Christchurch: The savagely attack on innocent lives at a mosque here was being telecast live by one of the assailants, city police have said.
One of the gunmen shared a live stream of the attack on Facebook and posted content on Instagram. Facebook said it has taken down the video and was removing praise for the gunman.
“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” a police statement said.
“We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed,” city Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.
He said that four suspects, including a woman, were in custody in connection with the attacks.
There were reports racist literature was left behind at the scene denouncing “invaders”.
A 17-minute video that included graphic footage apparently of the shooting was found on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram more than an hour after being posted.
While Facebook and Twitter took down pages thought to be linked to the gunman, the posted content was spread rapidly through other accounts.
Over the last 18 months, tech companies have promised stronger safeguards to ensure that violent content is not distributed through their sites. But those new safeguards were not enough to stop the posting of a video and manifesto believed related to Friday’s shooting.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference that the mosque shootings appear to have been a well-planned “terrorist attack”.
“This is, and will be, one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” an ashen-faced Ardern said.
According to latest reports, 49 people have been killed and 20 others have been injured in the attack, described as the deadliest in New Zealand’s history.