Nearly half a day since news broke of the vicious terrorist attack that took place at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand—a massacre that the gunman livestreamed—footage of the massacre is still appearing on major social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube and some major news outlets are still posting clips or screenshots despite requests by authorities not to do so and widespread global condemnation aimed at anyone sharing the gruesome and disturbing images.
— Christian Christensen (@ChrChristensen) March 15, 2019
Please respect requests not to share footage of the Christchurch shootings. Aside from being distressing to loved ones, it is giving power to terrorists. It’s also why we shouldn’t share hostage videos, beheadings etc. These extremists use media, the public to gain traction. https://t.co/ix8rwYUVij
— Sumisha Naidu (@sumishanaidu) March 15, 2019
With brutal and horrific footage taken by the person who carried out a vicious terrorist attack on worshipers at a mosque in Christchurch circulating online in the wake of Friday's massacre, a global call is going out to media outlets, social media platforms, and people of good conscience not to view, share, air, or otherwise perpetuate the video in whole or in part.
As Anne Vidot, a journalist with ABC Canberra in Australia, declared in a post to Twitter:
Don't do it. Don't share the #Christchurch footage. Don't even go looking for the footage. Don't disrespect the dignity of the victims and grief of their loved ones. Don't give this horrific human, intent on murder and terror and destruction, what he wants. Don't do it.
— Anna Vidot (@AnnaVidot) March 15, 2019
While news outlets reported on the existence of the footage, many people on social media were posting clips and some major television outlets were also reportedly airing portions of the video. Based on online complaints, though it could not be independently confirmed, it appears that Sky News Australia was among the possible outlets that may have aired footage.
Social media platforms like Twitter—where segments of the footage were popping into people's feeds without warning—were also being called on to remove all clips:
Blatant murder is graphic, explicit, and can be traumatic to see. Even if it’s only a few seconds.
— Khadeja (@Khad3ja) March 15, 2019
WARNING: how to turn off auto play on videos in settings. the #christchurch shooter livestreamed the shooting and the videos are going around twitter & are highly disturbing.
Settings>Data usage>Video autoplay>Never pic.twitter.com/h9C4lJG4Tx
— mal (@pjmkwan) March 15, 2019
Law enforcement, meanwhile, urged the public not to share any videos and said they were working on having it taken down wherever they could:
Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.
— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
Vidot, meanwhile was hardly alone in her demand that internet users, media outlets, and online platforms do everything possible to suppress the video while also villifying the motivations and the person behind Friday's massacre.
Please don't post or share the video on the shootings at #Christchurch. It's not a video game or a movie. Respect the victims
— Sofrie Yusoff (@AverageSofrie) March 15, 2019
The #Christchurch shooter clearly wanted that horrific footage shared. Don't do it. Don't watch it. It is a nightmare. Hearts are with New Zealand & muslim friends. What a horrible day. Numb. @Twitter take down his account ASAP.
— Sophie McNeill (@Sophiemcneill) March 15, 2019
If you see anyone sharing the graphic #Christchurch shooter's footage, report it. If it's a news outlet, let them know we DON'T want to see that. Violence like this is unimaginable. Let's keep it that way by not witnessing it firsthand if we don't have to.
— Nikki (@randomlilnikki) March 15, 2019
If it pops up on your feed report it and block it.
— Dr Sophie Pointer (@SophiePointer) March 15, 2019