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Facebook says no one who watched the New Zealand terrorist’s video live bothered to report it


200 people viewed the footage as it was happening.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Facebook revealed Monday that no one who watched the livestream video of the New Zealand terrorist's attack reported it while it was happening. The company was put on the defensive after receiving criticism for not pulling all disseminations of the clip sooner than it did.

What are the details?

A 28-year-old man killed 50 worshippers on March 14 at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in an unprovoked attack. The murderer documented his rampage on Facebook with a live video feed, which fewer than 200 people watched in real time.

Yet, none of those viewers alerted Facebook while witnessing the bloodshed. In a news release, Facebook revealed that its first report of the revolting 17 minutes of footage didn't come in until 12 minutes after the broadcast was over — nearly 30 minutes after it began.

The original video was viewed roughly 4,000 times before Facebook was able to remove it. Within 24 hours of the attack, Facebook scrubbed away 1.5 million videos of the rampage, according to the Washington Post.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed Tuesday to investigate social media's role in allowing the spread of such content.

"We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published," she said. "They are the publisher. Not just the postman. There cannot be a case of all profit no responsibility," CNN reported.

Anything else?

Facebook isn't the only entity taking heat for a perceived slow response time to the attack. But in reality, the social media giant was quicker than the authorities. New Zealand police have faced criticism for taking 36 minutes to arrest the perpetrator from the time his massacre began.

The prime minister herself had to answer questions over the fact that her office and dozens of other individuals were emailed the terrorist's manifesto minutes before the shooting began. But Ardern maintains there were no specifics as to the location of the attack, or any clues as to how law enforcement could have stopped it.

The families of victims have voiced further frustration over the lag time it is taking to receive the bodies of their loved ones pending investigation. Ardern explained the delay, citing "sensitivities around formal identification" of those killed by the terrorist.

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