French Muslim group sues Facebook, YouTube, about Christchurch images

FILE PHOTO: A woman reacts at a make-shift memorial outside the Al-Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand 23 March 2019. REUTERS/Edgar Su

PARIS (Reuters) – One of the main groups of Muslims in France said on Monday it was suing Facebook and YouTube, accusing them of inciting violence by streaming footage of the Christchurch carnage on their platforms.

The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM) said that the companies had distributed material that encouraged terrorism, and damaged the dignity of the human beings. There was no immediate response from the company.

The shooting in two mosques in New Zealand on March 15, which killed 50 people, was livestreamed on Facebook for 17 minutes, and then copied and shared on social media sites on the internet.

Facebook said that it is a hare to remove hundreds of thousands of copies.

But a few hours after the attack, footage can still be found on Facebook, Twitter and Alphabet Inc YouTube, as well as Facebook-owned Instagram and Whatsapp.

Abdallah Zekri, president of the CFCM is Islamophobia, control unit, thus the organization launched a formal legal complaint against Facebook and YouTube in France.

Both companies are faced with widespread criticism about the images.

The chairman of the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security wrote a letter last week to the top executives of the four large technology companies urging them to do a better job of removing violent political content.

Reporting by Julie Carriat; writing by Richard Lough; editing by John Irish

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