connectVideoCan Large Tech curb online distribution of radical stories?
Copies of the New Zealand mosque massacre video can still be found on some file-sharing websites; understanding of Jared Cohen, founder and CEO of Jigsaw.
The head of the House Homeland Security Committee, asked four technology companies to participate in a closed-door briefing next week on their effort to prevent violent videos disseminated in the wake of the last week of the massive shooting in New Zealand.
Chairman Bennie Thompson (D., Miss.) asked the chief executives of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft, to appear before the commission on March 27, for a private briefing about your reaction to the dissemination of the video of the New Zealand terrorist attacks on the platforms, and how companies plan to to prevent this disturbing incident from happening again.”
The letter, dated Monday, was publicly released Tuesday. Representatives for Microsoft and Facebook said the companies planned to brief the committee, as requested, but did not commit to which leaders they would send. YouTube did not respond to requests for comment on how it would respond to the letter, and Twitter declined to comment.
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The companies have faced criticism after scenes from Friday the New Zealand mosque massacre were streamed live on Facebook, and recordings were posted on Twitter and YouTube, which is a unit of the Alphabet, Inc.’s Google.
New Zealand police said that the images of the attack on a few mosques, which left 50 dead, was “very troubling” and urged the people not to circulate. But the video is widely available online tech platforms scrambled to pull the offending messages only to have them again elsewhere.
The video shows a gunner, a walk by a mosque and shooting at worshippers, who slump to the ground.
“Your businesses must give priority to answering this toxic and violent ideologies with resources and attention. If you are not willing to do this, Congress should consider policies to ensure that terrorist content will not be distributed on your platforms—such as by studying the examples set by other countries,” Mr. Thompson said in the letter to the four chief executives.
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A Facebook spokeswoman said that the company removed the video once New Zealand police marked and removed from the Facebook and Instagram accounts that the alleged shooter, Brenton Tarrant, who has been charged with the murder.
Twitter said it had suspended Mr. Tarrant account and worked on removing the video from its platform. YouTube said it had removed thousands of videos related to the shooting.
Click here for more from The Wall Street Journal, where this story was first published.