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article imageMosque killing video shows the dark-side of social media

By Tim Sandle     Mar 17, 2019 in Internet
The Christchurch terrorist attack was made for social media and social media duly, for a period of time, showcased the horrific attack in New Zealand. This has opened a discussion about violent videos and their accessibility on social media.
Grainy video which shows an unseen attacker opening fire on worshipers in a mosque was posted on social media platforms, depicting the killing of people as if they were targets in a game. The video was recorded by a perpetrator of the mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, which occurred on March 15, 2019. This act of far-right terrorism saw 50 people killed and as many injured.
While the world attempts to come to terms with the killing, another side of the horrific story is that it was live-streamed online. What's additionally concerning, aside from those who may have stumbled across the footage, was the vast numbers of people who attempted (and some succeeded) in seeking out the footage, and sharing it or posting about it, before social media companies took it down. Social media can act as a rapid mechanism for spreading terror.
Facebook eventually took down the page and Twitter deleted the alleged perpetrator's profile. However, these actions were not before the video had spread like rapidly across social media, making the task doubly difficult for social media companies.
Writing on Life Hacker, commentator David Murphy provides some advice for avoiding violent videos on line. His first tip is when a major incident happens, it's best to avoid social media if there is a concern with seeing violent images. His second tip is to visit the privacy settings on each social media platform and enable "hide sensitive content" and disable "display media that may contain sensitive content."
Further, with Facebook the autoplaying of videos can be deactivated. This avoids a video containing sensitive or violent content being run as a user scrolls down their feed. YoutTube also has a restricted mode which can be activated, and this is generally effective for screening out graphic content.
Attention may also need to be paid to third party apps, Murphy writes. There are also add-ons that can help to filter out violnet images and videos, such as Turn Off the Lights can help keep videos from autoplaying while a person browsing. This works by covering videos with a big red or transparent banner that a person will then have to click on to then play the video.
More about Social media, Mosque, Videos, violent videos
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