Our colleagues in New Zealand are seeking assistance in removing the online footage related to the recent terrorist attacks that took place in Christchurch on March 15. The Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand considers this footage to be objectional and therefore considered an offence under New Zealand’s law to possess, share and/or host this harmful content.
This is a global online abuse issue. The initial uploads of the video “came more rapidly and in far greater volume than during previous mass shootings,” Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, said in a March 18 Washington Post article. “Many of the uploaders made small modifications to the video, such as adding watermarks or logos to the footage or altering the size of the clips, to defeat YouTube’s ability to detect and remove it. Some even turned the people in the footage into animations, as if a video game was playing out. For many hours, video of the attack could be easily found using such simple basic terms as ‘New Zealand’,” he said.
Now, the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand is asking for our help in removing this appalling content.
“We cannot control the international sharing of this objectionable content, and as such, it is important to leverage our partnerships to assist us managing this terrible situation.
It is highly likely that this content is being hosted or shared in your jurisdiction, we would be grateful if you or your partners could assist us with the removal of it online and support the messaging we are delivering globally. Your support would also be appreciated in any additional assistance and/or suggestions to help us manage this," stated Jolene Armadoros in a public letter to international partners seeking assistance with this tragedy.
M3AAWG is where the industry comes together to work against online exploitation. We systematically focus on mitigating operational issues related to internet vulnerabilities to protect online users through technology, industry collaboration and public policy, which includes helping to detect and rectify this abuse.
From an anti-abuse perspective, we need to underscore to our customers and the public that this video is extremely harmful and should not be viewed, downloaded or shared.
First, we ask that you take the appropriate action to ensure this material is not accessible or being shared on your platform. Then we ask that you let your customers and the public in general know they can report social media posts of the New Zealand video and related images here:
- To report harmful content on Twitter, (https://help.twitter.com/en/rules-and-policies/twitter-report-violation).
- To report harmful content on Facebook, (https://www.facebook.com/help/181495968648557) .
- To report harmful content on Instagram, (https://help.instagram.com/519598734752872).
- To report harmful content on YouTube, (https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/2802027?hl=en).
- Any harmful content should also be reported to the New Zealand Department of Internal Aﬀairs at (https://www.dia.govt.nz/web/submitforms.nsf/cencomp).
Here is the letter to the industry from Jolene Armadoros, Director of the Digital Safety Group (Censorship / Digital Child Exploitation Unit) at The Department of Internal Affairs: