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Facebook faces advertising boycott over livestream of New Zealand mosque shooting

Analyzing Facebook's crisis management
Facebook struggles to police content on its platform 07:02

Two business associations in New Zealand say companies should stop advertising on Facebook after an anti-Islam terrorist used the platform to livestream his massacre at a mosque in Christchurch. Some Kiwi companies have already said they might end ads on Facebook.

The Association of New Zealand Advertisers and the Commercial Communications Council put out a joint statement Monday asking businesses to think twice about giving Facebook more ad dollars. Facebook is one of several social media platforms scrambling to crack down on uploads of the video, which remained online for hours after the massacre.

"ANZA and the Comms Council encourage all advertisers to recognize they have choice where their advertising dollars are spent," the joint statement said. "We challenge Facebook and other platform owners to immediately take steps to effectively moderate hate content before another tragedy can be streamed online."

New Zealand's state-owned Lotto told Reuters it had already pulled advertising from social media because "the tone didn't feel right in the aftermath of these events." Burger King, ASB Bank and the telecommunications company Spark are also considering ending their ads, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there are "further questions to be answered" by Facebook about the video.

New Zealand's Office of Film and Literature Classification told citizens not to share the footage, and provided links to report any website that is hosting it. "No one deserves to have the last moments of their loved ones documented in this manner, and shared for all to see," the office said.

Facebook did not return a request for comment from CBS News.

Facebook under fire for New Zealand mosque shooting video 06:14

A 28-year-old gunman allegedly killed 50 people and injured 50 more after ambushing the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch on Friday. He has been charged with murder. It is the deadliest shooting in New Zealand's modern history.

The suspected killer streamed live on Facebook for 17 minutes while attacking Al Noor Mosque. The video and a 74-page manifesto, which was filled with references to online extremism, showed that the attack was designed to go viral.

It took hours before tech companies like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit could respond. The delay allowed the video to spread far beyond the control of even the biggest social platforms.

Facebook said Sunday it removed 1.5 million videos of the shooting within 24 hours, including many that had to be pulled while they were uploading. YouTube, which is owned by Google, and Twitter also said they are removing the videos, though it's unclear how many. Reddit banned several pages devoted to gore and death videos, where the footage was most likely to circulate.

Why Congress needs to revisit social media companies' exemptions from FCC rules 04:46

Even some websites known for violent videos have taken a stand against the live-streamed rampage. LiveLeak, which is notorious for hosting videos of graphic violence, posted a statement explaining its refusal to allow the footage from New Zealand. The site said it "received no small number of complaints" about its decision not to carry the video.

"The Christchurch shooter wasn't just some random 'nutcase,'" the statement said. "He planned not just the murders but also the chaos he would sow ... Currently, judging by media coverage and reactions online, he's getting almost exactly what he wanted. We don't intend to indulge him further."

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