Home News New Zealand mosque shooting brings criminal charges against 6 for spreading livestreamed video online – CBS News

New Zealand mosque shooting brings criminal charges against 6 for spreading livestreamed video online – CBS News

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New Zealand PM puts pressure on social media companies

Wellington, New Zealand — Six people appeared in a New Zealand court Monday on charges they illegally redistributed the video a gunman livestreamed as he shot worshippers at two mosques last month. Christchurch District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll denied bail to businessman Philip Arps and an 18-year-old suspect who both were taken into custody in March. The four others are not in custody.

The charge of supplying or distributing objectionable material carries a penalty of up to 14 years imprisonment. Arps, 44, is scheduled to next appear in court via video link on April 26.

The 18-year-old suspect is charged with sharing the livestream video and a still image of the Al Noor mosque with the words “target acquired.” He will reappear in court on July 31 when electronically monitored bail will be considered.

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Police prosecutor Pip Currie opposed bail for the 18-year-old suspect and said the second charge, involving the words added to the still image, was of significant concern.

Can “weaponized” social media be banned?

New Zealand’s chief censor has banned both the livestreamed footage of the attack and the manifesto written and released by Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who faces 50 murder charges and 39 attempted murder charges in the March 15 attacks.

CBS News’s Aimee Picchi reported that while the attack was livestreamed, the video was viewed fewer than 200 times, according to Facebook executive Guy Rosen, the company’s vice president of integrity. Rosen said that during the live broadcast, the service “did not get a single user report… This matters because reports we get while a video is broadcasting live are prioritized for accelerated review.”

The video was viewed about 4,000 times before Facebook blocked it from the service, he added. The first report came in 12 minutes after the video ended. 

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