Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
A police officer patrols at a cordon near a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of worshipers attending Friday prayers. VOA

They built their services for sharing, allowing users to reach others around the world. Now they want people to hold back.

Facebook and other social media companies battled their own services on Friday as they tried to delete copies of a video apparently recorded by the gunman as he killed 49 people and wounded scores of others in the attack on two New Zealand mosques Friday.


The video was livestreamed on the suspect’s Facebook account and later reposted on other services.

According to news reports, Facebook took down the livestream of the attack 20 minutes after it was posted and removed the suspect’s accounts. But people were able to capture the video and repost it on other sites, including YouTube, Twitter and Reddit.

YouTube has tweeted that it is “working to remove any violent footage.” A post from one user on Reddit asks others not to “post the videos. If you see the videos, bring it to the moderators’ attention.”

Criticism of pace

Despite the companies’ quick actions, they still came under fire for not being fast enough. Critics said the platforms should have better systems in place to locate and remove content, instead of a system that helps others facilitate its spread once something is posted.

One critic, Tom Watson, a member of the British Parliament and deputy leader of the Labor Party, called for YouTube to stop all new videos from being posted on the site if it could not stop the spread of the New Zealand video.

Resistance to censorship

The companies’ race to stamp out the New Zealand video highlighted the dilemma that social media companies have faced, particularly as they have allowed livestreaming.

Built on users’ content, Facebook, YouTube and others have long resisted the arduous task of censoring objectionable content.

At hearings in Washington or in media interviews, executives of these firms have said that untrue information is in itself not against their terms of service.

Instead of removing information deemed fake or objectionable, social media companies have tried to frame the information with fact checking or have demoted the information on their sites, making it harder for people to find.

That is what Facebook appears to be doing with the anti-vaccination content on its site. Earlier this month, Facebook said it would curtail anti-vaccination information on its platforms, including blocking advertising that contains false information about vaccines. It did not say it would remove users expressing anti-vaccination content.


FILE – Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones is pictured on Capitol Hill in Washington after he listened to testimony to lawmakers, Sept. 5, 2018. On Oct. 23, 2018, Twitter confirmed it had removed accounts linked to Jones and the Infowars website. VOA

But sometimes the firms do remove accounts. Last year, Facebook, Twitter and others removed from their platforms Alex Jones, an American commentator, used for spreading conspiracy theories and stirring hatred.

More monitors

In the past year, some social media companies have hired more people to monitor content so that issues are flagged faster, rather than having to wait for other users or the firm’s algorithms to flag objectionable content.

ALSO READ: What We Know So Far About the New Zealand Mosque Attack

With the New Zealand shooting video, Facebook and other firms appeared to be in lockstep, saying they would remove the content as quickly as they found it.

But there have been more calls for human and technical solutions that can quickly stop the spread of content across the internet. (VOA)


Popular

IANS

The aim of the book is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

By Siddhi Jain

Delhi-based author Pritisha Borthakur is set to release her new book, 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories'. The 1,404-word children's book was put together to address a new kind of societal debacle in the family system. The author says the aim is to teach children that families can exist in different forms, and show them how to accept the diversity in family backgrounds.

The author who named the book after her twin sons -- Puhor and Niyor -- is a parent who has seen and heard the tales of ridicule and discrimination suffered by many in India and beyond. She says the book is an artistic illustration for kids that details how different families can live and coexist. Whether it's children with two dads or two moms, children with a single dad or single mom, and even multiracial family units, Borthakur's book teaches love, understanding, and compassion towards unconventional families.

Beyond race, gender, color, and ethnicity which have formed the bases for discrimination since the beginning of time, this book aims to bring to light a largely ignored issue. For so long, single parents have been treated like a taboo without any attempt to understand their situations; no one really cares how or why one's marriage ended but just wants to treat single parents as villains simply for choosing happiness and loving their children.

Homosexual parents, a relatively new family system, is another form that has suffered hate and discrimination for many years. Pritisha emphasizes the need to understand that diversity in people and family is what makes the world beautiful and colourful. 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race, and even differences in background

four children standing on dirt during daytime 'Puhor and Niyor's Mural of Family Stories' is a firm but compassionate statement against all forms of discrimination on the bases of sexual identity, gender, race and even differences in background. | Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash


Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Lina Trochez on Unsplash

Clean and maintained hands boost confidence in daily life activities.

If you feel that clean and well-groomed hands are just an essential prerequisite for women, you might like to think twice. Men should equally pay attention to their hands because our hand houses 1,500 bacteria living on each square centimeter of its skin. You can easily assume what havoc it can create in our body because in India we have the culture of eating with our hands and spaces beneath nails can become breeding heaven for germs. Moreover, clean and maintained hands boost confidence in their daily life activities. Therefore, it's important to keep your hands clean irrespective of your gender by washing or sanitizing at regular intervals. And, to keep them groomed, you don't have to visit a salon.

Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India, gives easy and completely doable tips to follow at home:

* Refrain from harsh soaps: You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. Your soap can have a moisturizing element in it like aloe vera or shea butter. Ensure that you're washing your hands with normal water as hot water can make your hand's skin dry and scaly.

Soap bars organic You should be mindful of the soap you are using to wash your hands. | Photo by Aurélia Dubois on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash

Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds.

Bitcoin has become an essential crypto asset in modern portfolios and investment funds. The confidence generated in this cryptocurrency will depend a lot on the diversification that companies make in their balance sheets in Bitcoin and the increase of institutional investors that allocate a percentage of their funds in this crypto. American fund manager Cathie Wood makes some interesting predictions, both in the rise that the Bitcoin price will experience in the next 5 years, suggesting these institutional investors allocate 5% of their funds; this will help leverage the Bitcoin market.

Bitcoin will grow by a tenfold

Keep reading... Show less