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After Buffalo Shooting Video Spreads, Social Platforms Face Questions


“This spreads like a virus,” Ms. Hochul said, demanding that social media executives evaluate their policies to be sure that “the whole lot is being done that they’ll to be certain that that this information just isn’t spread.”

There could also be no easy answers. Platforms like Facebook, Twitch and Twitter have made strides lately, the experts said, in removing violent content and videos faster. Within the wake of the shooting in Latest Zealand, social platforms and countries around the globe joined an initiative called the Christchurch Call to Motion and agreed to work closely to combat terrorism and violent extremism content. One tool that social sites have used is a shared database of hashes, or digital footprints of images, that may flag inappropriate content and have it taken down quickly.

But on this case, Ms. Douek said, Facebook looked as if it would have fallen short despite the hash system. Facebook posts that linked to the video posted on Streamable generated greater than 43,000 interactions, in accordance with CrowdTangle, an internet analytics tool, and a few posts were up for greater than nine hours.

When users tried to flag the content as violating Facebook’s rules, which don’t permit content that “glorifies violence,” they were told in some cases that the links didn’t run afoul of Facebook’s policies, in accordance with screenshots viewed by The Latest York Times.

Facebook has since began to remove posts with links to the video, and a Facebook spokesman said the posts do violate the platform’s rules. Asked why some users were notified that posts with links to the video didn’t violate its standards, the spokesman didn’t have a solution.

Twitter had not removed many posts with links to the shooting video, and in several cases, the video had been uploaded on to the platform. An organization spokeswoman initially said the location might remove some instances of the video or add a sensitive content warning, then later said Twitter would remove all videos related to the attack after The Times asked for clarification.

A spokeswoman at Hopin, the video conferencing service that owns Streamable, said the platform was working to remove the video and delete the accounts of people that had uploaded it.

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