead the Christchurch Appeal summit in Paris in May 2019.

Henry Cooke / Stuff

Jacinda Ardern (centre left) and Emmanuel Macron (centre right) of France lead the Christchurch Appeal summit in Paris in May 2019.

“There is no place for this kind of hateful ideology online…or it is being used to further traumatize the victims of March 15.”

TikTok was neither a member of the Christchurch Call nor of the Global Internet Forum to Combat Terrorism (GIFCT), he said.

The GIFCT, which was upgraded in direct response to the Christchurch attack and had 16 new members on the platform, quickly activated its “content incident protocol” when the Buffalo attack surfaced online.

While it was too early to know how many times the video had been viewed and shared, it could not have gone “viral” like the March 15, 2019 livestream, which was seen by over 4 million people.

TikTok is not one of the 18 members of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.

unsplash/provided

TikTok is not one of the 18 members of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism.

The Christchurch Call team very quickly verified the survivor community after the Buffalo shooting due to the mention of the New Zealand attack in the US gunman’s manifesto, Ash said.

The work done on the Christchurch Appeal “seems to have made a measurable difference this time around”.

But there was “still work to be done, both online and offline, to understand how and why people are doing this in the first place”.

Tiktok’s spokesperson said it was in talks with GIFCT and aimed to join in on additional monitoring efforts.

Police were unable to respond before publication.