After Buffalo Shooting Video Spreads, Social Platforms Face Questions

“It spreads like a virus,” she said. Hochul said social media executives want to evaluate their policies to ensure that “everything they can is being done to ensure that this information is not spread.”

There may be no simple answers. Platforms like Facebook, Twitch and Twitter have made progress in recent years in quickly removing violent content and videos, experts said. In the wake of the New Zealand shootings, social platforms and nations around the world joined in an initiative called Christchurch Call to Action and agreed to work more closely to combat the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism. One tool used by social sites is hash’s shared database, or digital footprints of images, which can flag inappropriate content and quickly remove it.

But in this case, Ms. Douek said Facebook seems to have fallen short despite having a hash system. According to CrowdTangle, a web analytics tool, Facebook posts linked to videos posted on Streamable generated more than 43,000 interactions, and some posts lasted more than nine hours.

When users tried to flag content that violated Facebook’s rules, which did not allow “praise for violence” content, they were told in some cases that the links did not violate Facebook’s policies, according to screenshots viewed by The New York Times.

Facebook has since begun removing posts with a link to the video and one Facebook said the posts violated the platform’s rules. Asked why some users were notified that posts with video links did not violate its standards, they had no answer.

Twitter did not delete many posts with a link to the shooting video and in some cases, the video was uploaded directly to the platform. A company spokesman initially said the site could remove some instances of the video or add sensitive content warnings, then said it would remove all videos related to the Twitter attack after the Times asked for clarification.

A spokesman for Hopin, a video conferencing service owned by Streammable, said the platform was working to remove the video and delete the accounts of those who uploaded it.

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