On Friday, a brutal massacre in a New Zealand mosque left dozens of people dead.
On Friday, 49 people were killed in shootings at two mosques in central Christchurch in an attack that saw one of the perpetrators filming himself firing at worshippers - and live-stream his attack in a 17-minute video on Facebook - in addition to posting a lengthy manifesto on a Twitter account detailing racial motivations for the attack.
"Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video..." A simple search of obvious keywords for the event, such as "New Zealand", surfaced a long list of videos, many of which were uncensored and extended cuts of the massacre. Twitter and Google said they were working to stop the footage being reshared. "So whilst we might have seen action taken here, that hasn't prevented (the footage) being circulated beyond New Zealand shores". Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have removed and blocked hundreds of different versions of the video. The user did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.
While all of the companies said they were actively removing the videos, they appeared to be playing catch-up. "We also cooperate with law enforcement to facilitate their investigations as required", it said.
When Brenton Tarrant, the 28-year-old alleged gunman, opened fire at Al Noor Mosque, he was recording.
To that end the social media giant said it removed roughly 1.5 million videos from its site within the first 24 hours of the shootings. "We've never done this before", said Spark spokesman Andrew Pirie.
"The responsibility for content of the stream lies completely and exclusively on the person who initiated the stream".
At one point, the shooter even paused to give a shout-out to one of YouTube's top personalities, known as PewDiePie, with tens of millions of followers, who has made jokes criticized as anti-Semitic and posted Nazi imagery in his videos. "We will do whatever is humanly possible for it to never happen again".
Twitter said it was "continuously monitoring and removing any content that depicts the tragedy, and will continue to do so in line with the Twitter Rules". 'People are curious and want to look at forbidden fruit; no matter the content, ' said Amanullah.
It said Sunday that it's trying to take down the video in any form, including clips of it that don't feature any graphic content as well as posts expressing praise or support for the shooting.
"For a brief period this morning the Mirror website ran some edited footage filmed by the gunman in Christchurch".
AirAsia Group Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes closed his Facebook account and said he may shut his Twitter page, citing "hate" being transmitted on the networks.
Reddit - which has over 20 investors, including Conde Nast owner Advance Publications - said it was actively monitoring the situation in New Zealand. This avoids a video containing sensitive or violent content being run as a user scrolls down their feed.
At one point, the shooter returned to his auto to get more ammunition before resuming his attack.