back to article Click here to see the New Zealand livestream mass-murder vid! This is the internet Facebook, YouTube, Twitter built!

An Australian who murdered dozens in New Zealand on Friday livestreamed the deaths on Facebook, spinning a spotlight onto the abject failure of social media to control harmful content. The 28-year-old shooter, whose name isn't worth publishing, fired on defenseless people attending prayers at two Christchurch mosques, killing …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's a very difficult balance in my opinion.

    You ban these people then you lose visibility of them yet if you leave them where they are you allow them to use it to indoctrinate others.

    I agree these platforms should properly police their content and things like this should never be allowed to happen but you have to weigh up who then polices them and who decides what to remove?

    Acts of a criminal nature should always and without question be banned and blocked before anyone sees them or has a chance to download or share themselves because acts of a criminal nature have been through the due process to define them.

    I just hope there are no knee jerk reactions in all this and any actions taken are thought through properly first as sad as this act of terrorism is. What I don't want to see is government using it to extend their reach.

    1. eldakka Silver badge

      I generally agree with you, but this is particularly problematic:

      Acts of a criminal nature should always and without question be banned and blocked before anyone sees them or has a chance to download or share themselves because acts of a criminal nature have been through the due process to define them.

      Who defines criminal nature? Which countries laws are used as the basis of this? Who chooses that?

      I mean, if a country says being homosexual is illegal, does that mean that these platforms must remove anything that supports homosexuality?

      What about abortion? Some places outlaw it, other places provide financial support to to cover the costs of having an abortion.

      On a multi-national platform, criminality is not black and white. There are no easy answers, which doesn't mean we just give up, but it does mean it'll be hard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I completely agree but you have to start somewhere and we can't force our laws on others countries anymore than they can force their laws on us no matter how unpalatable they are or how much we disagree with them.

        The option is that they work to the laws in the country they operate, they already do on some of the examples you give or they wouldn't be allowed to operate.

        My concern is that our governments will see this as an opportunity to ban individuals from social media themselves based on their own watch lists compiled from their own monitoring of social media. That's not a road I want to see us go down.

        1. julianh72

          Yes, legality / illegality can be a grey area globally in some cases (abortion, sexuality, political comment, drug use, etc), but there are a couple of key principles which I think even Mark Zuckerberg et al should be able to understand if they actually made the effort to think about it:

          1. Legality is measured in the country of origin. This might mean you have to make some tough decisions about whether to allow access from some countries, and how you will police censorship of "offending" material in such countries, particularly if you want to be an agent for change in some "oppressive" regimes. However, you shouldn't even be thinking of operating the service if you haven't first addressed your policy to these sorts of issues.

          2. Murder and rape are ALWAYS illegal - and even if they're not, your own human decency should commit you to managing this sort of content, even if national laws were not in place.

          1. }{amis}{ Silver badge
            Unhappy

            Murder and rape are ALWAYS illegal

            I hate to break it to you but there are plenty of countries where as far as the "law" is concerned a wife cannot be raped by her husband and killing one's daughter for dishonouring the family is fair game.

            if you want to be depressed at how crap the world is I suggest you look at the www.amnesty.org.uk website.

            1. mutin

              Re: Murder and rape are ALWAYS illegal

              I agree - there are a lot of crap in the world now. However, I would suggest open eyes and recall that political based terrorism exists almost 200 years. Saying that murder is .. there is no word how bad is it, but saying that is too simple. Last case in question was political murder. I see it as much in response to around the world Jihad. How many people consider Jihad and mass murder caused by it as completely appropriate thing? Hundreds of millions? So far in this world cruelty sooner or later gets the same in response. Unfortunately, being cruel is human nature. By Sigmund Freud, aggression is human beings' basic instinct. Say thanks to who ever created us.

            2. Wil Palen

              Re: Murder and rape are ALWAYS illegal

              Murder is illegal, UNLESS it's called war, THEN it's all of a sudden legal, and in many cases you're marked as unpatriotic or a traitor if you anti-war..

          2. mutin

            murder is illegal?

            Well, yet another incorrect reply. Murder and rape not ALWAYS illegal in SOME Islamic countries. Sheriat law permits SOME cases. As far as I've seen in news last forty years.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge
          Big Brother

          So much with which to disagree!

          It's nice that the dead people get a mention. It was the second paragraph, after the concern about not enough censorship online, but, hey, small wins! The focus of the article, at the start and the end are on the awful visuals, as if, if only he hadn't been able to post, it would have been so much better! It seems he is more concerned with white supremacists than he is with dead bodies.

          The shooter is evil, no doubt about that. Very, very few people would doubt that. What concerns me next is the media's and the politicians' reactions.

          More censorship is the cry! I have so many issues with that:

          First of all, if you want to bemoan depravity, the spread of the gruesome videos is a symptom, not the cause of general depravity. I suspect the constant barrage of violence from Hollywood has desensitised people.

          Secondly, why should Silicon Valley be the arbiters of good taste? This instance may be fairly clear, but what is the limiting principle to what Silicon Valley should censor?

          Thirdly, how is such as task to be executed? If an hour is too long, what is the acceptable time period for the travesty to be be available online? How many people will it take to do this? Will all livestreaming be cancelled? What about text posts? How many informers will we need to snitch on possibly "harmful content"? Who determines what is harmful? Is it harmful to show the outcome of bad ideas? Do we ban the films of the Nazi death camps and visits to the Killing Fields? Should we never be allowed to see what comes of hateful ideology?

          Fourthly, how will we know if the censorship is being conducted according to our wishes? By definition, we wouldn't see the censored content. If it is a river of filth and you hate it, you can log off or you can pick up your mouse and click "block." Even in the "far-right" hangouts of Bitchute and Gab, the white supremacists are prolific posters but few in number. Hitting "block" ten times will probably leave you with a reasonably pleasant experience, without the very problematic issues associated with censorship. This is not hard. If you don't care enough to block people, you just don't care. If we feel that the censorship is not quite right, how do we get it changed? Are we ourselves liable to censorship for speaking out against it?

          Fifthly, the author is a condescending elitist, consigning social media posts to the category of cat videos. Apart from the health benefits of laughter, a great deal of discussion is carried out on social media. I do not trust elitists to operate in my interests. They usually operate for themselves.

          Sixthly, the level of governance being proposed entrenches the current mega-corporations, protecting them of startups without the level of profit behind them to implement wide-spread censorship. Protecting corporations from competition is generally bad and works to the disadvantage of the consumer who has nowhere else to go.

          Seventhly, what happened to, "we will not let terrorists destroy our way of life"?

          Eighthly, the possibility of evil is the price we pay for freedom. We can't eradicate violence in prisons, what makes the author think we can eradicate it elsewhere? His idea is completely impractical and cannot be effective in its aim, even if implemented. The internet sees censorship as damage and routes around it. The idea is so ill-thought-out that I begin to suspect ulterior motives.

          Ninthly, where is this ban enforced? Is it self-governing social media or does the government get involved? Is Kieren asking social media companies to ban legal discussions or advocating for an extension of the law? Where does it end? Does Bitchute have to comply? What about my internet-facing home server? Do I need a government license to run Apache or FTPd?

          In a way, I understand Kieren has already got his way. Someone mentioned that in New Zealand you can get 14 years in jail for distributing the video, 10 years for possession. I haven't checked the veracity of that.

          I despise the zeal with which the media has focused on this incident. At last, a real white supremacist crime! Do they talk about the countless deaths of muslims at the hands of other muslims? What about the twenty people killed by in the bombing of a church by muslims in the Philippines in January, where they posted guards outside to pick off parishioners who made it out of the building, or the 3800 christians killed in Nigeria last year? I'm not saying this to stoke a religious conflict, I'm merely querying if the media are really concerned with human tragedy and the prevention of misery and death, or if they are only concerned with pushing their favourite narrative.

          And let me poke the bear one more time. Is it possible that even one person at the mosque with a gun might have been able to shut down the situation and save some lives, even if he only forced the guy to take cover and slowed his rate of fire until the police arrived?

          The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and curbed with fine words. This author has attempted to build a motorway.

          1. Justin Case

            Re: So much with which to disagree!

            Hear hear, P Lee.

            The whole thing is a shit shower on both sides.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So much with which to disagree!

            I see where you are coming from but this case is different in the fact that the video has been repeatedly shared so the author is correct in raising the issue surrounding social media because this is probably the first time this has happened in such a way. It's also the first time the west has correctly attributed terrorism to an act against Muslims rather than the old tropes of mentally unstable or lone gunman.

            I have a huge problem with censorship as well because of who ultimately decides what to censor. You can't let them do it themselves and you can't trust government so you're in a no win situation. That's why I said the rule of law should decide to start off with because there isn't really any other option. If someone could suggest an alternative then I'm all ears.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So much with which to disagree!

              I wouldn’t say it’s the first time that such a video has been shared. You seek to forget or ignore that ISIS head chopping videos get spread far and wide amongst that contingent of humanity which supports such terror. Perhaps the difference this time is that such a video originated from a non ISIS source and that it reached an audience who don’t normally see this kind of madness ever.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: So much with which to disagree!

                I don't forget but who in their right mind is going to search for either? That's why we should stop it all.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: So much with which to disagree!

            Very well constructed argument, I have to agree with most of your points although i am a traditional Labour voter.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: So much with which to disagree!

              What has labour got to do with this? Keep your political bias to yourself please, it's not helpful and by posting what you have just makes me think about how certain people want me to think. Sorry but I will make my own mind up and I hope everyone else does.

          4. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: So much with which to disagree!

            In a way, I understand Kieren has already got his way. Someone mentioned that in New Zealand you can get 14 years in jail for distributing the video, 10 years for possession. I haven't checked the veracity of that.

            It's the maximum sentence for distributing or possession of "objectionable material" as far as I recall the law. The same crime for child porn.

            It would be unlikely for someone possessing this video, or having passed it on when it was floating around FB, to get any sort of sentence like that. They may, however, get an early morning "knock" on the door and find some men very interested in the contents of their computer, and may find they no longer possess said computer. Oh, and such "knock" being administered by a small version of a battering-ram and by "early" I mean WTF-o'clock. Though they may just pick you up from your work, loudly proclaiming they wish to search your computers for "objectionable material", and forever more painting you as a child molester in front of your colleagues. That is unless you're fortunate enough to get your name in the paper along with a very clear mention that the charge was over this video - but note if you have any family photos including children then the paper will truthfully say "computer found to have pictures of young children" and if they were only wearing swimwear at the beach they'll add the phrase "in various states of undress" for good measure.

            The beer is for the rest of the post. Well said!

        3. LucreLout Silver badge

          The option is that they work to the laws in the country they operate, they already do on some of the examples you give or they wouldn't be allowed to operate.

          Ok, but in which country do you think a multinational operates? The answer can't be "all of them" because of the conflicting laws across nations would be an impossible bind.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            The option is that they work to the laws in the country they operate, they already do on some of the examples you give or they wouldn't be allowed to operate.

            Ok, but in which country do you think a multinational operates? The answer can't be "all of them" because of the conflicting laws across nations would be an impossible bind.

            Pretty simple in concept, though a bit harder in practise.

            NZ has laws around how old you have to be to appear in pornos, age of consent, what is objectionable material and so on. If you operate a chat room in NZ then you either watch for such material and make sure it fits within the law, or you risk your equipment being seized and you having a nice chat with the fellow in the blue uniform.

            If your service is reachable in NZ but your hardware and personal are elsewhere, and you seriously fall foul of the law, expect extradition proceedings to be commenced, or at least your own government to be asked to look at your activities.

            If you wish to trade with people in NZ, you trade under NZ law. If you don't wish to trade under NZ law, you don't trade with people in NZ.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              If your service is reachable in NZ but your hardware and personal are elsewhere, and you seriously fall foul of the law, expect extradition proceedings to be commenced, or at least your own government to be asked to look at your activities.

              Which is where you run smack into the post to which you replied. Being gay in parts of the world is illegal, but discriminating on grounds of being gay is illegal in other parts. The laws are not reconcilable, however much you want them to be. So whose law applies?

              If you wish to trade with people in NZ, you trade under NZ law

              It isn't remotely that simple and it never will be. Define trade? "My" website being hosted in Delaware, where "I" enjoy free speech protections may run foul of your law in NZ. If NZ citizens are accessing it, then that's neither "my" fault, nor something "I" can specifically prevent (VPNs exist, for instance).

              (I don't have a web site in Delaware or anywhere else, its just an illustrative example).

              With a globally accessible internet, you can't assume, expect, or demand that it all adhere's to "your" law. It's neither possible, nor frankly desirable that it does so.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Paris Hilton

                It isn't remotely that simple and it never will be. Define trade? "My" website being hosted in Delaware, where "I" enjoy free speech protections may run foul of your law in NZ. If NZ citizens are accessing it, then that's neither "my" fault, nor something "I" can specifically prevent (VPNs exist, for instance).

                These questions have been nutted out a long time ago for the most part, and the legal system has been prosecuting people for some years based on crimes committed in other jurisdictions.

                The Delaware example aside (I actually probably have greater FOS in NZ than those in the US do), if I create child porn involving neighbourhood kids and host it on your server, and they're ID'd as NZ kids, then there will be legal ramifications for you even if the content is legal where you are. That may be as little as a demand for logs, but don't be surprised if you find yourself in a tighter spot than you should be. We still have the KDC case being argued after all, yet what he was accused of was not a crime in either NZ or the US.

                There have been several other instances of people acting in one jurisdiction being nabbed or at least charged in another. El Reg has, IIRC, run some articles on this over the years.

                I certainly don't expect all of the web adheres to NZ law. There are many parts of NZ law I disagree with, and I would hate to think of other people being bound by such things. I do expect sites to follow the laws of the land where they operate however, even if it is something I disagree with.

                El Reg, for example, operates within the UK even though I may be able to reach it from within my living room. I would expect El Reg to operate under UK law. El Reg also has offices in a couple of other countries, and where they operate out of those offices I would expect them to follow the laws of those lands.

                Geoblocking is another matter, and I have in the past blocked many thousands of people based on the ISP or block they operate from. Also I know from personal experience that the use of a VPN does NOT prevent a site from blocking people, you just need to block the appropriate range of IP's and it's done, end of story. I personally abhor the practice but I understand that other people do not like people trying to protect their ID so they block as much traffic as they can.

                Sure, sometimes the details are a little harder to manage (eg with import/export by different companies or people - but then it's usually on the importer to be sure things are right), but the theory itself is very simple. Tax dodgers try to make out it's complex, but it isn't really.

          2. Mike Ozanne

            A multinational will establish a seperate legal entity within each jurisdiction, and the local laws will apply to that entity only. See the FBI Apple Ireland spat as an example.

            Then there will be a set of interco loans, transfer pricing agreements and management fees to repatriate profits to the group holding company.

            1. LucreLout Silver badge

              A multinational will establish a seperate legal entity within each jurisdiction, and the local laws will apply to that entity only.

              If that works at all, then it can only work where physical goods are exchanged. If it's just data, and free data at that, then there's no reason for anyone to set up a local entity just because it's convenient to "your" legal system, especially if they're regulated by a different system.

              Then there will be a set of interco loans, transfer pricing agreements and management fees to repatriate profits to the group holding company.

              Again, that only applies for physical goods. My UK Visa card works in America, Africa, and as far as I'm aware Afghanistan or Angola. So why would it not work for wholly digital purposes? How is the African service provider supposed to know where I am and what my local laws may be? In short, they can't, and they aren't going to worry about it.

              Don't get me wrong - I think anyone consuming or distributing the shooters video most probably has issues they should be talking to a therapist about, but ultimately, international trade & finance isn't as simple as most people on The Register think it is or want it to be. Sorry, it just isn't.

      2. macjules Silver badge

        On a multi-national platform, criminality is not black and white.

        No, to Facebook it just has a green back.

      3. JJKing Silver badge
        Flame

        Ambiguity; not in this case.

        On a multi-national platform, criminality is not black and white.

        WHAT? Murder is not black and white???? Shooting unarmed people is not black and white??? I hope I have misunderstood you but that is moronic because in this case it is very much black and white.

        Thank you to the Editors for not posting that piece of filth's name.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

          Murder is not black and white?

          Actually while I think you're probably mis-reading him, "murder" is not black & white. A simple example is that in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property, whereas in much of the rest of the world such an act would get you a murder conviction and a life sentence. OTOH, in most of the world "murder" requires an intent to kill, whereas I've known of a couple of cases of people being charged with such for things that have caused the death of another where the person was not intending the other party be killed, or even harmed.

          Murder should simply be that you intended the other person to die. If they die as a result of your defending another and you were trying to use the minimum force then that's not murder, but if someone is verbally harassing, and even threatening, your wife and kids and you choose to kill them when there were other options available to you, then that is murder. But that is not always how things are defined.

          [1]I have previously gone in to things considered dangerous to help others, but I don't claim anything heroic as I believed I could help, that I could get out unharmed and did not see any risk to myself.

          1. LDS Silver badge

            "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

            And you should be able to stream it live, and brag about it - to feel like an hero, while making Zuckerberg richer? Should wars and executions be streamed, to feed the lust for violence porn of modern tricoteuses? Should we all become so used to extreme violence to begin to consider it "normal"? It's what leads to the darker times of mankind.

            Don't get me wrong - violence can be shown - in the proper way to a proper audience to lead people to less violence, not more - it can't become "entertainment", or a way to gain more clicks to fill someone's pockets.

            1. Rich 11 Silver badge

              Re: "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              Should wars and executions be streamed, to feed the lust for violence porn of modern tricoteuses?

              Streaming is just the latest technical solution for providing exactly this, following on from almost three decades of reporters under fire being able to make a report live on television via satellite. Of course a lot of such footage in previous forms (gun cams from Iraq, colour TV coverage of Air Cav in the Vietnam War, black and white film of bombs tumbling out of a Lancaster over the Ruhr) has been approved by governments to bolster their populace's convictions that the war is being fought well and will be won. And China, for one, has indeed broadcast footage of criminals being executed by a shot to the back of the head.

              I don't disagree with your point, but TV companies funded by advertising have already made money from showing excessive violence unnecessarily. Most governments, however, license some subset of media organisations in some form, and have rules about what can or cannot be published. Facebook, YouTube, et al don't face those restrictions in quite the same way and seem to think that if they might be able to get away with it then it's worth a try.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "Should wars and executions be streamed [?"

              "Should wars and executions be streamed, to feed the lust for violence porn of modern tricoteuses?"

              I remember the coverage of "shock and awe", and related. How long ago was that? [OK I checked, see below]

              "[violence] can't become "entertainment", or a way to gain more clicks to fill someone's pockets."

              Too late. CNN and friends set the direction back then [2003], they sowed the seeds. Did none of them care who would be left to reap the inevitable whirlwind? Apparently not, so long as there was money in it for them.

              CNN: 2003: recorded live:

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7iorfwcmeY

            3. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              And you should be able to stream it live, and brag about it - to feel like an hero, while making Zuckerberg richer?

              First, I'll invite you to show me where I said such a thing.

              Second, just one word. "Cops".

              Third, "Live P.D."

              Need I say more?

              I do not watch or support these things. There is more than enough trauma in my life without me adding other people's pain to it, and there is far more than enough pain in this world so I cannot understand why people seek to view other's misfortune.

              Oh, and lest we forget, 9/11 - where the world got to watch on live TV (many of us on breakfast TV) footage of hundreds of people dying instantly as planes hit buildings, and later watching as dozens of people leapt or fell to their death, and then those final glorious moments where TV execs wet themselves with glee as the towers fell while ratings soared, all on live TV.

              I don't defend this trash.

            4. LucreLout Silver badge

              Re: "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              And you should be able to stream it live, and brag about it - to feel like an hero, while making Zuckerberg richer? Should wars and executions be streamed...

              Death and violence are streamed live every day - it's called "the news". The main difference here appears to be that the "reporter" is also the shooter, and people are getting so much more emotional about this incident than previous terror incidents.

              Tarrant is a murdering, probably mentally defective, piece of shit. His video is not something I ever want to see. But it's not going to be as bad as other videos out there that people were less emotional about - such as IS burning the pilot alive in the cage, which I also don't want to see.

          2. MrZoolook

            Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

            "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

            Liar. You still need a good reason.

            Postmen/delivery drivers have 'implied consent' until you tell them you remove it. If a kid kicks his ball into your yard, you are not legally entitled to shoot them as they come up to your door asking to get it back. If a car breaks down on the road outside your house, you can't just kill the driver for asking to use your telephone.

            Just 3 examples of how your statement is wrong, and there are many more.

            Christ alive, if someone with your attitude is allowed firearms, it really does prove that the psychological checks they are supposed to carry out don't work.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

              "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              Liar. You still need a good reason.

              Do you know what a lie is? Somehow I doubt it. I'll explain below.

              But, without more than a few minutes searching, I came across this snippet of law from Texas :

              Texas Penal Code - PENAL § 9.42. Deadly Force to Protect Property

              A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or tangible, movable property:

              (1) if he would be justified in using force against the other under Section 9.41 ; and

              (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the deadly force is immediately necessary:

              (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or

              (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the property; and

              (3) he reasonably believes that:

              (A) the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or

              (B) the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.

              (source https://www.quora.com/Why-do-Americans-have-the-right-to-kill-someone-for-trespassing-on-their-property-but-in-the-UK-you-have-to-use-reasonable-force)

              I did not read the full article.

              What is claimed as "reasonable" will differ widely. A person well-trained in hand-hand combat, with a dozen of his army mates, going up against a single person who is naked and dazed probably would not be able to convince anyone they had a reasonable fear. An old lady, with a dozen people in their late teens carrying baseball bats, however, could make such a claim.

              I normally am loathe to quote Shittypedia, but :

              "[T]he 'stand your ground' law... provide[s] that a person has a right to expect absolute safety in a place they have a right to be, and may use deadly force to repel an intruder..."
              (emphasis mine)

              and :

              Before passage of the law, Miami police chief John F. Timoney called the law unnecessary and dangerous in that "[w]hether it's trick-or-treaters or kids playing in the yard of someone who doesn't want them there or some drunk guy stumbling into the wrong house, you're encouraging people to possibly use deadly physical force where it shouldn't be used."
              (again, emphasis mine)

              (source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stand-your-ground_law

              Another one from the same source :

              Initially, the local police quickly questioned and released Rodney Peairs, and declined to charge him with any crime because—in their view—Peairs had been "within his rights in shooting the trespasser".

              (source : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoshihiro_Hattori)

              This was a case of a person going to the wrong address for a halloween party. I do not recall the case from the time it happened and stumbled across it from a linked WP article following on from the first one I mentioned. In this case, while the people who did the shooting were found not guilty in a criminal trial, they did lose a civil trial later.

              A stronger argument can be made from HG.ORG though, a site supported by several US law firms :

              In some states, the belief regarding the intent of the other party does not need to be reasonable. In a growing number of states it is legal to shoot someone if they are in your house uninvited. Sometimes called the “castle doctrine,” this legal standard makes it possible for one to defend not just their person and their family, but also their property, all using deadly force so long as it occurs in one’s home. According to the laws of many states, the belief that the other person intends harm does not need to be reasonable when exercising the castle doctrine. Some states have begun expanding the zone of defense to include the outside of a home, such as one’s yard or even their neighborhood. Still, even under the castle doctrine, it is generally not allowed for one to shoot a common trespasser or to lure someone into the protected zone for the purpose of justifying lethal force.

              (source https://www.hg.org/legal-articles/when-is-it-okay-to-shoot-someone-35050

              Note here, they claim it does NOT require a reasonable belief of an intent to harm to shoot someone, although they do state that it is "generally not allowed" for you to shoot a common tresspasser. the use of the word "generally" strongly implies that in at least one jurisdiction within the US it is legal to shoot a common tresspasser, and if that is the case then what I initially said is true, "in the US you can shoot someone dead for simply stepping onto your property"

              I'm still not done.

              It seems like an obviously unnecessary escalation: An argument about a convenience store parking space turned into deadly violence. Michael Drejka, after being shoved to the ground, shot and killed Markeis McGlockton, who had pushed Drejka but started to back off.

              But Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said the authorities will not charge Drejka for the shooting, citing the state’s “stand your ground” law.

              (source https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/7/23/17602312/stand-your-ground-florida-michael-drejka-markeis-mcglockton WARNING There is a video embedded in this article that I have not seen (I have youtube's JS blocked by default so it won't play), but the site does give a warning about the video and it may be illegal to view in some places, and certainly could be upsetting for some people - including myself I suspect)

              So a person shoves someone who is harassing him and his family, then starts to leave. The other person (who, BTW, has a history of threatening people in such cases) shoots him and kills him in a public car park. In front of his children, I might add. The authorities refuse to prosecute because he was allowed to shoot to kill. The site does have an update notice to say the shooter was charged with manslaughter, but it is still clear that the police initially refused to charge him because shooting people over such trivial incidents is considered legal in the US. (And yes, shoving someone to the ground during an argument is absolutely trivial!)

              At least Arizona seems to have somewhat sane self-defense laws.

              I do NOT claim the sources are accurate, just what someone will find searching for such matters on Google. Those from law firms should at least carry some weight, even if I did quote wikipedia in this.

              I deal with various online forums which have US citizens present, and have often been told by people in that country that they have various rights about shooting people who enter their property or act in other ways. I have witnessed motorcyclists lobbying for "stand your ground" laws to be extended to allow them to shoot car drivers who cut them off, or are percieved to be following too closely.

              As such, a person who does not live in the US but comes across this material on Google et al, and over many years hears it from various citizens of the US, and sees it portrayed on many TV shows could reasonable be expected to believe that such is the case in the US.

              All that said, I will invite you to show where I have been a "liar" as you claim.

              Now to explain what a lie is, since you appear not to know. A lie is stating something you believe to be false. Lets say I tell my friend that I know your name is Peter Jack Tompson, and you live at 112525 Hampshire Boolevard, Boggleton, The Shire, London. If you had told me your name was Tim Bucktoo, and you live at 1600 Pensylvania Ave, Washington DC, I would be telling a lie. However, if you had given me the first name and address then even if it was a false name and address, I would NOT be lying by passing it on. I would be honestly stating what I believed to be your real details. I would not be telling the truth, but I would not be lying.

              IOW, I honestly believe that in some parts of the US you can shoot someone for stepping on to your property, and I believe i have demonstrated how that is a reasonable belief backed by US law.

              Christ alive, if someone with your attitude is allowed firearms, it really does prove that the psychological checks they are supposed to carry out don't work.

              And yet, I have been able to back my argument up with several sources. Do you care to apologise for your claim?

              (I would've liked to have previewed this to check the HTML works etc, however El Reg has that stupid broken captcha shit coming up again, which does not seem to allow previewing - PLEASE FIX IT!)

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

          "Murder is not black and white???? "

          HOMICIDE is not always black and white. Consider these three scenarios: war, self-defense, and intense chronic suffering.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

            > "HOMICIDE is not always black and white. Consider these three scenarios: war, self-defense, and intense chronic suffering."

            How does walking into a prayer room and opening fire on unsuspecting, unarmed worshipers fall into any of these categories?

            And where in the world is the country / region / city in which such behavior is not considered criminal and repulsive? Just asking so I can give it a wide berth.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

              Simple. To many of these people in question, it's a WAR, usually a total war where it's Us Or Them. That gives them all the justification they need because they feel if they don't act, they or even the world is dead.

        3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

          "Murder is not black and white?"

          The OP said "criminality" not "murder". One of the features of different legal systems is that different states get to define what's criminal and what isn't in their own jurisdictions. They don't all agree. You're trying to turn a general statement into a specific one. The downvotes should tell you people saw through that.

        4. LucreLout Silver badge

          Re: Ambiguity; not in this case.

          WHAT? Murder is not black and white????

          No, it isn't, but stay with me for a moment and we'll get to why.

          Shooting unarmed people is not black and white???

          Again, no, it isn't.

          So why is it not?

          America, for want of an easy and extremely verifiable example, has stand your ground laws - the castle doctrine. You are entitled to use whatever force you think is required to defend you home against intruders, whether or not they are armed. You're absolutely free to shoot them in the face with an assault weapon (provided it is legally held) whether or not they are armed.

          In the UK, not so much. It'd be murder here. In America, the act and any video of it would not be a crime, and distribution of such a video would be protected by free speech laws. In the UK, again, not so much.

          So ultimately, you're view is wrong. Murder is not black and white.

          I can't think of any reason why what Brenton Tarrant did would be considered legal anywhere at any time, but it's not like there isn't widely shared video of 911.

      4. overunder

        What Register?!?

        Please, you just spun a mass murder into a psychological theory of social media influencing mass murders.

        Every new decade someone tries to spin the reasoning of a psychopath into the latest platform. We've seen this with Charlie Manson and TV. Random people with Dungeons & Dragons. School shootings with video games. Now this?

        True, as technology advances the exposure to the crime becomes more surreal (I can imagine VR/AR murders will come some day), but to put blame on the technology that delivered the post mortem is relative to the eye of the beholder.

        If you work this article's theory backwards to find the common denominator, you first factor out social media, then cameras, and then guns. Then what you are left with is what you are left with every time, a psychopath. BUT, everything you just factored out is also a reason of motivation for senseless murder, if you are that psychopath. So are you?

        I could say more, but I'm disappointed this article stands on the principle of see no evil, do no evil to spin an agenda against the latest goat without considering that it has somehow played a role in contradiction of its own monkey philosophy by showing evil. How could that help now.

        If this article wasn't written to expose the popularity of a mass shooting would it of stopped another mass shooter? Nope, because you can't have a article about something that never happened. What does that say about see no evil? This article or controlling what you see at any place won't put evil back in the box.

        Now to really piss some of you off, what if just 10% of those people in the church had guns? We can hopefully depend on your government to protect us from invasions of foreign countries, but who's responsibility is it to protect us from the randon pop up psycho? Or let me put this another way, should we just let the building burn because the fire department won't make it on time?

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "to put blame on the technology"

          No one's putting the blame on technology. As the article says, 'this murderous racist knew exactly what he was doing when he pulled the trigger'.

          The problem is, how to contain viral murderous exploitative propaganda without stamping out other forms of expression. I'm all for individual outlets catering for all sorts of cultures and interests and people, all making their own free decisions on what to publish. What I'm, personally, not happy with, is a huge Mad Max platform that doesn't care a jot what is shared as long as it makes billions of dollars.

          There are no easy answers. Tiered moderation, based on audience reach, might be one way forward.

          C.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "to put blame on the technology"

            The problem is less in technology. I think it lies in the media in general, in which the social media phenomenon is just a turbo-charged version of the problems.

            We had the very same mechanisms at work in the Breivik attack in 2011. Social media existed back then, but it did not have the same importance / impact it has today.

            Breivik analyzed media behavior and built his "plan" around receiving maximum exposure, the manifesto, his behavior in the trial proceedings. It was a blueprint to get "his message" out, with violence being the amplifier.

            The NZ shooter did the same thing - maximise exposure by putting out a manifesto, by coercing PewDiePie to make a statement (if he hadn't he'd look complicit, after he did another 90m eyeballs had heard of the crime). He optimized for maximum clickbait.

            It is attention maximisation. I fully expect the NZ shooter to keep up with that rough Breivik blueprint and use his rights within the NZ criminal trial system to further re-iterate and amplify his message. No media will print his manifesto today, or even cite from it, but once the thing goes to trial and the manifesto is being drawn into the trial proceedings, the media will have no choice but to mention it.

            It is smart in a wicked way and I have no idea how to tackle this because it works for media exposure in both realms, the old and the new media.

            1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

              Re: "to put blame on the technology"

              No media will print his manifesto today, or even cite from it, but once the thing goes to trial and the manifesto is being drawn into the trial proceedings, the media will have no choice but to mention it.

              It is smart in a wicked way and I have no idea how to tackle this because it works for media exposure in both realms, the old and the new media.

              The Breivik case was interesting because it was 'political'. It was also interesting that the Norwegian legal system saw it as such, and tried to limit his ability to platform. He was declared sane, tried and charged with 77 counts of murder. His 'manifesto' wasn't really relevant to those charges, and shouldn't be in the New Zealand nutjob's case.. Especially given they provided bodycam evidence of those crimes.

              Both seemed to want media exposure for their cause, and the media provided it. That's always been a challenge for the media, ie reporting vs sensationalising.. but new media doesn't have those filters. Allow self-publishing, slap ads around it, profit. Only act when the outcry starts making advertisers nervous, and profit.

              One legal solution might be to regulate 'social' media in the same way as traditional news agencies, and then hold them to account for their actions, or inactions. That should be relatively simple, especially as the platforms already act to remove political expression, effectively lifting any 'safe harbour'.

              Technical solutions seem a lot harder. We've provided the ability to live stream, and curtailing that would prevent innocent streams. Moderators may be a solution. Most large streamers already have community moderators, but official moderation seems retroactive, ie they're not invoked until there's complaints, and that process may be too slow. There is probably evidential value though, so I'm sure NZ police will be very interested in who joined this nutjob's stream, and when. But that also has political aspects, like ensuring those logs are kept and made available quickly to law enforcement.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: "to put blame on the technology"

              "the media will have no choice but to mention it."

              The media could choose NOT to report on the trial, other than the final verdict. We don't really need an hour by hour, blow by blow account of the trial. Anyone genuinely interested can look at the transcripts after it's all over. Despite what the media may think, and many have taken on board as a *need*, most news can wait a while. The media have made a rod for their own back with a perceived need to be first, even when they get it wrong because the speed of "publishing" meant they missed important facts.

              The need to be "first" has reached such dizzying heights that we now get news stories about what some politician is going to say in a speech/announcement up to 24 hours in advance of the event.

          2. jmch Silver badge
            Thumb Up

            Re: "to put blame on the technology"

            Got to give credit to The Register for one of the best articles I've seen on this terrible subject.

            "whose name isn't worth publishing"

            "To be clear, while he was heavily influenced by white nationalism in the West, this murderous racist knew exactly what he was doing when he pulled the trigger: there is no room for any absolution on his part."

            "manifesto is itself indicative of the broken online culture of nihilistic offensiveness, outrage, and scattergun ideologies that has grown up around social media and lapped up by subnormal losers"

            etc.

            These are the type of straight-talking no-bullshit, and yet without the excessive Daily-Mail-Type hyperbole, that I would liked to have seen in the national press

        2. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: What Register?!?

          Now to really piss some of you off, what if just 10% of those people in the church had guns?

          A lot more people would be dead. If 10% of the people in the mosque had guns, then there'd be at least that many others in the rest of the population, many of whom would've rushed to the scene in their desire to a) be heroes and b) kill someone (after all, people in the gun nut lands always go on about their "stand your ground" laws and often threaten people with gun violence over utterly trivial things!).

          This is a city that has been known to have issues with racist groups and extreme right-wing groups. You think arming such groups would be a good idea?

          Lets just say those 10% (another 50 or so people, who BTW unlike many who falsely claim to be 'christian' actually follow peaceful beliefs[1]) actually drew their weapons and took out the gunman. What do you think would've happened when they started to go outside to see if another person was nearby? All these gun nuts seeing a bunch of Moslems coming out of a mosque carrying guns? Talk about stupidity!

          BTW, Paris and many many other events has shown that you do not need a gun to kill a lot of people, or to kill anyone for that matter. A few people running around with knives can cause a lot of pain, and someone with a truck and a busy pedestrian area can very quickly kill or hurt a lot of people. I guess we should all go out and buy trucks.

          [1]Jesus had entire legions of angels awaiting His command, yet He never once employed those forces against people. Do you think He would've promoted gun violence like so many so-called "christians" do in the US?

          1. baud

            Re: What Register?!?

            You're mixing the Paris (where the nutcases used guns) and Nice (where a truck was used) attacks

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: What Register?!?

              You're mixing the Paris (where the nutcases used guns) and Nice (where a truck was used) attacks

              I stand corrected.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: What Register?!?

          "Now to really piss some of you off, what if just 10% of those people in the church had guns?"

          Ignoring the usual protocols in a church/mosque of not bringing in weapons during services/prayers, the self-defence aspect of carrying weapons during a surprise attack by well armed/armoured attackers is minimal. The US has previously had a number of church/synagogue shootings already and in-spite of the locations (i.e. rural Texas - Sutherland Springs) no one in the churches fired back at their attackers.

          In numerous other attacks, small numbers of public and police responders have been unable to bring down determined, well prepared attackers. Firing at targets or hunting is not the same as firing a gun with maybe 10 rounds against someone firing back 10's of rounds.

          I acknowledge there are exceptions to this, but the exceptions commonly rely on the attacker making a mistake rather than a hero with a gun.

          So in answer to your question, if 10% of those people had guns, the outcome is likely to have been the same or similar.

          And yes, I realise that bursting your "good guy with a gun saves the day" fantasy will piss you off...

          1. jmch Silver badge

            Re: What Register?!?

            "Now to really piss some of you off, what if just 10% of those people in the church had guns?"

            People making this comment have seen too many 'Die Hard' movies. Most likely any civilian drawing a gun in the presence of a heavily-armed, well-trained assailant is just making themselves a target to be taken out quicker.

            I reckon that in real life the actual possibility of having in the crowd a real ex-special forces elite commando, with a loaded gun in their holster and a chip on their shoulders, is slim to none.

          2. Mooseman Bronze badge

            Re: What Register?!?

            "So in answer to your question, if 10% of those people had guns, the outcome is likely to have been the same or similar."

            Probably far worse. AS you say, people panicking, gunfire going on....what could possibly go wrong?

            .

      5. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        It's easy to take the position that "criminality is not black and white" but you are wrong - and sometimes the laws are wrong too. We should all step back from these arguments and ask ourselves what is good and what is bad.

        I know it's a much harder question these days, it's all too easy to fall into a "Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are Bad" statement but the fact is they are nothing without their users. We need to start taking responsibility for our viewpoints and actions.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "sometimes the laws are wrong too"

          The laws are what define criminality. If you think the laws are wrong (I take it you're the universally acknowledged arbiter of that) then their definitions will be wrong but they'll still define criminality in that particular jurisdiction.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            But that would still give them justification (in their heads) to rise up and challenge the laws by force. After all, perceived injustice has triggered (successful) independence movements in the past, so there IS history.

      6. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        On a multi-national platform, criminality is not black and white. There are no easy answers, which doesn't mean we just give up, but it does mean it'll be hard.

        With all due respect I believe you're making more of this "criminality" issue than is actually justified. There are some very universal guidelines that would be fairly easy to follow. I know of no place where murder is not considered a heinous crime and video of same has no place on the internet where it can be viewed by all and sundry.

        I agree that there are some very stupid laws like one local ordinance I'm violating right now by drinking a beer in public view. I think the sane and rational response would be a simple test such as violence and harm. Non-violent actions would get a pass as would anything that doesn't harm anyone. We probably don't want to limit things that are generally humorous in a slap stick way or instructional safety video.

        Thus stated the obvious things like murder and torture would be out and exceptions can be made if a particular thing helped in identifying the perpetrator of a crime. Of course, we can always hem and haw over the definition of harm and violence another day but workable stop gap measures likely exist.

        1. scrubber

          "it has no place on the internet"

          The internet is exactly where it belongs. Some people will avoid it, others will watch it and be outraged by it and others will masturbate to it. That's the point of the internet.

        2. Carpet Deal 'em

          > I know of no place where murder is not considered a heinous crime

          "Murder" is nothing more than criminal homicide - and what makes that "criminal" bit is something plenty of places disagree on. Cultures disagree on a lot more than you seem to realize.

      7. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

        @eldakka - "Who defines criminal nature? Which countries laws are used as the basis of this? Who chooses that?"

        Where I sit, currently just outside the Great Firewall, those questions are a big concern. A few years ago, inside the Great Firewall, corruption led to the tainted baby formula scandal and babies were dying of malnutrition because melamine was added to milk powder so it passed the testing. People who spoke out were arrested for the criminal offence of spreading rumours. At the moment, I enjoy free speech; soon the local lawmakers will vote on making disrespecting the National Anthem a jailable offence. Do not complacently think that your liberal democracy is immune... China has recently pressured airlines into changing how they refer to destinations in Taiwan, China's economic might is growing, and businesses make... business decisions.

        I have been very impressed with Jacinda Ardern's response, and I hope she can follow through on tightening gun control. Australia's gun control laws made it very difficult for the gunman to get the weapons for the attack in his own country.

        1. baud

          Regarding strict gun control, it might not be useful to prevent attacks: for example France has strict laws, but it did not prevent the Paris attacks. And even without guns, one can do serious damage (see the Nice attack or the Boston marathon).

          Still I'm in favor of gun control, but saying that gun control laws will prevent all attacks is naïve.

      8. Andre Carneiro

        Interesting point, but there are some acts that are criminal pretty much everywhere you go.

        Murder is one of them.

        (I mean murder and purposefully make an exception for the death penalty which, in a sense, is institutionalised murder, but the two are easy to distinguish).

        Why not start there?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Because it's not so black-and-white. In some countries, "honor killing" is condoned in the written law. Sometimes, it's even mandatory to the effect that NOT undertaking an honor killing could be considered a capital offence in those countries.

      9. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
        Holmes

        There are some laws that are international....

        Pretty sure that murder is illegal everywhere (unless government sanctioned but even then that's only against those that can murder you back).

        Rape tends to be frowned upon and I'm pretty sure kidnapping is out.

        That being said... If we banned all illegal driving then a large number of dash cam videos would have to banned and removed, which surely is an endless bottomless pit of foolishness.

      10. jmch Silver badge

        "Which countries laws are used as the basis of this? Who chooses that?"

        True, and yet I believe mass murder is criminal in all countries. So this particular case should have been easy

      11. This post has been deleted by its author

      12. LucreLout Silver badge

        On a multi-national platform, criminality is not black and white. There are no easy answers

        Completely agree. Whose law should apply - the content creator, the content publish, or the content consumer, some mix of them, or all three?

        Whatever the answer, it's certainly not as simple as the buffoon who wrote the excessively emotional article would like to think.

        From the article:

        Does this mean that, with actual proper moderation, there would be a short delay in people being able to see your cat fall off the couch, or your child do a funny dance, when you yourself post your own content on Facebook, YouTube et al? Will you have to wait a few minutes, or perhaps longer, before your 13 livestream viewers are allowed to watch you bake cookies, write code, or simply stare off into the sunset on vacation?

        Yes, yes, you will. Sorry for the inconvenience.

        The transparently obvious problem here is that moderators like to big up their role and do things that they have no business doing. Take the groan - their moderators delete any posts that don't engage with the man made global warming hysteria. Now, whether you agree with AGW or not, disagreeing that it can ever be debated IS an echo chamber, and nothing good ever came out of one of those.

        Content is created at a pace humans simply can't keep up with anymore. How many hours of youtube video is created per second now? And as posited above, even where what is being depicted is beyond doubt and illegal somewhere, with which legal framework should it be judged? In many places its illegal to be gay and in many places its illegal to discriminate on the grounds of being gay, thus creating a logical impossibility for the content host.

    2. ST Silver badge
      FAIL

      > It's a very difficult balance in my opinion.

      Errr, no, it's not. Really.

    3. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    4. stiine Bronze badge

      I disagree completely with this

      "Acts of a criminal nature should always and without question be banned and blocked before anyone sees them or has a chance to download or share themselves because acts of a criminal nature have been through the due process to define them."

      Which countries' laws? Saudi Arabia? Turkey? Myanmar? Russia? Egypt? France? China? The United States? The EU? Or all of them combined, in which case I think you'll find that very nearly every possible statement one could make or action one could take would be considered a crime.

      This is not a solution, its a bandaid backed by a different set of (state) weapons.

      1. Pseu Donyme

        Re: I disagree completely with this

        >Which countries' laws? ...

        To me this seems awfully simple, really: if you want to do business in a jurisdiction you do it by their laws or not at all; in case the laws conflict you need to choose where you do business.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: I disagree completely with this

          So what about transnational in MULTIPLE jurisdictions where two laws clash? What about things like the GDPR where it doesn't matter where you are because the government is on behalf of the CLIENT? What if the host's law clashes with the client's law, and each claims legal jurisdiction?

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: I disagree completely with this

            "What if the host's law clashes with the client's law, and each claims legal jurisdiction?"

            Happens all the time. Ask your local US state about long arm statutes as applied to "doing business with" or "doing business in" that state.

          2. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: I disagree completely with this

            What if the host's law clashes with the client's law, and each claims legal jurisdiction?

            Still pretty simple. If you're a US company and you wish to trade in New Zealand, then you trade under NZ law, subject to international agreements/treaties. If US law prevents you selling an item to NZ'ers, then you don't sell that item as a US company.

            It really is a pretty simple concept.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I disagree completely with this

        So are you saying social media should ignore the laws of the country it's operating in and base it's policies on an ethical and moral approach that is defined by happy world peace loving tolerant faeries?

        Hate to break it you but the world doesn't work like that and you need to start somewhere, I agree some countries have some really shitty laws and are intolerant but to espouse some utopian view of how things should be and how social media should behave is naive.

        There is a whole philosophical argument on what is right and what is wrong depending on who you ask, however that isn't the issue here, the issue is that social media should be sticking to the laws of the country it operates in regardless of how you or I feel about those laws.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: I disagree completely with this

          "There is a whole philosophical argument on what is right and what is wrong depending on who you ask, however that isn't the issue here, the issue is that social media should be sticking to the laws of the country it operates in regardless of how you or I feel about those laws."

          Oh, WHICH laws then, seeing as how they operate in numerous, often-conflicting jurisdictions simultaneously? Suppose a host's law directly clashes with a client's law, and each claims legal jurisdiction because of respective physical presence? Whose law applies?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I disagree completely with this

            You tell me which countries laws allow that video to be shared? It's all well and good attacking an idea but when you offer nothing in reply it just comes across as snarky.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I disagree completely with this

              The US, for one. There's almost nothing that's illegal to share there.

          2. sd123

            Re: I disagree completely with this

            Ultimately I would suggest that it is the law of the country that the content is being created/viewed that should be applied.

            At the end of the day we don't care that <<act X>> was uploaded just as long as that was not visible by someone for whom <<act X>> was illegal.

            So for us in NZ a murder is illegal therefore I should not be able to participate in it. I should neither be able to upload it nor view it. If I upload a video of a homosexual kiss that (presumably) should be legal to upload but not for someone in, say, Algeria to view it.

            If a platform isn't happy with local laws they can choose not to offer the service in that country. I doubt that will stop FB etc.

            Of course actually implementing any such ban is going to be impossible (I can always use a VPN to avoid notice as noted elsewhere) but shouldn't we at least try?

    5. Version 1.0 Silver badge

      It's not a difficult balance - in the modern world Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter don't kill people - it's their users who are doing the shooting. Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other "social" platforms are just making money from our stupidity, if you are using these platforms to watch these videos then you are one of the guilty parties - none of these platforms would bother showing this kind of thing if they were not making money from it.

      1. ST Silver badge
        FAIL

        > Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter don't kill people - it's their users who are doing the shooting.

        Guns don't kill people. People kill people.

        Do you know who came up with that idiotic tripe? I do.

        And yet, in US states - and countries - that have strict gun controls, the homicide rate is much lower than in those that don't.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          And yet, in US states - and countries...

          citation please

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And yet, in US states - and countries...

            Especially since I can give a concrete counterexample in Chicago, Illinois. They have some of the strictest gun laws yet have such a high crime rate they inflate statistics for the rest of the state.

          2. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: And yet, in US states - and countries...

            citation please

            Here ya go. Take a look at the charts further down in the article. Only posting it now because I came across it a little while ago.

            https://www.vox.com/identities/2018/7/23/17602312/stand-your-ground-florida-michael-drejka-markeis-mcglockton

            (WARNING There is a video embedded in this article that I have not seen (I have youtube's JS blocked by default so it won't play), but the site does give a warning about the video and it may be illegal to view in some places, and certainly could be upsetting for some people - including myself I suspect)

      2. Dan 55 Silver badge

        They're are not only making money from people's stupidity but they are amplifying it. Thanks to the "you liked this? Then have some more of this!" algorithm to get people to stay on their site longer, people end up disappearing down flat earth, anti-vax, and terrorism rabbit holes and end up polarised from the rest of society.

        That is a bug and not a feature and has to be fixed.

    6. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      NZ is exercising one legal remedy

      Acts of a criminal nature should always and without question be banned and blocked before anyone sees them or has a chance to download or share themselves because acts of a criminal nature have been through the due process to define them.

      This has been reported on RT-

      In a statement on Sunday, police said they apprehended a local man who is not believed to be directly linked to the attacker. The 22-year-old is facing charges under Films Video and Publications Classifications Act, which prohibits distribution or possession of material determined to be "objectionable."

      So NZ official censor has rightly deemed the video as 'objectionable', and so can act against distributors.. Which presumably could include Facebook, Google and the usual suspects.. But in NZ, so presumably could act against entities and officers based in NZ. And I guess there's potential to spread the net wider via international treaties against crimes/criminals.

      If this is replicated in other national legislation, it could be a way to drop a heavy (or lighter) legal hint that sharing this kind of content isn't legal, moral or acceptable.

    7. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Facebook and Twitter weren't the only places...

      that video was being recycled on 4chan's /pol/ for hours along with a link to the (previously taken down) manifesto. Just because it wasn't on Facebook nor Twitter doesn't mean it's not "out there". And of course on 4chan's /pol/ there were actual echos of approval in multiple threads... (well it's anarchy and politically incorrect, so there).

      might be worth pointing out, the (alleged) perpetrator was apparently a REGULAR contributor to political posts about Australia and New Zealand on that forum, described by some as an 'Accelerationist', whatever that means...

      so, point is, forums that are NOT Facebook nor Twitter nor Youtube already exist. And the (alleged) perpetrator of the mosque shooting was a regular user of one of those forums. So there you go.

      1. jmch Silver badge

        Re: Facebook and Twitter weren't the only places...

        "forums that are NOT Facebook nor Twitter nor Youtube already exist. And the (alleged) perpetrator of the mosque shooting was a regular user of one of those forums. "

        However I presume that those forums do not have hundreds of millions of eyeballs on them. Also forums by their very nature are 'pull' rather than 'push' as is the case on facebook etc

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Facebook and Twitter weren't the only places...

          But the "pull" places still allow things to stew, then the friends in low places, so to speak, can then spread the filth to all and sundry through whatever methods are available (including stuff that existed before Facebook such as e-mail bombs, Usenet postings, and bulletproof hosting). Even if the initial clip only existed in the Darknet, those friends could easily spread it like a plague into the Clearnet.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Facebook and Twitter weren't the only places...

          "However I presume that those forums do not have hundreds of millions of eyeballs on them. Also forums by their very nature are 'pull' rather than 'push' as is the case on facebook etc"

          The 4chan's/8chan's/Voat commonly host this type of material but as you say, they don't get large numbers of eyeballs looking there way because much of the content is repulsive or worse.

          LiveLeak on the other hand does gets around 2.5m viewers a day, covering the content without the commentary.

          I accept that is considerably less than FB/YT, but it's a not inconsiderable number of regular viewers. If we're going to clean up the Internet, there's going to be a lot of scrubbing required.

          If, on the other hand, we just want to clean up the big players, video's bring eyeballs which advertisers pay for. Most of those video view's spike within the first 24 hours which is why FB/YT like to be seen to remove content but don't try too hard. And if they can remove content deemed morally unacceptable, they will also need to remove content deemed commercially unacceptable (i.e. live sports/music). Which is why we see FB's approach of "we are employing 30,000 people to moderate the content and remove anything unacceptable" rather than a technical solution.

          Is there a technical solution? How about forcing new content providers to be moderated/delayed by a few hours to allow a % of their content be checked. It's inconvenient for some, but nothing that serious contributors with nothing to upset moderators or commercial interests would be worried about and over time those that use it for occassional uploads will reach a trusted status too. i.e. FB/YT have to stop pretending to just be a platform and play by the rules other content distributors have to abide by.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Facebook and Twitter weren't the only places...

            Is there a technical solution? How about forcing new content providers to be moderated/delayed by a few hours to allow a % of their content be checked.

            A "trust" system could perhaps be employed. If you have enough "trust points" you can live-stream until such a time as you lose some points. Don't have quite enough, some people can get your stuff early (eg family and friends - I can see issues here though) but most others will have to wait. Lower still and everything has to pass through a human moderator for approval.

            Yes, I realise this smacks of China's social credit system, but sometimes just because a reputedly scumbag country (ab)uses a system doesn't mean it is automatically bad to use it elsewhere.

    8. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

      Agreed.

      However, if you should start to moderate new content on one platform, the ne'er-do-wells (I do love this word btw) will simply move over to another platform where they can post content unmoderated, or before it get censored.

      Think of whack-a-mole. You got it.

  2. whitepines Silver badge

    El Reg follows common sense!

    whose name isn't worth publishing

    Thank you for not giving this jackass its 15 minutes of fame. It's a disturbing trend we see all too often in today's media to make these idiots out to be rock stars.

    "People" (note I use that term very loosely in this case) that stoop to this level should be covered exactly twice:

    Once to show the event and how it didn't engender any lasting terror (bonus points for people standing up saying they are not afraid)

    Once again with all the intimate details of the next 60 years of this degenerate's controlled, subjugated, monitored, and in every way horrific life until it dies unwanted in prison.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: El Reg follows common sense!

      It's a disturbing trend we see all too often in today's media to make these idiots out to be rock stars

      That's a big part of the problem and like various "challenges" of late on FB and other platforms, mass murder has become one. Hit a new high number of bodies and someone will be thinking of a way to "do better" and win instant fame.

      Perhaps the answer is cover the story but never, ever mention the miscreants name? Perhaps, closed trials with the perp is "Mr X." or "Miss Y"? Not sure that would go over well in any society other than some of the more "controlled" (for lack of a better term) countries.

      No matter what anyone comes with a potential answer it still is going to be a tough problem to solve. Media coverage is one thing but videos or even live coverage from the media while it's going on is bound to spark copycats.

      I will note, that banning guns isn't the answer. Remember Oklahoma City and the truck load of fertilizer/diesel blowing up the federal building? Those who want to do harm will find a way.

    2. A.P. Veening

      Re: El Reg follows common sense!

      [QUOTE]

      "People" (note I use that term very loosely in this case) that stoop to this level should be covered exactly twice:

      [QUOTE]

      Make that thrice:

      Finally (after dying in prison) the body should be covered with earth in an unmarked grave at an undisclosed location.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: El Reg follows common sense!

        Finally (after dying in prison) the body should be covered with earth in an unmarked grave at an undisclosed location.

        Cremation, then the ashes dropped into a sewer or an old mine shaft etc. Make it known that their death will be unannounced until well after the time.

        His time inside however should be spent serving the community harmed.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: El Reg follows common sense!

          Cremation, then the ashes dropped into a sewer or an old mine shaft etc

          I should clarify. In many cases there have been efforts to get the remains of a deceased nasty person. By dumping them in such a manner, the chance of such an act is limited only to a short window of time. By not announcing that this 'hero' has died until some time later, the chances of the dumping being intercepted by nutters is removed to almost 0.

          I use the term 'hero' because, to some, he will be. I myself consider the man an utter coward. He went against an unarmed group and murdered women and children. Little children to young to even have started school.

          If you consider this person a hero, this man whose greatest act is the murder of babies, then that is your choice, but know that the majority of the world's population will consider him a worthless coward, and we will treat you with the respect you deserve.

          1. Raphael

            Re: El Reg follows common sense!

            Personally I'm in favour of giving this scum a cell made out of container to live in on White Island..... as close to the biggest active vent as possible.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: El Reg follows common sense!

              Personally I'm in favour of giving this scum a cell made out of container to live in on White Island..... as close to the biggest active vent as possible.

              Tempting, but the chance of a quick exit are way too high. How about somewhere near Rotorua? But one can get used to the smell, or so I am told.

              Perhaps he should have Muslim music piped into his cell 24/7 though, at least a few days a week.

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: El Reg follows common sense!

        I was thinking "tossed into an active volcano" but ok

    3. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: El Reg follows common sense!

      Too bad all news outlets don't take the same approach, but I'll add "human garbage" 'whose name isn't worth publishing'

      1. VikiAi Silver badge

        Re: El Reg follows common sense!

        I like the approach of one of the alien groups in Sherri S. Tepper's book "The Fresco":

        "One of the programs we left to start without us, back on Earth, is the rewording of your newspapers and TV shows. They will no longer be able to use empty language, like "paid his debt to society," or "claimed responsibility" for an act of terrorism. Instead, they must use true words. "He has been sentenced to prison for ten years which will do nothing to ameliorate his urges to molest and mutilate little girls." Or, "The XX faction has asserted that it committed the cowardly atrocity of killing a busload of schoolchildren." Earthians must learn to say truly what has happened and not cover it with easy-speak."

        They were using some pretty heavy-duty Clarke-tech to do it even to already printed material, but we could probably with current "earthling technology" achieve it with electronic media at least. If we wanted to, of course.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: El Reg follows common sense!

          They will no longer be able to use empty language, like "paid his debt to society," or "claimed responsibility" for an act of terrorism.

          This I would love to see implemented!

          But you have to understand.. I don't think even the greatest technology could get truth into newspapers, even if it is just changing the way a few pages are written.

          I would be totally against the idea of changing what is already written. Write a counter piece maybe, to point out someone's error, but do not change was was said.

          1. Teiwaz Silver badge

            Re: El Reg follows common sense!

            But you have to understand.. I don't think even the greatest technology could get truth into newspapers, even if it is just changing the way a few pages are written.

            The newspapers aren't exactly the origin of this language.

            Corporation PR, politicians, psychologists, social sciences, you name a sector, they've adopted it.

            'identified as' 'reached out to' - and there are more, but I can already taste the vomit rising.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: El Reg follows common sense!

              Put it this way. There's a term for it: Political Correctness.

              The reason is simple. Some people don't take kindly to the blunt truth: to the point of summoning lawyers for slander, libel, and other unprotected speech charges.

            2. Kiwi Silver badge
              Devil

              Re: El Reg follows common sense!

              The newspapers aren't exactly the origin of this language.

              No, but they are well-known for not exactly being honest these days :)

              As to the rest of your post.. Dammit, I was about to head to bed! Now I have to clear the mind of horrors before I do! :(

        2. Mooseman Bronze badge

          Re: El Reg follows common sense!

          "The XX faction has asserted that it committed the cowardly atrocity of killing a busload of schoolchildren."

          I have always been puzzled by the media's willingness to promote the activities of various terrorist groups by publicising their "claims", from the days of the IRA/UDF outrages in Northern Ireland to the modern ISIS, they never say "X organisation has admitted responsibility", it's always "claimed" as if there is a bizarre competition going on.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: El Reg follows common sense!

            they never say "X organisation has admitted responsibility", it's always "claimed" as if there is a bizarre competition going on.

            I cannot think of any specific examples, and it's way too early in the morning to fart around with google etc, but I believe there have been incidents where one group has remained silent and another group has 'filled the void', and also cases of a plane crashing for as-yet-unknown reasons where a terrorist group has claimed responsibility, only to turn out it was something not related to terrorism that caused the crash.

            Hence they say "dumbfuckcowards claimed responsibility" at least until "it is established that dumbfuckcorwards committed the cowardly murders"

    4. John Savard Silver badge

      Re: El Reg follows common sense!

      I suppose now we'll forget the names of Adolph Hitler, Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Osama bin Laden, Charles Manson, and so on and so forth? The "Very Proper Charlies" strategy goes against human nature, and isn't likely to be effective against crazy people.

    5. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: El Reg follows common sense!

      Even the Mail and the Mirror dutifully made the video available. At that point I think there's no hope left, MSM has jumped off the cliff after social media in search of hits to get that sweet sweet advertising revenue. Nothing actually matters apart from those metrics and whatever generates those hits is deemed to work, extremist videos included.

      It's at this point that I'll mention a new social network I bumped into Kailo, which apparently is built to allow useful debate to take place. I don't know if it'll work (I haven't even tried it, I don't even have accounts with the usual suspects), but it deserves our attention as someone's got to try something new which isn't fundamentally broken where amplifying everything that's wrong with society is considered an acceptable trade off if a few dollars can be made off the back of it).

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: El Reg follows common sense!

        "Kialo requires JavaScript to work correctly.

        Loading Kialo"

        Farewell Kialo.

      2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: El Reg follows common sense!

        Surely a good lawyer can identify some law that has been broken by the Heil when it shared this video. I mean, the Tories have criminalised so much.Possession and distribution of material likely to be of use to a terrorist? That';s always a good one, as it makes it an offence to have Google maps on your phone.

        Please, please, please can someone prosecute the Heil for terrorism offences?

        1. batfink

          Re: El Reg follows common sense!

          I did notice that the Mail's headline the next day blamed Facebook, rather than, I don't know, years of anti-muslim headlines by outlets such as the, er, Mail...

      3. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: El Reg follows common sense!

        Even the Mail and the Mirror dutifully made the video available.

        Pretty sure the 'traditonal media' get ignored in the rush to point the finger at badly monitored and user submission based social platforms.

        Those paid to curate the news and (you'd think) be responsible make the content available by conscious decision rather than just by being ignorant of whatever bile is being uploaded in the millions every day.

      4. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: El Reg follows common sense!

        Forget newspapers and social media, most of the sharing of that video will be by torrent and that's not going to be easy to stop.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: El Reg follows common sense!

          Forget newspapers and social media, most of the sharing of that video will be by torrent and that's not going to be easy to stop.

          Flooding the torrent sites with fake videos might help it. Bury the real one?

          Or will that start a "bidding war" where the other side puts up so many copies of it? Still, at least if they start pumping out copies it increases the chance that sharers of this get caught and prosecuted.

  3. ma1010 Silver badge

    It can be difficult, but..

    Consider that a lot of these sort of freaks are created in "echo chambers" where their fellow travelers on anti-social media feed back and strengthen their twisted, hate-filled views. If the anti-social media platforms really DID manage to block plain hate speech of no benefit to anyone, whatsoever, then it might interfere with the creation of these creatures in the first place. How about trying to apply all this vaunted "AI technology" to help screen out this sort of crap and then let a human make a final decision?

    I believe the author makes a very good point: when these creatures appear, denying them their "15 minutes of fame" as much as possible might well discourage them. Instead of "making a statement for the cause," in a glare of publicity, let them be just another numbered convict in a prison cell. Keep them in solitary for the rest of their lives, letting them out of their cell only 1 hour a day. And make it known to all and sundry that "This is what will happen to you if you do this." Maybe that would help. We can hope.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It can be difficult, but..

      I frankly feel, if someone wants their fifteen minutes of fame, they'll find a way by hook or crook.

      As for jailing the guy, ever considered there may be a bunch of friends ready to bust him out in a hail of explosives and gunfire. I mean, look at El Chapo. Until recently, he made breaking out easy, and few things would shock the Western world like a paramilitary jailbreak to prove that nowhere is safe.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: It can be difficult, but..

        If the guy had such friends, he probably would not have ended up in the situation he is in now.

        For a start, he would not have fled Oz to live here (what, you think we won't deport him at the first chance just like the Ozzies do to our citizens?).

        And since a couple of other people were arrested over this, it's a fair bet that all of his friends are now behind bars. How are they going to "bust him out in a hail of explosives and gunfire" when they cannot themselves go anywhere without a couple of prison officers to escort them?

        Also, interestingly, you point to one case of such things, yet far better resourced and far far far far better liked people have not had their people come to "bust him out in a hail of explosives and gunfire" despite having the backing of entire nations, a large number of "friendles" in the target area, and knowing exactly where their person is held.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: It can be difficult, but..

        and few things would shock the Western world like a paramilitary jailbreak to prove that nowhere is safe.

        Actually your text could be classified as "terrorist" as it is threatening other people and is intended to create fear in the minds of readers ("...prove that nowhere is safe"). I hope El Reg doesn't view it that way and leaves it in place to show just how stupid some people can get.

        In reality, every where is about as safe as every where else. Lots of people have died from various things including the most common cause of death, "natural causes". I could be killed by my cat knocking the TV over while I sleep, which catches fire and burns me to death or kills me from noxious gasses. I could gasp at yet a new level of silliness in your posts and choke on a cherry. An oncoming driver could swat at a bee in their car and swerve...

        There is no point fearing death, for when your time is up you will be dead. Do what you can to be reasonably safe but do not let that cause you to live in fear.

        49 people lost their lives in horrible circumstances. I do not wish or intend to in any way minimise that or the suffering felt by their loved ones or any others. But across this nation several other people died on the same day from a number of causes, including an old friend of mine who finally succumbed to cancer (we have been out-of-touch for more than a decade).

        It is true, no place will give you eternal life - we are all "born to die", but even in the worst places you're more likely to die from old age, incompetence, or pollution than you are from violence.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: It can be difficult, but..

          Tell that to people in Africa, Afghanistan, and so on. Lots of people die young, and you call that c'est la vie?

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: It can be difficult, but..

            Tell that to people in Africa, Afghanistan, and so on. Lots of people die young, and you call that c'est la vie?

            People die young all over the world. My first experience with a person dying was when I was 4 or 5. I still remember when I was 9 or 10 the news coming in that a teenage boy known to our family had died in a car accident and another friend was being charged with 'careless driving causing death' as a result of his actions.

            Dying as a result from injuries obtained in a car accident isn't a peaceful way to die. Drowning in the sea or a river appears to be an incredibly terrifying way to go - I was caught in a sea current as a teenager and only by luck caught a boulder at the very end of my energy. I still remember how utterly terrifying that was (I wasn't a Christian at that stage so was still scared of dying).

            I absolutely value life, as I am sure my posts over the years will have shown.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: It can be difficult, but..

              Neither is being gunned down for being in the wrong place in the wrong time (you can tell this is personal for me). I'm not just talking accidents, I'm talking people being killed in cold blood for the supposed crime of existing, and it's all over the place. For many places, life's cheap and then you die; simple, blunt, but absolutely true, and it speaks to the old Problem of Evil.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: It can be difficult, but..

                (you can tell this is personal for me).

                I grew up gay in 1970s rural NZ. Trust me when I say I know what it is like to be the victim of violence simply for existing.

                That scene in "V for Vendetta" where V makes Evy(sp) "no longer afraid" - you can get an idea of why I do not fear things like others do, years of torment wiped the fear away.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: It can be difficult, but..

        "look at El Chapo. Until recently, he made breaking out easy"

        You've overlooked the fact that he had money to command that. Most miscreants don't.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: It can be difficult, but..

          Friends can substitute for money if they have sufficient motivation. Just look at Afghanistan where such breakouts DO happen.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: It can be difficult, but..

            NZ isn't Afghanistan.

            Lots of people here have money and motivation, yet such breakouts DON'T happen.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: It can be difficult, but..

              Money, maybe, but I don't think enough motivation. Put it this way: I'm putting an armed storming of the US SuperMax facility as a matter of WHEN, not IF.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: It can be difficult, but..

                Money, maybe, but I don't think enough motivation. Put it this way: I'm putting an armed storming of the US SuperMax facility as a matter of WHEN, not IF.

                I got to see enough of NZ's prisons visitng a young lad within my family to see how quickly that would fail, and he was only in a place that was "medium security" by NZ's relaxed standards!

                Short of tanks and attack aircraft, I am pretty sure they're not getting very far. They may try storming the place with hand-held weapons, but the guards will be laughing at their twitching corpses a few minutes later.

                Not that I watch enough TV to know what "supermax" prisons are really like, just seen enough in real life to know you ain't getting without some heavy equipment, and even in NZ you'd be spotted and, well, spotted long before you got it near the place.

      4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: It can be difficult, but..

        Excellent point. They better not lock him up then, just in case. Let him go at once. Same applies to any violent and dangerous criminal really.

        And of course, the same goes for Revoking Article 50, which it seems is now the preferred option of a majority of living voters (as opposed to religiously upholding the wishes of dead ones). There's a risk there maay be riots, so maybe we better not. Or we just go ahead and lock up the rioters.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It can be difficult, but..

          "Excellent point. They better not lock him up then, just in case. Let him go at once. Same applies to any violent and dangerous criminal really."

          To the bottom of the ocean, you mean. Makes you wonder why they didn't take the bin Laden route, given how dangerous some people can be by their mere existence.

    2. DougS Silver badge

      Re: It can be difficult, but..

      Agreed. While driving them to underground sites might seem like it is no better, or even arguably worse, on underground sites they can't poison the minds of those whose minds aren't already poisoned. Because people whose minds aren't already poisoned aren't going to seek out those underground white nationalist forums in the first place.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Black Helicopters

        Re: It can be difficult, but..

        Agreed. While driving them to underground sites might seem like it is no better, or even arguably worse, on underground sites they can't poison the minds of those whose minds aren't already poisoned. Because people whose minds aren't already poisoned aren't going to seek out those underground white nationalist forums in the first place.

        An interesting argument. But how many of these people are 'fertile minds' just waiting for the right seeds to be sown? Some will act alone out of brokenness, others - well, we've had leaders raising hate-fuelled armies for a very long time, even before the discovery of interesting amounts of electricity.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: It can be difficult, but..

          You can't do anything about demagogue leaders like Hitler who spread their hate into a nation's consciousness, at least not from a social media perspective, but you can at least stop the nutjobs like the ones who did this NZ massacre from helping increase the size of audience who would be initially receptive to such a message.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: It can be difficult, but..

            Can you? Or will the Darknet crowd start copying and spreading their stuff into the mainstream like a plague, beyond the ability to control (I hear this particular video had reached that stage already with YouTube overwhelmed with the whack-a-mole routine)?

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: It can be difficult, but..

              Or will the Darknet crowd start copying and spreading their stuff into the mainstream like a plague,

              Given the number of miscreants inhabiting "Darknet", given the stuff they'd love to have "mainstream", and given the lack of their stuff appearing in mainstream places, I think you give them waaaaaaaay too much credit.

    3. stiine Bronze badge

      Re: It can be difficult, but..

      Only if I get to define what speech is allowed.

      1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

        Re: It can be difficult, but..

        I'm sorry, you mustn't say that.

    4. Mario Becroft

      Re: It can be difficult, but..

      A highly punitive approach. May or may not work as well as you think it does. Plenty of research on this.

    5. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: It can be difficult, but..

      These people are existing in echo chambers because their views and opinions are considered to be unacceptable by most of us. The view in this case is a tribal one. The scumbag felt that "his people" - meaning people that looked superficially the same as him, were having their culture and homelands eroded and occupied by people of different appearance and culture. Which is quite a piece of hypocrisy for an Australian!!

      However, because these people with these views and feelings feel that they can't be heard, they do things like this so they can't be ignored. And the harder you try to ignore them, the more they will escalate.

      As unpalatable as it seem, they need an outlet.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: It can be difficult, but..

        As unpalatable as it seem, they need an outlet.

        It should not be 'unpalatable', although sadly so many find it so.

        It is common for people, especially during their teenage years, to have some quite "far out" and sometimes downright scary ideas and ideals. Most of us experience(d) this.

        The cure, for most, is to voice these ideas in a place where someone will show you the error of your ways. If you have bad ideas and others can show you why, then you no longer have bad ideas.

        Of course, some people cannot be influenced, and others instead of finding a voice of reason find waiting ears ready to devour their every word.

        But for the most part, reason and wisdom can change them. But to get that reason and wisdom, they need to speak out their foolishness first.

  4. Headley_Grange Silver badge

    Responsibility

    The sites have good enough algorithms to place "relevant" advertising next to the footage of nutters killing people but not good enough algorithms to decide that the footage of nutters killing people is not acceptable. Make the sites criminally liable for the stuff posted on their sites and watch them either improve their algorithms or go out of business. If they go out of business then I honestly don't care.

    1. Matthew 25
      Thumb Up

      Re: Responsibility

      Make the fines nice and big, say 20% global turnover. That should get their attention.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Responsibility

        But how are you going to enforce it, especially if they leave your sovereign jurisdiction or even take the Sprawl route of declaring their own sovereignty?

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: Responsibility

          But how are you going to enforce it, especially if they leave your sovereign jurisdiction or even take the Sprawl route of declaring their own sovereignty?

          Good thing I wasn't eating any cherries just now.

          You do realise that there are concepts such as "international law" and many countries have treaties where if you commit a crime in one place then flee to another, you can still be arrested and returned to the land where you committed the crime? Especially if your actions are illegal in both places.

          As to companies declaring "their own sovereignty", perhaps you can point us to one having successfully done this? Maybe they can just magic up some lawyers who will magically be able to cause countries to change their laws or something?

          You really must tell us what drug is it you're taking!

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Responsibility

            "You do realise that there are concepts such as "international law" and many countries have treaties where if you commit a crime in one place then flee to another, you can still be arrested and returned to the land where you committed the crime? Especially if your actions are illegal in both places."

            Which ONLY applies if said country RATIFIES the treaty. A sovereign business would NOT be party to said treaties. And there ARE countries that will refuse to extradite for various reasons (such as being HOSTILE to the other country).

            "As to companies declaring "their own sovereignty", perhaps you can point us to one having successfully done this?"

            Not yet, but I can see it as the next logical step. All it would take is enough power to declare their own self-determination AND defend that self-determination in the face of war. That's how the US came to be over 200 years ago if you'll recall.

            As for the drug, it's called Reality.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Responsibility

              "You do realise that there are concepts such as "international law" and many countries have treaties where if you commit a crime in one place then flee to another, you can still be arrested and returned to the land where you committed the crime? Especially if your actions are illegal in both places."

              Which ONLY applies if said country RATIFIES the treaty. A sovereign business would NOT be party to said treaties. And there ARE countries that will refuse to extradite for various reasons (such as being HOSTILE to the other country).

              Sure. Except for the most part these sorts of treaties are ratified. And if a "sovereign business" wished to have any claim to such "sovereignty" they would need to negotiate several such treaties, and they'd need to have somewhere to extradite people to. You seem to forget that even if Zuck decided to declare FB a "sovereign business" not subject to other country's laws, he still has to live somewhere. And oh damn, he's on US soil and subject to the laws of the state he lives in. He could try to fly to another country, or flee to their embassy, but he might find it hard proving FB is a "sovereign business" and he is some sort of "rightful ruler" when he is cowering behind another's walls.

              You may claim to rule, but unless you're able to back up that rule with force when necessary, you don't rule anything but your own mind.

              "As to companies declaring "their own sovereignty", perhaps you can point us to one having successfully done this?"

              Not yet, but I can see it as the next logical step. All it would take is enough power to declare their own self-determination AND defend that self-determination in the face of war. That's how the US came to be over 200 years ago if you'll recall.

              Ah yes, a well-armed and well-provisioned land with a decent number of people available beat a perhaps better armed and trained but less well-provisioned and less-peopled force on their home soil. Anyone with an ounce of logic or knowledge of military history will tell you a toddler with a hay fork on his own land beats a tank from a foreign army a great deal of the time (slight exaggeration). People fighting for their homes and their famiies are a lot more motivated to win than soldiers fighting in another land, especially when said soldiers are not fully convinced they're doing the right thing or are not really motivated to fight.

              But that still does not cover the issue of this mythical "sovereign business", which has to build a force strong enough to maintain it's position while not giving the government of the land a reason to pay a little more attention to them. Give the government cause to believe you're raising arms that may be used against them, and you'll find out very quickly just how much force they can bring to bear and how little you have. Don't forget you not only have the government but the people of the nation, and any friendly nation to deal with. People who love their country aren't going to let some upstart come in and try to take over.

              Even Trump's business has failed the test of sovereignty, and he's the US prez with veto powers available to him! He's considered the "commander in cheif" of the entire US military, and yet he does not have the power to get his desires.

              As for the drug, it's called Reality.

              I think you'd have a very strong case for taking your dealer to the advertising standards authority.

            2. MonkeyCee Silver badge

              Re: Responsibility

              "All it would take is enough power to declare their own self-determination "

              Look, I know the magic sovereign fairy gives certain types the woody, but like many "magic" terms, you can't just declare you've got it and everyone else will accept it.

              There are two hundred odd countries, and they are sovereign. If you want to make another one, good bloody luck. Prolonged civil war maybe, such as Sudan splitting into two countries.

              Unless all the other sovereign nations recognise you, then you can declare yourself God-Emporer all you like, your laws, edicts and refusal to pay taxes don't wash.

              Bear in mind that the East India company liked to claim it was "somewhat" sovereign (issued it's own coinage, conducted wars, collected taxes and enforced laws) and had a land army roughly twice the size of the British army, and yet never declared itself sovereign.

          2. VikiAi Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: Responsibility

            Also note, the minute their 'sovereignty' is recognised, they no longer have any military protection that they don't either provide themselves or negotiate via treaties with other nations. They better negotiate fast! And have something to negotiate with!

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Responsibility

              Or they can just provide their own protection. Internal security forces can be a starting point.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                WTF?

                Re: Responsibility

                Or they can just provide their own protection. Internal security forces can be a starting point.

                I think you'll find the entire "internal security forces" of FB, Google and a few others pales even to NZ's Territorials. And lowly paid excessively fed "security guards" lack some of the training that even the least trained qualified soldier has. You might find a few "weekend warriors" in amongst that lot, but you'll find how quickly they flee when real bullets start flying.

                I think you'll also find MOST of the "internal security forces" will be far more loyal to their country than they will be to the corporation, regardless of how much money is offered.

              2. VikiAi Silver badge
                Boffin

                Re: Responsibility

                Against a small boat of pirates, sure. Against a small nation's military, or a large nation's special-ops squad, not so much.

            2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

              Re: Responsibility

              1. Recognise sovereignty of Facebookia

              2. Declare war on Facebookia.

              3. Intern all Facebookia staff as enemy aliens

              4. Seize all Facebookia property within the country as enemy property, including bank accounts.

              5. When Facebookia beg for peace demand massive reparations.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Responsibility

                1. Recognise sovereignty of Facebookia

                [..]

                5. When Facebookia beg for peace demand massive reparations.

                You think it'll go down like that?

                Where do I sign the petition for the immediate recognition of the country of Facebookia?????????

      2. DavCrav Silver badge

        Re: Responsibility

        "Make the fines nice and big, say 20% global turnover. That should get their attention."

        Why fine them? Start sticking C-Suite people in prison for supporting terrorism and things will rapidly get better.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Responsibility

          You have to get at them, first. What do you do when the C-Suite suddenly relocates to a country that refuses to extradite?

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: DavCrav

          Let's allow for Due Process first please, even for C levels. Even our most vile are entitled to a vigorous defence.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Responsibility

            You have to get at them, first. What do you do when the C-Suite suddenly relocates to a country that refuses to extradite?

            Ah yes.. All the countries that refuse to extradite to the US are of course wonderful places to live, with the same climate, freedoms and opportunities one finds in California.

            There is a slight problem of course.

            You have to get their first.

            Have you spoken to your lawyer about suing your "reality" drug dealer for false advertising?

    2. paulf Silver badge

      Re: Responsibility

      It seems not a week goes by now without another 20:20 view into the cesspit that is Facebook (also Google’s YouTube as the article explains). I just wonder at what point do users reach a point of sufficient revulsion that they say, “I cannot in all conscience continue using a creepy platform that enables evil people like this.”?

      Perhaps we’ve seen so much filth from Facebook in terms of the habitual lying about privacy and the ever shifting sands that are their “privacy controls”; the way they “leak” personal details to outfits like Cambridge Analytica along with other, perhaps more traditional, advertisers; how they give a platform to hate content like this; that we’ve become used to it to the point of implicit acceptance? Now that would be deeply worrying.

      I would have also wondered how nasty the platform would have to get for advertisers (the real customers) to start bailing wholesale. There was IIRC a brief advertiser boycott a few months ago(?) but I think that was just token and didn’t last long once they realised their adverts weren’t being seen by eyeballs. Maybe advertisers will finally realise the brand damage from being associated with toxic platforms that have no content control like Facebook and YouTube (plus the others), but I suspect the users will have to move first.

      (In case anyone wonders I used to use Facebook occasionally to stay in touch with people but my use was very limited. I last logged in 18 months ago and won’t again. In contrast TOH has a science PhD yet shares all and sundry with Zuckerborg’s Facebook and WhatsApp etc so there’s more to it than blaming idiot lusers)

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Responsibility

        People have always got some excuse like " I need it to stay in touch with whoever". Which is clearly bullshit. There's always always a better way to stay in touch than supporting things that are clearly and plainly wrong.

        It's just plain laziness. I have a son at Uni, family around the world and I don't use Faecebook. There simply is no need.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Responsibility

          Wanna bet? In places like southeast Asia, Facebook subsidizes the cell phone networks, to the point nearly everything you do earns you Facebook time (hell, even the feature phones there have Facebook, it's that ubiquitous). For many of these places, where telephones are few and far-between, cell service can be spotty, and even the post is unreliable, it's pretty much Facebook or Bust. Trust me, I speak from firsthand experience.

    3. reubs007

      Re: Responsibility

      I totally agree with this. I'd love to know how much the big tech companies spend on developing software for matching advertisers with users and content versus how much they spend on developing software for filtering out vile content such as this. I suspect the ratio is pretty appalling.

    4. hoola

      Re: Responsibility

      There is one very simple thing here, instant takedown of the platform. That would soon get the likes of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter focussed.

      There is absolutely no reason for this video to have been permitted to be posted ANYWHERE on ANY platform. Playing wack-a-mole to remove them is pointless. Just turn the platform off and then resolve it.

      That then brings a myriad of other issues but at least it would focus some minds where it matters. There will always be a contingent of humanity (if that is what you can call it) that get proliferate this type of material however it is the total inability to deal with this in a timely manner that that causes the problem. And the reason it cannot be dealt with: money, reducing income and profit for the idiots at the top,

  5. Paul Johnson 1

    Errr, censorship?

    So imagine an alternative world where Facebook had a 1 hour delay on uploaded videos. At 13:40 this nutter goes on the rampage, uploading video as he goes. At 14:40 his video goes live. At 16:00 the police figure out who he is. The video has already been live for over an hour.

    Except that if Facebook had introduced a 1 hour delay the nutter would have used a different service without the 1 hour delay, so it would have made no difference. And the vision of him staying in fiddling with his device? I don't think so. Gavrilo Princip didn't think it necessary to live stream to Facebook when he threw a bomb at Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, and neither did many other terrorists through the years. Live streaming merely adds a new horror to an old evil. Stopping live streaming merely attacks the symptom, not the disease.

    Yes, Facebook's measures to control bad content are less effective than we would like. (They are not totally ineffective either; if they were then Facebook would look like 4chan.) But all of these calls to "take responsibility for the content that your users post" are euphemisms for having governments around the world outsource the job of censorship to huge unaccountable multinational companies. That sounds like a cure worse than the disease.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Errr, censorship?

      "the nutter would have used a different service"

      One with far fewer viewers and virtually no impact, hopefully, yes. There's no denying there are other platforms - in fact, why not create you're own. It's still a free country in that respect.

      The trouble, IMHO and what Kieren was getting at, is that if you're going to have as vast a reach as Facebook, YouTube, etc, cripes, take some actual effective steps to prevent your systems being wielded as a deadly propaganda weapon.

      Apologies for the cliche, but: with great power, comes great responsibility. And Silicon Valley has shrugged off all but the bare minimum of responsibility.

      Again, IMHO.

      C.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        One with far fewer viewers and virtually no impact, hopefully, yes.

        The premise was that Facebook imposes a delay. If they do that, they rapidly lose a lot of their perfectly normal and legitimate traffic (and of course eyes) to someone who doesn't.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        "One with far fewer viewers and virtually no impact, hopefully, yes."

        But the thing with the Darknet is that it can be used to spread the initial feed beyond containability, and all those "friends of friends" can then infiltrate the mainstream networks using smurfing and swarm tactics.

      3. Dabbb Bronze badge

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        Number of people who watched it live is probably few orders of magnitude less that those watched it after it happened, so facebook it or not is irrelevant.

      4. Mad Mike

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        " take some actual effective steps to prevent your systems being wielded as a deadly propaganda weapon. "

        So, who do you ban? Politicians for starters. All sorts of people and companies use these services for propaganda and affects hundreds of millions as a result, turning some violent. Who decides what propaganda gets banned? UKIP? Some say that promotes right wing sentiment, violent in some cases. What about extreme left wing propaganda? The whole problem is, who defines what is and what is not acceptable propaganda? Politicians? Sincerely hope not and nobody controlled by politicians.

      5. steviebuk Silver badge

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        Its not an excuse for what the cock did but with the like of Facebook etc, its all about money. Having to actually pay decent wage to real people to watch said videos cuts into profit. Because share holders want more money they convince the powers that be to save money where you can. They see this monitoring area as a saving so do a half arsed job knowing they are so big now, they won't be shutdown and can get away with just saying sorry.

        Never understood the point of live streaming anyway. And I'd rather they implement a 30 min or hour delay on the streams than allow government to start regulating the Internet.

        "which has been re-shared by miscreants" which includes a few newspapers who aired a short clip of said footage. Knowing fall well people would click on their article with the video footage than an article without it. Then they gain from the ads on said page. The people clicking those article links are the same people that slow down when there is an accident. These newspapers are as bad as Facebook.

        However regulation on the Internet isn't going to stop nutters like this. Its foolish to think it will.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "regulation on the Internet isn't going to stop nutters like this"

          It never will, but we can at least curb the encouragement of it. There are knock-on effects.

          C.

          1. steviebuk Silver badge

            Re: "regulation on the Internet isn't going to stop nutters like this"

            But it won't. If a nutter isn't able to watch said footage it doesn't stop them being a nutter.

            Obviously nowhere near as bad, not even in the same league but they banned cigarette adverts on TV in the 60s (didn't stop cigar adverts) and now wide spread tabbaco advertising is in place but it hasn't stopped people smoking.

            I'm not saying the live streaming of mass murder should exist, I'm saying banning it from a medium won't stop a nutter being a nutter.

            I feel the fact is Facebook is big enough now and has enough cash it can easily tackle this problem. As IT people we understand more than MPs how the Internet works. We are realistic. We know if you ban it from Facebook it will just pop up in other areas. But the point is we also know of realistic ways Facebook could combat this. But MPs chiming in saying they should remove footage 10mins (I can't remember the exact figure) from being reported is stupidly unrealistic. Letting MPs decide on an area of tech they don't understand and won't listen to expects makes issues worse. We have the 18 age ID coming in for porn. A classic example of MPs getting involved and not understanding how the Internet works and how that will fail due to VPNs. And this is the same government that was suggesting encryption should be banned.

            1. Mooseman Bronze badge

              Re: "regulation on the Internet isn't going to stop nutters like this"

              "they banned cigarette adverts on TV in the 60s (didn't stop cigar adverts) and now wide spread tabbaco advertising is in place but it hasn't stopped people smoking"

              Except smoking rates in first world countries has fallen massively. From a figure of 65% of all men smoking in 1945 to around 23% now in the UK, for example.

              1. steviebuk Silver badge

                Re: "regulation on the Internet isn't going to stop nutters like this"

                I meant to say "and now a wide spread ban on tobacco advertising is in place". Problem with typing on the phone.

                Anyway. It may have fallen but is this due to the lack of advertising or better education, that would be the big question.

                1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

                  Re: "regulation on the Internet isn't going to stop nutters like this"

                  Probably both. And the same applies to right-wing nuttery. Don't advertise, educate, and number of right-wing terrorist nutters will tend to fall.

                2. Charles 9 Silver badge

                  Re: "regulation on the Internet isn't going to stop nutters like this"

                  Or could it be they're migrating to other drugs like marijuana and meth because their rebelliousness draws them to more-forbidden fruit?

      6. Anonymous Coward
        Joke

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        I guess time will tell whether Facebook ramping up the censorship leads another platform to gain users at the rate that twitter's censorship is doing for Gab.

        Not on Gab, by the way, but since it's billed as the opposite of Twitter I assume it's filled with old ladies sharing gardening tips and pictures of trees.

      7. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        Silicon Valley has shrugged off all but the bare minimum of responsibility

        There is only one SINGLE reason that moderation isn't as affective as it ought to be: the almighty buck. The whole almost frenetic drive to find some form of AI that can filter this is hiding a very simple but brutal truth: only humans can moderate effectively but. they. cost. money.

        We can debate about the degree of monitoring and whether this would or would not amount to censorship until the cows come home, but I think we can all agree that zapping this event and similar (and reporting it) would not be a hard decision for anyone to take - how about we start there? Furthermore, it is not as if we are short on case studies where else things have gone wrong so the debate that MUST be had is not going to be uninformed.

        However, again not doing anything because it may be difficult or likely make some people angry is IMHO not an option. As is not properly funding it by those who have been reaping vast profits over the years, and they can start with donating the money that was made during the display of these atrocities (or did you really think I forgot about that?).

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Errr, censorship?

          "There is only one SINGLE reason that moderation isn't as affective as it ought to be: the almighty buck"

          Yup and the only way to change that is to make it more expensive to not stop this stuff getting online than to have a bunch of (expensive) people or algorithms doing the work.

          As for enforcement: That's the more-or-less easy part. Companies make money by doing business in XYZ countries. You can be DEAD sure that even if they claim that you're doing business with Facebook Ireleand despite being in France, that there are Facebook sales staff in France who can be pinned with corporate responsibliity, etc.

          Once you start making individuals in the _entire_ company structure susceptable to arrest for criminality (not _just_ the c-suite, but they get to be in the firing line too) you can ensure that companies toe the line (and I'm mentioning sales staff with particular pointedness here as targetting them tends to have has the greatest "wakeup" effect along with illegality tending to flow from this area anyway)

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: Errr, censorship?

            "Once you start making individuals in the _entire_ company structure susceptable to arrest for criminality"

            So a nutter in one country livestreams his atrocity in one country and you arrest a cleaner in another? I don't think that would work. You'd have a bit of a problem proving mens rea. What you could do is look at the fact that the offending company has a legal presence in that other country and prosecute the company there, fining it on the basis of its world wide turnover.

          2. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

            Re: Errr, censorship?

            It's more effective just to jail the board of directors and chief executives - focuses the mind wonderfully on whether it's a good idea to have policies to block this stuff or otherwise.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Errr, censorship?

          There is only one SINGLE reason that moderation isn't as affective as it ought to be: the almighty buck.

          Moderation is hard. I've run services where we did full moderation, and you very quickly run into a problem where either you cut back the service or cut back the strings on moderation, eg acting on something that is reported rather than trying to vet every post before releasing it.

          Even on this thread, I've had posts "awaiting moderation" for more than 5 hours.

          it takes time to read each message posted to a site, even with a small site with a couple of dozen active users, moderation is difficult. If you consider it takes 30 seconds to decide on a message then a mere 200 messages is over an hour and a half's work. But many messages take more than a minute to decide on, and many sites get far more than 200 messages in a single day. If moderators are volunteering, then you have the problem that these people are also wanting to work, sleep, and have something of a social life. Or you can pay for professional moderators, at which point your site needs to be earning enough.

          But we take FB for granted. How many messages are posted to groups on FB every day? How many people would that take to moderate that and vet everything? I believe some groups have their own moderators, but if you want a freely flowing conversation you need to have a fairly rapid flow of messages. If each message is delayed by a few hours, it slows down the rate of conversation and makes some conversations difficult (though such a slow-down may improve the content of the conversation and also reduce the amount of wasted verbiage flowing across the web (yes I know I probably contribute 90% of that on my own!).

          Moderated sites struggle to keep people whereas free-post sites flourish, at least so long as the overall conversation is not so bad it drives people elsewhere.

          I personally think making people sign up to a site, and blocking people who cross the line too often is the best way - with a mechanism to allow people to report things of concern and someone nearby to act on such concerns quickly. That can still take a lot of work, especially with borderline cases.

    2. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Errr, censorship?

      "Gavrilo Princip didn't think it necessary to live stream to Facebook when he threw a bomb at Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, and neither did many other terrorists through the years. Live streaming merely adds a new horror to an old evil. Stopping live streaming merely attacks the symptom, not the disease."

      It won't stop all acts of criminality, this is true. It will stop some of them. I assume you didn't lose any friends or relatives in this attack, so you aren't too bothered about whether it could have been stopped by forcing Facebook to improve its content detection.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Errr, censorship?

      "So imagine an alternative world where Facebook had a 1 hour delay on uploaded videos. At 13:40 this nutter goes on the rampage, uploading video as he goes. At 14:40 his video goes live. At 16:00 the police figure out who he is. The video has already been live for over an hour."

      It depends on what the one hour is used for. A buffer to give time to stop it being distributed at all means t doesn't go live.

      Presumably the alarm went up fairly quickly. If FaceBook, YouTube and the rest sere prepared to set up a system to cooperate there might not even be a need to set up a huge operation to take advantage of that hour to check every video from everywhere. They'd have an hour, or the best part of that, to check what's in the buffer from that geographical area (OK VPNs could be a problem) and feed it back to the police instead.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        "Presumably the alarm went up fairly quickly."

        By all accounts NZ Police contacted Facebook within minutes of the video beginning to stream, whilst it was still streaming and FB stonewalled them.

        At that point I'd be looking to charge Facebook staff with aiding and abetting a criminal act and start arresting every FB employee who sets foot inside the country.

        1. Dabbb Bronze badge

          Re: Errr, censorship?

          Christchurch Police station is only 3km away from mosque, less than 5 minutes drive, and yet shooter spent 17 minutes there and left freely. Maybe police should be concerned a bit less about online activities and more about, you know, doing their effin primary job ?

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: Errr, censorship?

            Christchurch Police station is only 3km away from mosque, less than 5 minutes drive, and yet shooter spent 17 minutes there and left freely. Maybe police should be concerned a bit less about online activities and more about, you know, doing their effin primary job ?

            ----

            No he didn't spend 17 minutes there. Much of the film is the shooter driving to the scene. Parking car. Sorting through the stuff in the boot. Then more time in the car driving to the next destination. His plan was to be out quickly so he could avoid confronting the NZ police.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Errr, censorship?

          "start arresting every FB employee who sets foot inside the country."

          So somebody working as a cleaner in some Facebook country visits NZ and you arrest them? On what basis? You can reasonable hold senior management responsible. Every employee? On what basis? How would you hope to prove them guilty of the offence? You're advocating hostage taking.

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Errr, censorship?

            "So somebody working as a cleaner in some Facebook country visits NZ and you arrest them? On what basis?"

            If you're an office cleaner at Daesh video associates and the authorities notice, you can expect to be arrested as soon as you set foot in Heathrow. Your point is?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: start arresting every FB employee

          The usually reliable Alan Brown wrote:

          "I'd be looking to charge Facebook staff with aiding and abetting a criminal act and start arresting every FB employee who sets foot inside the country."

          I very much understand where you're coming from, but how's about this minor variation instead, starting e.g. next month (the required information should be readily available). Rather simpler, solves some of the issues already raised in other comments, and might be easier to pass as The People's Will:

          "I'd be looking to charge Facebook board of directors with aiding and abetting a criminal act and start arresting every FB director who attempts to cross a participating border"

          Employees don't control the company (and aren't paid as though they do).

          Directors are paid handsomely to control the company, because they are responsible if it all goes wrong. Except the 2nd part (the being held accountable) is rarely seen in public.

          How does that sound?

          Once they're dealt with, maybe move on to the backroom people (e.g. big investors whose names are rarely seen in public).

          1. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: start arresting every FB employee

            "I'd be looking to charge Facebook board of directors with aiding and abetting a criminal act and start arresting every FB director who attempts to cross a participating border"

            Unfortunately, red-noticing FB C-suite execs like that would get all NZ Interpol red-notices binned, pretty much permanently across most of the world.

            Which would be a pity, given that there are 20-30 open at the moment for quite good reasons (sometimes all-but forgotten about - one relating to the Rainbow Warrior affair fired recently when a certain French citizen crossed the border into Switzerland - they don't expire.)

    4. DougS Silver badge

      Re: Errr, censorship?

      C'mon, what's worse between these two options?

      1) the guy posts in a site that reaches over a billion people, so his white nationalist friends share the video to their friends, it gets re-shared and so on. The result is that a lot of non white nationalists are going to have this video presented in their feed - probably near the top given how quickly it went viral since that's how Facebook's algorithms work. Most of us will be horrified, but a few people might find it triggers something within them and they seek out more white nationalist content and become one themselves. Maybe they never would have if they weren't exposed to it in the first place.

      2) the guy posts it on a white nationalist site none of us have ever heard of, and is hard to get to and has poor connectivity because reputable hosting companies, registrars etc. refuse to do business with them, his followers all masturbate to it and share it until the site goes down from being overloaded, and no one who isn't a white nationalist sees it because only white nationalists would seek out such a site in the first place. So there's zero risk that new white nationalists are created as a result of him sharing it to a white nationalist site.

      1. Paul Johnson 1

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        "no one who isn't a white nationalist sees it because only white nationalists would seek out such a site"

        It wouldn't work like that. Youtube and Facebook are now playing whack-a-mole with millions of copies of this video. Once its out, its out.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: Errr, censorship?

          There are millions of copies because of that huge initial distribution. If it was limited to some obscure white nationalist board with 5000 members, far fewer people would have a copy to try to put on Facebook.

          Though I'm not sure how they can't block it 100% of the time at upload at this point, unless people are putting it through complex filters to foil image recognition. This is one case where lots of false positives isn't a big deal - let people who get unfairly blocked complain and a human can fix the problem later.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Errr, censorship?

            "There are millions of copies because of that huge initial distribution."

            The distribution is geometric if not factorial. All you would be doing is slowing down the initial onset, which due to morbid curiosity will still inevitably hit critical mass and run away.

    5. Shadowmanx2012

      Re: Errr, censorship?

      If you cannot work out that a video containing images of people being wantonly murdered for doing nothing except worshipping their god then you have a serious issue!

      Censorship is an entirely different subject and definitely for another post.

      1. Paul Johnson 1

        Re: Errr, censorship?

        I'm not objecting to this one video being taken down, its the vision of putting Facebook and Google in charge of what people are allowed to see more generally. Blocking this live-stream would have meant censors employed by Facebook watching lots of live streams and making real-time decisions about which ones were allowed.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Errr, censorship?

          Plus, just how many of these streams go up every single day? Ask yourself, if a call center can't have a caller for every tech support call that comes in ("Your call is very important to us." "Then why don't you just answer?"), is there enough sheer manpower in these companies to screen every single upload in realtime? Can anyone prove its possibility or impossibility with actual concrete numbers?

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Errr, censorship?

            Here's a WIRED article noting the difficulty of what you demand.

          2. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Errr, censorship?

            Can anyone prove its possibility or impossibility with actual concrete numbers?

            It's NOT impossible for YT or FB et al to screen every single video that is uploaded before they are made available.

            However, we would notice a slight decrease in the amount of content available on these platforms.

            For the most part I would not mind. There is a lot of rubbish there that I would not ever wish to view, and a lot of stuff I really wish was gone. However, it would impact on the stuff I do sometimes watch. I either get the vids I like and every one else gets the vids they like, or we all get stuff-all.

            A trust system may be useful, which would still let a large amount of stuff go up untouched but those prone to posting less "socially acceptable" stuff would find it harder. Although, again, that could make it harder for me to see the videos I sometimes like to watch.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: Errr, censorship?

              "It's NOT impossible for YT or FB et al to screen every single video that is uploaded before they are made available."

              Have you read the WIRED article I linked above? It's like with call centers that have to keep callers on hold due to lack of techs.

              "I either get the vids I like and every one else gets the vids they like, or we all get stuff-all."

              So what's it gonna be? Anarchy or the Police State? Because anything in between's bound to gravitate towards one or the other, as is happening all over the place.

              "A trust system may be useful, which would still let a large amount of stuff go up untouched but those prone to posting less "socially acceptable" stuff would find it harder."

              Unless they start using shill or stolen accounts...

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Errr, censorship?

                "It's NOT impossible for YT or FB et al to screen every single video that is uploaded before they are made available."

                Have you read the WIRED article I linked above? It's like with call centers that have to keep callers on hold due to lack of techs.

                I don't recall doing so. I did have other things on my mind at the time.

                Doesn't matter though, either you hold things for moderation in advance (much like stuff.co.nz does, and has gotten worse on in relation to these attacks) or you let things through awaiting for complaints of problems. It is not impossible for FB etc to moderate everything in advance, but it will destroy the functionality of the sites, or at least wipe the quantity of the material that is on offer.

                "I either get the vids I like and every one else gets the vids they like, or we all get stuff-all."

                So what's it gonna be? Anarchy or the Police State? Because anything in between's bound to gravitate towards one or the other, as is happening all over the place.

                Unless you can suggest a better option, that is all we have. Either 'everything is published and removed after a complaint" or "nothing is published until we OK it". A trust system falls under the latter still, however stuff is okayed on the basis of trusting the author.

                "A trust system may be useful, which would still let a large amount of stuff go up untouched but those prone to posting less "socially acceptable" stuff would find it harder."

                Unless they start using shill or stolen accounts...

                Well, FB have tightened up their security such that if 2 people post from one IP, they have to prove they at least have separate phones (well, they have to provide a number which receives a txt message - effectively shutting me out from FB as I simply will NOT give them my phone # and have had too many test/temp accounts to get past things now). Stolen accounts are, supposedly, harder to do as well given the need to provide a working # and so on, though I do suspect people can mess with that. Shill accounts may still exist, but again you have to be posting from separate IPs or else provide a working phone #. These days it's not easy to change IPs (though IP6 may allow you some leeway if you have a couple of billion available to you, no idea how FB looks at that). Often people using VPN's are required to provide extra security checks, at least with google's stuff.

                BTW, I was including myself in those posting what is not "socially acceptable". Christian (/religious), gay, anti-AGW, anti-flouride, anti-1080, recommend parents do some research into vaccination (neither pro- nor anti-, just "do your homework and don't blindly follow either side").

                stuff.co.nz has just changed their article commenting rules such that most of the things I am interested in I can no longer comment on, only those who toe the party line may speak (very interesting for a national news paper - and yes, our national press has the wonderful name of "Stuff") #ashamedofnzspress

    6. Stork Bronze badge

      Re: Errr, censorship?

      FB does not seem to have any problem censoring breastfeeding photos

    7. MonkeyCee Silver badge

      Re: Errr, censorship?

      "At 13:40 this nutter goes on the rampage, uploading video as he goes. At 14:40 his video goes live. At 16:00 the police figure out who he is. The video has already been live for over an hour."

      Not sure if you've been following the case, but the cops had him in custody less than 40 minutes after he started the attack. So on your timeline: 14:36 police ram his vehicle off the road and arrest him.

      "But all of these calls to "take responsibility for the content that your users post" are euphemisms for having governments around the world outsource the job of censorship to huge unaccountable multinational companies. "

      OK, exactly how do you think current media publishing rules work? There's no government employee who checks over the Mail and the Gruiniard before they go out for publication.

      And yes, I do think the Mail needs a bollocking for putting this psychos manifesto and an edited copy of the video up.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Certain groups around the World have previously used this form of video propaganda to display their atrocities and did this equally evil person take their cue from that ?

    1. the Jim bloke Silver badge

      I would say these guys (including a woman apparently) are members of the christian fuckwit branch of IS

      .. although I doubt they would be church goers as such.

      Civilisation is the art of living in cities, and all these hate groups are violently opposed to the basic tool of acceptance of differences, which makes them enemies of civilisation itself, irrespective of whatever brandname they act under.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        I would say these guys (including a woman apparently) are members of the christian fuckwit branch of IS

        You would say wrong.

        It's already well known that this person is not a Christian, nor in any fashion claims to be. He actively denied it even.

        But hey, lets use it to spread even more hatred around. Not like the world has an over-supply of people spewing hate right now.

  7. aaaa
    Unhappy

    Why share?

    Long one. Please bear with me.

    So I just got back from the playground with my 2.5yo. The playground is beside a lake, and there is a carpark that faces the lake, and a scenic walking/biking track that goes around the lake.

    As we're walking to the car I remote open the boot and a few seconds later a group of guys walking behind the cars, stop behind my car?

    I find this a bit odd. Why walk behind the cars when there is a really nice scenic walk 5 steps away (around the lake). Why stop in the middle of the car park? Why stop behind my car.

    I'd usually leave my child's bike and bottles and junk near the path and carry her to the car to strap her into her seat, then go back and get all the junk and put it in the boot. I leave the boot up during this process, because parking spots are at a premium, and I want anyone cruising for a spot to realise this is not going to happen quickly. But given this group of guys is now behind the car, I decide to carry toddler, bike, etc. all with me and put the stuff in the load space first, and then go around and strap her in.

    They guys, 4 or 5 of then, mid-20's to mid-30's, white, 5'8" to 5'10" short hair and clean shaven, wearing athletiwear (shorts/t-shirts) remian behind my car the whole time, talking.

    They are talking about the terrorist video. They are trying to decide which bits they like best. The shooting outside? The shooting inside?

    I almost throw up.

    I get my daughter strapped in, close the tailgate, and start the car. They move one car spot away, stop behind the next car. I lock the doors and reverse out. As I drive around the car park to the exit, they are still there. The lights change and I leave.

    With 20/20 hindsight, I could have taken a good photo from the other side of the car park while waiting for the queue of traffic at the lights. But I didn't think of it. No I don't have a dashcam.

    About 15 minutes later when I have time I call the local police station to 'report it. No they were not carrying anything. No they didn't seem to be prepared for any immediate violent act. Their loitering behind the cars in the car park was suspicious and their conversation revolting, but nothing more than that. The police directed me to a web page where I could record the particulars, which I promptly did. During the process of describing it, I realise that where they were standing was probably not covered by any security camera, possibly explaining their preference to remain there.

    So why repeat all of this here?

    Because the item the author of the article fails to address, is that A LOT OF PEOPLE like and share this stuff.

    It's abhorrent that they do, but they do.

    Yes it's less than the total user base of facebook, but it's clearly not a tiny proportion.

    Yes, it's been proven clinically that it's a sign that they are more likely to abuse animals and people.

    In China, I imagine they would not so much do a better job of banning the content, as severely reduce the points in your social balance once they found out you had watched it, and even more if you'd shared it. You'd likely never get a house, job, car or date ever again.

    I don't want that to happen in facebook-land, and besides, it won't stop the guys in the car park, will it?

    The root of the problem is people actually liking this stuff.

    And whilst it's a socal problem, it's not a problem I think social networks can fix, and certainly not with time-delayed video.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "the item the author of the article fails to address"

      Thanks for the post. What I'd like to add is that the thrust of the piece is that this stuff shouldn't be out there for sharing, for the exact scenario you described.

      C.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: "the item the author of the article fails to address"

        So wouldn't watching this be illegal in the UK ? And in fact get you imprisoned and then deported if you have any other heritage?

        Or is extremist material only when the wrong religion is doing the killing ?

      2. ratfox Silver badge

        Re: "the item the author of the article fails to address"

        If YouTube did not exist or was perfectly policed, the video would have been shared differently, and still be available to those who really want to see them, though. You will need China style censorship to stop that.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "the video would have been shared differently"

          Without the same reach as a vid streamed on Facebook, though.

          Look, you can't stop small / niche / dark web platforms hosting this stuff, and I dunno if full-blown suppression of anything deemed nasty is the answer. I'm uncomfortable with heavy handed moderation. I don't want all bad stuff stamped out because it's v hard and there's the potential for certain views to be swept away.

          OTOH I can think of a few things FB could spend some of that $22bn profit it made in 2018 on. The FB platform is too big and unmoderated. Would you live in a city with no police?

          C.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: "the video would have been shared differently"

            "...I dunno if full-blown suppression of anything deemed nasty is the answer. I'm uncomfortable with heavy handed moderation. I don't want all bad stuff stamped out because it's v hard and there's the potential for certain views to be swept away.

            On that we can agree, and strongly. I don't like the idea of people who are likely to join the 'wrong crowd' being able to get such material, but on the other hand I want those who are in the 'right crowd' to always be free to disseminate their views without restriction. I'm pretty sure that as a left-wing gay conservative Christian I belong to the "right crowd", but just in case I'm not I would like to be able to have material contrary to my views so I can weigh it up and incorporate or rebut it as I wish.

            But stuff like this, well, that's another matter. But there is a lot of this stuff on YT and I assume FB. I know on YT I can quickly and easily locate footage of people being killed which has yet to be stopped, for example the many "dash cam" compilations which show people being killed in serious traffic accidents. They aren't considered violent deaths as it is not a deliberate act on the part of another person, but the end result is still the same. And we did have TV news footage some weeks back of a bus going over a bridge I believe in China where a fight between a couple of passengers caused the driver to crash (I think one of those fighting fell against him). We weren't shown the footage of the bus entering the water but we were shown the bus going over the bridge, from inside and outside, and have a glimpse of what went through those people's minds in their last seconds. Hell, we were watching their last seconds. And back when I used to watch what is called "news" on TV, I also saw, often, people being shot at. But it's only footage of a bomb hitting a building so it doesn't count despite being told that a second before the explosion there were 300 people alive in that building.

            Anyway, it's a tough thing and I don't have answers. What I can do is my best to show anyone I can a better way to live, without violence and without fearing what others may do.

            Would you live in a city with no police?

            I seldom have dealings with the cops, and with my family's history, well lets just say our view of the police is less than pleasant - and with reason.

            I would happily live in a city with little or no police presence. It is only on very rare occasions that they're a deterrent to crime, and they would much rather be out harassing some young person who has the wrong skin colour or the wrong sexuality than respond to any sort of crime. Unless it's something with a bit of excitement of course.

            1. Charles 9 Silver badge

              Re: "the video would have been shared differently"

              "I would happily live in a city with little or no police presence. It is only on very rare occasions that they're a deterrent to crime, and they would much rather be out harassing some young person who has the wrong skin colour or the wrong sexuality than respond to any sort of crime. Unless it's something with a bit of excitement of course."

              So, basically, you're an anarchist who feel order is always misused and that ANY problem in your area is a YOYO.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: "the video would have been shared differently"

                So, basically, you're an anarchist who feel order is always misused and that ANY problem in your area is a YOYO.

                No.

                1. Charles 9 Silver badge
                  Devil

                  Re: "the video would have been shared differently"

                  You don't trust agents of order, which are necessary to maintain order against those who would just assert their own authority (everyone for oneself). You claim they have better things to do than their job, which is why you don't trust them. You said yourself you'd rather live without police (agents of order). From that assertion, one can conclude you're an anarchist (one who doesn't believe in an orderly society).

                  1. Kiwi Silver badge

                    Re: "the video would have been shared differently"

                    No.

                    But from your posts one can conclude you live in a fantasy world where you make stuff up to suit your own mind, and you read things into posts that have never been said, then try to argue as if what your own weird imagination dreamed up is reality.

                    It is likely to be a waste of time explaining anything to you as your reality distortion field is way to strong, but the reason my family distrusts the police is summed up in my original post in this thread.

                    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                      Re: "the video would have been shared differently"

                      Then we must agree to disagree, as police literally saved my life and brought the cold-blooded killer of a close relative of mine to justice. Our firsthand perspectives are just to different to find common ground and the medium is UNhappy.

      3. TechnicalBen Silver badge

        Re: "the item the author of the article fails to address"

        I agree we should not share such things, we should not even look it up!

        But sadly, a lot of this has been started by the mainstream media. Showing CCTV camera footage, and cutting out "just before" an incident. This drives curiosity and desensitises people. It made me stop watching the news. I don't mind knowing what is happening, but I have *no* reason to see it, on TV of all things!

        1. VikiAi Silver badge
          Unhappy

          Re: "the item the author of the article fails to address"

          I stuck to the RSS feed headers for this one for exactly that reason: People need to know what happened, but no-one outside the case investigation needs that much detail!

          Part of my brain was curious, of course: it is presently in the corner reflecting on the shouting-down the rest of my brain gave it!

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: "the item the author of the article fails to address"

            Well, for some people, that tiny little corner is able to shout back 20 times as loud, initiate a hostile takeover of the rest of the brain, and even threaten to take the whole person primal. And there's very little we can do about these kinds of people: Law of Averages and all.

            1. VikiAi Silver badge

              Re: "the item the author of the article fails to address"

              The shouting down bit is part of a specific set of neuro-circuity that is now known to be absent in 75% of the human population (you can find it - or its absence - on a medium-resolution active MRI, and they even know which gene generates the required neuro-structures it in those who have it).

              Lacking that particular mental ability in no way effects general intelligence, but it does make for phenomenally ineffective decision-making abilities!

    2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Why share?

      And now we have "videos of people being murdered in cold blood" on Facebook and everyone's having panic attacks - but we have had computer games that show this and movies in the theater that shoot up people left right and center for years - and all we say then is it's a fantastic plot, great acting, wonderful special effects ... killing people in movies used to be quite rare but these days it's become common - Die Hard is a Christmas movie ...

      Society as a whole is responsible for creating the conditions that push the fringes towards this - is it reasonable to say that it's OK to shoot someone in a computer game but we'd rather you didn't do it in real life, and then expect that nobody will ever disagree with you?

      1. Hogbert

        Re: Why share?

        Anybody old enough to have a gun license should be able to differentiate between fantasy and reality.

        We have had movies depicting good people fighting bad people for about as long as we have had movies.

        I have been playing first person shooters for at least 25 years, and have never had the urge to obtain a weapon and start attacking people in real life. I have watched violent action, fantasy and sci fi movies for even longer, yet have had no desire to blow up anybody's planet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Why share?

        it's a downhill process, of course. There's a new computer game in which, apparently, the main plot is rape (as in: you're a character that goes round raping women). This text was published in a mainstream media outlet, which claims to be "the most influencial". And you have gems in the text, when "experts" are quoted that, you know, if steam bans it (as it apparently did), it's going to to "feature" elsewhere, because there're people who'll want to try it anyway. [conclusion: so it goes, get on with it, business is business]. Another point made defending this game was that nobody complains about murdering people in computer games, so why all this fuss about raping someone, which is fair, in one sense, but obviously, ridiculous to justify something nasty by the fact that there are other nasties out there (which HUGE MAJORITY of people ENJOY PLAYING, absolutely).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why share?

          "it's a downhill process, of course. There's a new computer game in which, apparently, the main plot is rape (as in: you're a character that goes round raping women)."

          A new game? You haven't been to Japan lately, have you? Over there, that's pretty old hat.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Why share?

          There's a new computer game in which, apparently, the main plot is rape (as in: you're a character that goes round raping women).

          I believe it was called "Leisure suit larry" and came out in the early 90's? Not exactly new (I may be mis-remembering the game some)

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Why share?

            Larry Laffer? His problem was that he couldn't score. Anyway, I found the title in question and, compared to the aforesaid stuff from Japan, this title is pretty tame. Rape-themed visual novels have been around for a long time in Japan. Prominent works of the likes of Type-Moon mix rape with other controversial themes all the time.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: Why share?

              Yeah well, I did get the name wrong though I cannot recall the name of the game I was meaning.

              Some of us have too much RL experience to go looking into other rape material out there. Enjoy it as you wish, and hopefully you'll never know what the other side is like.

              1. Charles 9 Silver badge

                Re: Why share?

                No, you got it right. Larry Laffer was his real name (though he often said it, "Larry, Larry Laffer" which produced a running joke that Larry was both his first and middle name). "Leisure Suit" Larry was just the nickname he made for himself to drive up his image. The common theme of the games (at least until original creator Al Lowe left Sierra, which later got acquired by Activision) was he kept trying to score only to end up in hijinks.

                But going back to controversial subjects being passe in places, I think there was one story where someone tried to rape the girl, she fought back, and he just killed her because his second fetish was necrophilia. Yes, it can get pretty gross, but it seems some Japanese have become a bit jaded over the centuries. What they would call "vanilla" just doesn't cut it anymore.

    3. whitepines Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Why share?

      They are trying to decide which bits they like best. The shooting outside? The shooting inside?

      This made me both want to retch and wonder what in the world is wrong with sociopaths like that. Thinking about it a bit I came to the following conclusion:

      We allow people like that to walk around free in society solely because we decided a long time ago that every viewpoint had a place in a free society. That the majority would invariably find such a viewpoint abhorrent and keep the general structure of society in line with the morality of the majority.

      Two points follow from this:

      1.) If we have given up our freedom and privacy in the name of "convenience", "free stuff", and "safety" already, then the only reason for allowing such evil speech to go free in society has been removed. Drop the pretense and arrest them before they go on and execute what they oviously think is not only acceptable but, *shudder*, likeable and entertaining.

      2.) Have we really become such an isolated, siloed, ridiculously non-social society that not only is this allowed but the rest of us civilized folk don't essentially shun people like this? Liking people being murdered in cold blood should give anyone looking to lease a flat to those proto-terrorists, hire them, or even associating with them serious cause for concern.

      It's a sick world out there but we're supposed to be more civilized than this. Thanks for the stark reminder of what a mess things really are.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: Why share?

        I dunno if full-blown suppression of anything deemed nasty is the answer. I'm uncomfortable with heavy handed moderation. I don't want all bad stuff stamped out because it's v hard and there's the potential for certain views to be swept away.

        One only needs watch the modern 'news' shows on TV, or look at any nation's military where they advertise the idea of killing people as "a fun adventure". Few recruiters these days push the idea of serving and protection your nation from foreign attackers, they all seem to promote joining the army so you can go overseas and have fun. Of course, said fun must obviously be during the act of depriving others of the chance to have fun, in the worst ways possible.

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Why share?

        "This made me both want to retch and wonder what in the world is wrong with sociopaths like that."

        Not so much sociopaths as idiots detached from reality. There seems to be a mentality that nothing outside oneself or immediate surroundings is real, that what one does has no consequences.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Why share?

          Detachment from reality is one aspect of sociopathy. It's a spectrum. You can have high-functioning sociopaths and low-functioning ones.

          Thing is, what is society supposed to do with the "rejects": those who refuse to conform and actually think it's society that refuses to conform?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why share? @aaaa

      I find the fact that you felt the need to run to the police to report a group of people having a private discussion far more disturbing than anything those same people might have been talking about.

      It seems freedom of speech will rapidly come to an end with such Stasi-like, "report your neighbours" behaviour alive and well in the UK.

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Why share? @aaaa

        In this case, it means that people have been _viewing_ and _distributing_ terrorist material in the UK - are openly discussing it in a public place and are probably continuing to do so.

        I'd put it to the police in those terms too - their calls are recorded, so failing to act on that information reflects badly on the forces concerned (and the OP should be escalating that up his local police's food chain until he gets to someone who realises the significamce of what's just transpired in terms of the size of the failing - I'd suggest the chief constable or area commander as a starting point)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why share? @aaaa

          And if it gets to the point that even your MP blows it off? Do you publicly renounce your citizenship and find a new place to call home?

    5. goldcd

      Re: Why share?

      Fortunately I can post about this in a more 'abstract and philosophical manner' - as your story didn't happen to me.

      My take is that groups of people, as you describe, thrive when they can talk in their little echo-chamber - nobody calls them out, and within they can one-up each other with their most transgressive statements. If your friends all seem to be "medium-strength racists" - your social win is being "more racist" ~ Nobody joins a club and wins the leadership election by questioning the doctrine.

      It's a disease of being human. These little cliques go off, get ignored, fester and metastasize in their own filth - and then when they erupt we all claim collective ignorance.

      Only defense we have is to ensure they remain connected to the majority, nothing is hidden, and we can inoculate the majority early on.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: Why share?

        It's a disease of being human. These little cliques go off, get ignored, fester and metastasize in their own filth - and then when they erupt we all claim collective ignorance.

        I did find it interesting that the Mayor of Christchurch and also one of two politicians have been claiming to be surprised and offended at the claims that there have been any issues in that city with "right-wing extremists" or any other groups who are excessively racist. I know from people I've had the misfortune of actually knowing that there are groups with very racist views down there (probably elsewhere as well).

        Officially they've not existed, and it's apparently even offensive now to say they are, and so these groups can sit under the radar with less likelihood of other people being able to suggest they pull their heads in and get some education about what other people are like.

        Only defense we have is to ensure they remain connected to the majority, nothing is hidden, and we can inoculate the majority early on.

        Agreed. The more light gets cast into dark places, the less darkness remains.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          Re: Why share?

          "Officially they've not existed, and it's apparently even offensive now to say they are, "

          New Zealand has far more problems than it likes to let on and the usual response to anyone pointing the issues out is mass ostracisation for daring to break step from the "accepted legends" of 'Rugby, Racing and Beer', 'Clean Green'(*), 'egalitarianism'(**)and the 'Fair Go'

          Whatever you do, don't bother with Transparency International NZ "perceptions" reports - bearing in mind that TINZ NZ is 100% government funded, kicked out (and issued trespass notices to) its actual researchers and activists about 20 years ago and has remained 100% opaque since around 2002.

          This is the "NZ Way" of dealing with problems - pretend they don't exist and if that doesn't work, shut down or take over the outfits showing them up.

          (*) This one is particularly pernicious as NZ has some of the most polluted rivers in the world and spent the best part of 60 years denying increasing levels of pollutants by desperately clinging to the "it can't happen here" mentality,

          (**) Unless you're a brown NZer or a poor NZer or not in the right Old Boys' Club,

          It's a social environment which has allowed issues like this (and rampant systemic corruption) to fester for decades without being dealt with because the first step to dealing with such issues is to admit they're actually occurring.

          Corruption has been a particularly difficult issue to address because the _only_ legal definitions of it in NZ are related to bribery - the other corrupt practices defined by the OECD aren't touched and as such are regarded as "acceptable" - in fact a number of them are "standard practice", if not outright encouraged, particularly nepotism/cronyism and influence peddling.

          The government likes to deflect the issue too - I was peripherally involved in an incident in the early 2000s which resulted in the discovery that WINZ (welfare) and IRD (tax department) staff in _every_ office throughout the country were illegally selling personal information of individuals to private investigators and debt collectors(***) which resulted in thousands of staff being investigated and several prosecutions. Interestingly enough - although it was established this had been going on for many years, _nobody_ at branch management level or higher was "found to be involved" and the official government line was "These are all isolated cases of individual fraud"

          (***) The IT contractors who discovered this came under severe economic and physical pressure to not take it to the police and the backlash shut their company down. The staffers who broke step and went to the police ended up leaving the country as a direct result of having been identified as the whistleblowers.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: Why share?

            This is the "NZ Way" of dealing with problems - pretend they don't exist and if that doesn't work, shut down or take over the outfits showing them up.

            I'd love to say that it's all National's fault ("What housing crisis? Thousands of homeless families isn't a housing crisis!"), but.. Well..

            As to the rest of your post, afraid I'll have to plead the 5th there ;)

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Why share?

          "Agreed. The more light gets cast into dark places, the less darkness remains."

          But sometimes, the truth is scarier than fiction. Trying to cast out all the shadows can leave nightmares bare that should have never seen the light. To counter your adage, "Better to strike a match than curse the darkness," someone said, "Even if that match lights the fuse that blows us all up?"

        3. MonkeyCee Silver badge

          Re: Why share?

          "I know from people I've had the misfortune of actually knowing that there are groups with very racist views down there"

          Seems to be centered on Timaru. So Christchurch isn't rascist compared to Timaru, Dunedin isn't rascist compared to Christchurch etc...

          The mayor is obviously talking out of his arse. I lived in NZ for a couple of decades, of which I spent maybe a dozen nights in Christchurch. Both times I've been assaulted on the street have been there, and while I can't be certain of the political views of the skinheads with swastika tattoos that were busy stomping on me, I'd have guessed at somewhat right of center.

          Perhaps the mayor just felt that hating non-pink people or pretty much any religion is just the norm, hence why there's no special attention paid to the skinheads. If he really doesn't think there are any, then he should take a stroll through the center of town on Saturday night in drag.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Pint

            Re: Why share?

            "I know from people I've had the misfortune of actually knowing that there are groups with very racist views down there"

            The mayor is obviously talking out of his arse. I lived in NZ for a couple of decades, of which I spent maybe a dozen nights in Christchurch. Both times I've been assaulted on the street have been there, and while I can't be certain of the political views of the skinheads with swastika tattoos that were busy stomping on me, I'd have guessed at somewhat right of center.

            My friend, I fear you may have met some of the very same people I was referring to, and perhaps under much the same circumstances (although I have never walked anywhere in drag).

            Some of those I know go through former business contacts as well. Finding out what I know now about these people was not a pleasant experience.

      2. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Why share?

        "Only defense we have is to ensure they remain connected to the majority, nothing is hidden, and we can inoculate the majority early on."

        Part of their problem is their refusal to connect to the majority: convinced in their worlds that they're in the wrong. Meaning any attempt to force them to connect is only going to be considered a hostile act.

  8. Gene Cash Silver badge

    Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

    I don't like this content, but I feel they have the right to rant. It's freedom of speech. I have the right not to listen as well, and I'm not going to.

    I feel the moment we "clamp down on propaganda" we're no better than China or North Korea.

    One moment the net can show something like this, but I also remember hearing about Tiananmen Square over IRC as it happened.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

      I am dead against the government dictating what we can and can't see. If Fox News, NBC, BBC, etc decide it's too graphic to show real people being gunned down live, though, why is it beyond Facebook? Because of scale? Which is code for 'because we love making $$$$$$$$s from adverts with no consequences'.

      If you make a TV show or documentary, and people refuse to broadcast it, or write a paper and a journal refuses to publish it, is it censorship or the application of standards? Don't get me wrong: this can be abused, and stuff can get suppressed for being uncool, unfashionable, or counter-cultural. That's why smaller platforms sprout up.

      But if you have the reach of Facebook or YouTube, can't someone apply some kind of standards before a snuff livestream is disseminated? It's not black and white, freedom or zero freedom, it's not letting a platform with 1bn+ people just descend into Mad Max territory.

      If there are riots in London, for instance, I expect and hope to see videos appear on the web. We don't need to see someone stave another person's head in with a mallet in real-time, though.

      C.

      1. Nick Kew Silver badge

        Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

        I heard reported on t'wireless that some of the mainstream tabloids are (or were) displaying footage on their websites. But noone is reacting to that with the same kneejerk as they're scapegoating facebook.

        For the record, I dislike Facebook and have never used it, on the grounds that I'm not about to support enclosure of the commons. But in this case (and many others), moral panic about them reeks of double-standards.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

          I heard reported on t'wireless that some of the mainstream tabloids are (or were) displaying footage on their websites.

          On NZ's mainstream news media they also showed some of the footage. They showed a short clip of where the perp was getting stuff out of his car, and nothing more. The footage they showed of injured people being loaded into ambulances, or bodies in the street (perhaps pixelated or covered with a jacket) was far worse than what they showed of the gunman's own footage.

          Perhaps these places showed only a limited portion of the footage. If not. then I hope there is room for them to be charged with distributing objectionable material - and as someone else said, make sure at least some of the 'C-level' types get their time behind bars.

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

          "some of the mainstream tabloids are (or were) displaying footage on their websites"

          For a large part of the media it's a race to the bottom. FB is a well-funded competitor. The fact that it's not the only one doesn't excuse them.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

        Once upon a time in the not too distant past, there was a lot of self censorship going on in the news world. They might show the scene afterwards, but maybe just some blood pools at most. Not live on the scene as it happens stuff, no bodies., no gunfire, etc. Some things were just too horrific for them to show.

        Somewhere, something changed. Ratings? The "get there and cover it first" mentality? Or maybe even our media that makes the perps "celebrities" as such.

      3. whitepines Silver badge

        Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

        I definitely agree. That being said, how does free society handle the case of the nutters in an earlier post using this as entertainment? If we're expected to just deal with it because we're a free society, then treat us all as adults and stop all censorship and micromanaging of our lives. How absurd is it that we accept heavy restrictions on our lives to (as an example) stop something as relatively inconsequential as piracy (via DRM), yet allow cowardly murder to be used as free-for-all entertainment?

        Something's very wrong here but I can't put my finger on it well enough to offer up a fix -- all I can see is the massive disconnect. Somehow we understand that media censorship is a red line not to be crossed, even when not crossing that line leads to some degree of abhorrent behaviour from a (thankfully small) minority. At the same time we are perfectly happy to restrict behaviour in other areas that are of almost no consequence in comparison (leading to minimal harm, if any, to surrounding folk if the rules are violated) to protect corporate profits.

        What a world we live in.

      4. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

        "But if you have the reach of Facebook or YouTube, can't someone apply some kind of standards before a snuff livestream is disseminated?"

        Kind of hard, especially if it's masked so that it looks all kosher for like 10-15 minutes beforehand and then, suddenly, BOOM! And any service that tries to delay could get left for those who don't and don't care about the consequences (because they're protected by foreign sovereignty or whatever).

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

        If there are riots in London, for instance, I expect and hope to see videos appear on the web. We don't need to see someone stave another person's head in with a mallet in real-time, though.

        How many people when they drive past a road accident can't resist rubber necking ? It's part and parcel of human nature that is curiosity rather than any conscious desire to emulate what is seen. One thing I will say is rubbernecking has made me a better driver when I've seen the consequences in all their uncensored horror.

        When I was growing up profanity on TV was a serious no no along with a whole heap of other things while hawkishly watched over by Mary Whitehouse and her National Viewers' and Listeners' Association but today it's everywhere. Conversely we had public executions in this country a couple of hundred years ago which was a grand day for the family which thankfully are a thing of the past where I live.

        Is it OK that we are allowed to have such brutal graphic fantasy images of torture and murder as in the Saw movies while evidence of a horrific and real tragedy is censored ?

        I just wonder if we are sending too many mixed messages.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "How many people when they drive past a road accident can't resist rubber necking"

          It's true that people like watching bad stuff happen to other people. Getting a good look at something awful. Russian car crash dash cams are all the rage on YouTube. I dunno if that's possible to stop, or even a good thing to tackle.

          OTOH while sites like LiveLeak have existed for ages and had loads of visitors, they're not on the scale of Facebook and YouTube, and also if you go to LL, you know you're getting gore and snuff. I suspect if LL had the reach of Facebook or YT, it would have been singled out early on.

          I guess it boils down to this: censorship and moderation is harmful. Massive unedited and unpoliced platforms are harmful. There must be an in-between solution that keeps smaller platforms independent, and checks and balances kicking in when audiences start getting huge.

          C.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: "How many people when they drive past a road accident can't resist rubber necking"

            "I guess it boils down to this: censorship and moderation is harmful. Massive unedited and unpoliced platforms are harmful. There must be an in-between solution that keeps smaller platforms independent, and checks and balances kicking in when audiences start getting huge."

            And what if the medium is actually UNhappy, such that too much censorship is simultaneously not enough, leaving you with the worst of both worlds?

          2. Norman Nescio Silver badge

            Re: "How many people when they drive past a road accident can't resist rubber necking"

            It's true that people like watching bad stuff happen to other people. Getting a good look at something awful. Russian car crash dash cams are all the rage on YouTube. I dunno if that's possible to stop, or even a good thing to tackle.

            I went through a (short lived) phase of looking at dashcam videos of car accidents because I was trying to improve my driving skills, and thought that looking to see if I could anticipate the accidents might help me in general driving.

            I learned a couple of things: firstly, that some accidents 'came from nowhere', and were unanticipatable; secondly, that a small proportion of the videos showed accidents where people would have at least had life-changing injuries, and quite possible killed. I found the latter quite disturbing, although I realise some people are disengaged enough for it to be entertainment.

            So I think there is a place for curated/moderated/censored dashcam videos for driver training purposes. My personal view is that seeing videos of real people being injured or killed and treating them as purely entertainment is flawed. Hollywood movies and video games, however gory, are for entertainment, and we know, at some level, that they are not real. Seeing real people's lives destroyed as merely entertainment strikes me as wrong. Perhaps other people can make a reasoned argument why unfettered access to such things is good, but I will admit, my gut reactions would make it difficult for me to agree. Perhaps I am flawed, but I hope that most people would agree with me.

            Of course, the devil is in the details: who controls access and decides what is forbidden or not? I have no simple answer, but fuelling idiocy and hotheadedness strikes me as unwise. I hope cleverer people than me come up with a solution.

            NN

            1. Kiwi Silver badge

              Re: "How many people when they drive past a road accident can't resist rubber necking"

              I went through a (short lived) phase of looking at dashcam videos of car accidents because I was trying to improve my driving skills, and thought that looking to see if I could anticipate the accidents might help me in general driving.

              I did much the same, and for the same reasons.

              I honestly wish I had not done so. There are things that I would love to forget. As time passes, more is forgotten, but still...

              At one point I nearly gave up driving.

      6. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

        This genie has long been out of the bottle. So there's the famous image of a protestor standing in front of a tank in Tiananmen Square. What happened next was available on rotten.com, a website I used to use to demonstrate why some restrictions/censorship is a good thing. 99.9% of us don't need to see the results because we can imagine them.

        The problem I see now is there's often a knee-jerk rush to possibly exploit this kind of event. This article-

        https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-47583393

        struck me due to some of the comments from political researchers, like this one-

        "It may mean creating a special category for right-wing extremism, recognising that it has global reach and global networks."

        Why make that special? Surely the best solution is to be able to monitor and act on extremism across the political spectrum. Language seems to have changed, so right-wing becomes 'alt-right', or 'extreme right'.. Which if you're viewing from a far-left perspective may seem logical. But there has been (and arguably is still) far-left extremism, eg anarchists, the Red Brigades, or even the Original IRA.

        The BBC article suggests efforts have been focused on Islamic radicalisation, which is probably true. But hopefully some of the methods there can be applied to monitoring extremism across the spectrum, and being able to produce actionable intelligence. This particular nutjob had accomplices and would have left a digital trail. 'De-platforming' might seem like a good idea. Make the nasty go away! Ban 8chan! But that's always been an issue with censorship. Ban it and it'll just descend deeper into the 'dark web', making it hard to monitor. Extremist groups already use encrypted VPNs to try and hide their activity. I think there's also a risk that 'extreme' actions may also make people thing they're already being marginalised drift further towards the extreme sites.

        To my mind, the best approach is a combination of clear legislation that defines extremism, which then can be used to enforce standards. Currently the issue is this nutjob violated 'social' media T&Cs, along with any human(e) decency standards.. But did the video break laws? It's news. It bleeds, it leads. Especially if you're the DM, who've never seemed too concerned about ethics or morals.

        The hardest and possibly most controversial part is also probably the most effective, ie being able to monitor activity.. But we're generally opposed to the idea of a 'surveillance state' and the government 'spying' on us. But that's also the best way to try and identify, profile and catch nutjobs, hopefully before they act. But that's also a wicked problem. The Machine may be able to spew out a long list of people who've downloaded or shared this nutjob's 'manifesto', but how do you determine which of those people read it, and think 'This guy's right!'. I skimmed Anders Brevik's ramblings, and assume this nutjob's work is more of the same.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re Why make that special?

          Indeed. It only requires wikipedia* and basic arithmetic to demonstrate that left wing inspired fanatics (Stalin , Mao, Pol Pot et al) have destroyed millions more lives than right wing inspired ones.

          *reliable sources also available, but in this case it hardly matters.

    2. A.P. Veening

      Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

      I think there is a bit of a difference between somebody armed with grocery bags standing in front of a tank and somebody shooting an automatic gun in a mosque full of praying people. I just hope I am not the only one.

      1. JimC Silver badge

        Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

        Well, it depends on your viewpoint. China's leadership lived through the cultural revolution, which handily demonstrated that anarchic activism starting with students can slaughter people on a scale many orders of magnitude greater than any person with an automatic gun in a mosque full of people. If they genuinely believed they were nipping another cultural revolution in the bud then what conclusions do you draw about rights and wrongs?

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

      "I feel the moment we "clamp down on propaganda" we're no better than China or North Korea."

      Well, you feel wrongly then. There is a difference between executing human rights campaigners and blocking ISIS beheading videos. If you cannot see this, your opinion isn't worth listening to.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

        "I feel the moment we "clamp down on propaganda" we're no better than China or North Korea."

        Well, you feel wrongly then. There is a difference between executing human rights campaigners and blocking ISIS beheading videos. If you cannot see this, your opinion isn't worth listening to.

        You're right, there is a difference between the two.

        However, the original sentiment still stands. Once we allow our governments to start clamping down on what they deem to be "bad propaganda" we can expect to be in the same boat as NK and maybe China are claimed to be (China appears to at least have a very decent QOL for much of its citizen vs NK, OTOH their propaganda arm may be more effective).

        I'd love to know that the people who get off on what I consider bad could no longer get the material they like. I'm sure I'd somehow feel a little safer if I knew someone who is on the extremes of "far right" and the like could not get their hands on material that might 'set them off'.

        But...

        I like material others dislike. I'm quite prone to seeking out and speaking out on Christian topics, and many would consider that 'evil' and I have had non-Christians saying that governments should perhaps lock us Christians up or even execute us. These people believe that my Christian views are bad and I should not be allowed to promote them.

        I get the same from some circles within Christianity. I'm not straight therefore I should not be able to speak, as my "vile filth" may somehow turn their kids gay (the parents have much more of an influence!) or in some other way make people bad simply because I am quite 'pro gay-rights'.

        We absolutely MUST defend "freedom of speech" as much as we are able. I know sometimes it lets bad things happen, but it also lets good things happen. I am willing to let the bad come in to keep the good. My being allowed to say what I believe is right comes with the price that you also are allowed to say what you believe is right.

        It's not that long ago that I could've been arrested for the contents of this post, and I could've faced decades of confinement for it. I was barely in my teens when the laws were reformed, so I am old enough to remember what things were like, and the sacrifices that have been made to have this nation I enjoy.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

          But then again, you have to draw a line somewhere because some speech triggers instincts. Thus the US v. Schenck decision (declaring that something like falsely shouting FIRE in a crowded theater amounts to inciting a riot--the mere utterance triggers the preservation instinct and exploits it for ill). But then comes the hard questions: WHO draws the line, and WHERE do you draw it, for this is morbidly like the old pizza-topping puzzle: no one can ever agree.

    4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

      "I feel they have the right to rant. It's freedom of speech. I have the right not to listen as well"

      You have a right to listen or not as you choose.

      Of course TPTB have a right listen as wel if they choosel and to decide whether the ranter needs watching. It's hardly the same as mass surveillance if they choose to watch a rant someone has elected to broadcast to the world.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Your "nutter on a rampage" is China's "Tiananmen Square"

      Well, since Tienanmen Square started as a rowdy protest by a bunch of privileged university students horrified at the prospect of the latest political reforms opening up their university admission systems to the children of common farmers, escalated though the four rival student-leaders having a nice competitive game of 'I can persuade more people in front of the army than you can," and ended with said leaders hiding out in the US and Taiwan in fear of their own followers and followers' families once people had worked out what had actually been done to them and by whom... Well, not a good example to drag out. (The only reason the 4 leaders even made it to the airport was they had a protective military escort out of Beijing from the Beijing PLA - who the Government had bypassed for the action, bringing in a bunch of far-less-sympathetic (poor-farming-family-sourced) regional PLA units for the suppression activity . Before the dust was even settling into the coagulating blood, the surviving students were thinking a bit harder about what had just happened and were already forming lynch mobs to go for their former 'leaders'.

      None of that excuses the Chinese Government's actions in any way, of course, but the tired old "Freedom Fighters Suppressed by Evil Commies", while excellent propaganda copy itself, has about as much accuracy in it as whatever PC drivel the CCPC put out on their own side.

      So yeah. Pick your propaganda. We produce 30 flavors on this planet.

  9. boidsonly

    I suspect FB will face quite a few lawsuits for the same exact reasons outlined in this well written/though out article.

    1. BebopWeBop Silver badge

      I hope they do.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I suspect FB will face quite a few lawsuits"

      'Supporting terrorist activity' is a pretty serious charge too - and whilst NZ has screwed up on a number of fronts, the notion of _personal_ liability for company actions is written into a number of laws there.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      FB lawsuits

      Due to the rules of NZ's extremely comprehensive state-run medical insurance schemes (ACC for injuries and the more NHS-like system for general medical care), anyone receiving medical care from a state-run or state funded medical provider (which is virtually all of them - there are no 100% private emergency rooms) automatically waives the right to sue for physical or mental injuries - and the only way to sidestep that is to decline ACC coverage at the point of first treatment (& stump up full fees)

      It was a pragmatic decision made circa 1974 to stem an increasing flood of spurious claims - any right to sue rests with the insurer - ACC - and you can be sure they _DO_ sue and they have _VERY DEEP POCKETS_ along with government backing when they choose to do so.

      Most of the time a simple arbitration ruling is issued, fines are levied against employers who screwed up and that's that unless there's a compelling need to rewrite Health and Safety rules (Most of the time workplace accidenmts result from such rules being ignored and NZ's H&S are well thought out without the kind of jobsworthianness found in other countries).

      Occasionally an employer will contest a ruling and then the large cannons are hauled out (It's invariably multinationals who think they can subvert the H&S rules, then contest findings and they invariably lose. Local outfits are told by their lawyers to shut up and pay the fines or it'll just get more costly. NZ's laws and regulations are rooted in the general concept of "Legislate/regulate as necessary and _only_ as necessary."

  10. ghp

    If lawmakers had an ounce of decency, they'd make these internet sewers responsible for what they publish, just as any newspaper. Would that harm the freedom of sleaze?

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      There are reports that some of the newspapers were publishing the video on their websites so that doesn't seem an effective means of control.

    2. Kiwi Silver badge

      There has already been at least one arrest in NZ over the sharing of this material.

      ISP's have a form of "common carrier" status. FB, however, may be in another boat especially as NZ's censors have deemed the video "objectionable", and watching or distributing it carries a potential prison sentence.

  11. don't you hate it when you lose your account

    He waited

    Till Facebook had sorted out their server config problem. Sums up a well written article

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He waited

      I am honestly wondering if it was not a config problem. I doubt it was actually a pre-emptive attempt to stop the attack, but other incidents we later learn "they" were tracking or had knowledge of the individuals involved.

      But I guess in this case, the crash of FB just meant they did not wish to risk losing the ability to publish later, so took the first opportunity when FB went back up.

      Would a decided shutdown of social media prevent these attacks, if some warning signs were detected or discovered?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hit them where it hurts

    49 counts of being accessory to murder would take the gloss off what remains of Zuckerberg's reputation, not to mention the value of his share portfolio.

    I'm sure some creative mind in the NZ public prosecutor could come up with a connection that would stick; terror, as a political act, is enabled through dissemination of images of its occurrence, and every disseminator takes on some vicarious responsibility for the act. If it didn't, there would be no debate about the morality of whether, for example, TV news should broadcast edits or stills from the footage. It's a question of degree, but there's complicity to some degree.

    If self censorship at the platform level is impossible before media is made publicly accessible, then the defence seems to rest on, "whoops, we broadcast this alt-right snuff porn, but we didn't know we were doing it." This is strict liability: the act is the crime, not the intent.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Hit them where it hurts

      I'm sure some creative mind in the NZ public prosecutor could come up with a connection that would stick; terror, as a political act, is enabled through dissemination of images of its occurrence, and every disseminator takes on some vicarious responsibility for the act.

      Terrorism is a relatively rare occurrence in NZ. As such, our terrorism laws are "untested".

      The reports I have read so far indicate that the prosecutors will NOT be using any terrorism-related laws in relation to this. 50 counts of murder will likely see the perp locked up for the rest of his life, and they do not desire for him to be released, or get a lighter sentence, on a 'technicality'.

  13. Mike_NZ
    Unhappy

    A comment from Christchurch

    Hi there - Mike from Christchurch NZ here. Yesterday after the chaos here had gone down I found out that there was video of the event. I went and looked for it, found it and viewed it. It helped me put into context exactly what happened and the degree of the evil that had gone on.

    The scenes are horrific. The cold, calculated murder of so many people was clearly well planned and executed. The bravery of the police who managed to apprehend a heavily armed and mobile offender within 36 minutes of the start of the carnage is tremendous.

    I chose to look and view the images. I dont want that privilege removed.

    There will be considerable change in NZ society after this. Gun laws will change for the good, just like in Australia after Port Arthur.

    Regards.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why?

      Why did you need to watch it? Honest question, why would you want to see real people shot?

      1. Mike_NZ

        Re: Why?

        Good question. I didnt want to have only a sanitized version of the incident spoon fed to me by the media and the government.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Why?

          Wait. So instead of waiting for first party descriptions, you wished to see the "sanitized" killers video, because you feared the "sanitized" media?

          That's not balanced. Getting two propagandas (if they are, assuming both are wrong here) does not give an ability to build a correct picture. Getting first hand experience and interviews is possible, without the media and the killers sources.

        2. Kiwi Silver badge
          WTF?

          Re: Why?

          Good question. I didnt want to have only a sanitized version of the incident spoon fed to me by the media and the government.

          I've dealt with things you hopefully cannot imagine. I've experienced some very nasty stuff and thankfully survived.

          I see no reason to seek out images of any other's suffering. It will in no way change my experiences nor make me feel any better about them, and it certainly will not help them in any fashion. I've had enough pain in my own life without adding to it by witnessing other's troubles.

          I grew up near Hawera. Some of my current friends are staff at Hawera Hospital, while at least one other was treated by Dr Amjad Hamid. I doubt I ever met the man himself although it is remotely possible, but he sounds like he was one hell of a great person. Last night I spent some time talking with a close childhood friend who is now mourning the loss of a work colleague and friend.

          I could try to use that as some sort of excuse to see how Dr Hamid died, but I already know more than I would wish. I cannot see any way in which I or any one else would be helped by viewing any of this. I know more than enough about the circumstances of his death. I could watch it in high-def video, but that would be of no value to me nor would it show respect to the man himself, his family, his friends, or my friends.

          I cannot see why someone would wish to watch it, nor to publicly admit to what is now classed as a crime under NZ law (you may be OK if you have not kept or distributed any copies, as it was probably not so classified when you viewed it).

    2. A.P. Veening

      Re: A comment from Christchurch

      I can understand your need and I don't mind people studying things like this. However, I do mind people stumbling upon it without being prepared for it. I also do mind people applauding this kind of atrocity. And I strongly object to life-streaming atrocities, at least to the general public. If it helps law enforcement services, they can watch it life (and real time) while on duty.

    3. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: A comment from Christchurch

      You've just eliiminated yourself (and anyone you spoke to) from the jury pool.

      Congratulations.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A comment from Christchurch

      I was with you right up until the issue was the guns. Your laws are already restrictive and did not stop this disgusting cretin.

      Until your comments, I could personally find no justification that would make the viewing of anyone's death as something to witness. I still don't feel the need, but I can empathize with why it might be for someone in your's or a similar situation.

  14. Rich 11 Silver badge
    Pint

    whose name isn't worth publishing

    Anyone feel like chipping in on a crate of beer for Kieren, wrapping it in chocolate and getting it hand-delivered to San Francisco by kittens?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I have noticed similar things on Facebook before, and I have reported it to them, but they come back saying it does not go against their community standards. These multi billion dollar companies need to start growing a soul and grab a moral compass because they are going out of control. There are many hidden groups on Facebook, with the majority of us having no idea what is going on.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Unhappy

      That these companies are, in certain places, treated as 'people' says a lot about the standards we expect of 'people'. I think we need to raise the bar a bit. For both the real people and the financially-convenient-imaginary ones!

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      "I have noticed similar things on Facebook before, and I have reported it to them, but they come back saying it does not go against their community standards. "

      At which point a pdf out of their response and the pages in question to your local anti-terrorist police hotline is the appropriate next step.

    3. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      I have noticed similar things on Facebook before, and I have reported it to them, but they come back saying it does not go against their community standards.

      NZ's chief censor has deemed the video to be "objectionable material". That makes possession or distribution of it a criminal offence, with a potential prison sentence for breaches. There is a similar charge in the US I expect, so grounds for extradition on criminal offences. Plus there is precedent for extraditions when the act is not a crime in either company.

      There just needs to be a quiet reminder that, as the owners of the platform via which this illegal material is shared, they are liable to imprisonment if they don't try a bit harder.

  16. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

    Please like

    Thank you for posting this Kieren.

    After 25 or so years of televised mass slaughter in the US the media there is slowly coming to terms with the fact they are not simply reporting these stories, they are part of a feedback loop with the goal of performance violence. The "no platforming" approach of not focusing on the killer and not airing their views or even their name is their response, and I think it's excellent.

    The rest of the world is likely to lag well behind the US in terms of slaughter, but hopefully we can learn one thing from their media experience. Everyone is aware Sky Australia are (apparently, still) broadcasting the murderers video - presumably that was his intention, so well done Sky Australia for lending a hand. But plenty of platforms that should know better have posted excerpts from his Manifesto including the "Notoriously Po-Faced" Guardian (to quote Ian Hislop, who knows po-faced when he sees it).

    The murderer in question cited a UK-based mosque murderer and a Norwegian murderer as inspiration, so there's no doubt that this sort of fuckwittery has a global reach. I would very much like to see a global response by the media. I've seen the news in a lot of countries and I'm aware that's not going to fly everywhere, but the kind of country that tends not to show corpses on television should consider not airing the views of the people that make them.

  17. smalldot

    Still the same internet

    I have seen many detailed and graphic videos from Afghanistan or Pakistan where an AC-130 or helicopter gunships kills people. In each case they take great care to kill everyone in the area. Doesn't matter if people were armed or not, trying to surrender, run away or hide. Everyone gets killed. The last alive are hunted down one by one. Bodies are fired upon one more time, to make sure they are dead.These videos were widely shared by media and the same internet companies. Lots of people cheering in the comment sections.

    So is the Christchurch video any different? Yes and no. It's all subjective.

  18. PhilipN Silver badge

    Excellent article

    Thanks El Reg and KMcC. With a name like that there’s a chance you may even have relatives in NZ however remote. None of them would have been in those mosques but that’s not the point. NZ is such a decent welcoming orderly and assimilated place that, and this is going to appear a little trite, today we are all Kiwis.

  19. mark l 2 Silver badge

    I can only assume that the reason the video stream lasted online for 17 minutes was because a lot of the viewers did not bother to report the stream, which goes to show you of the mentality of some of the people who use Facebook.

    As for using AI to identify terrorist videos, I think with today's video game graphics being very realistic and only getting better with every generation, it would make it hard for AI to identify when it is real and when it is someone just live streaming the latest FPS.

    Unlike the author of this article, I think the terrorist would have still done the shooting even if he was unable to live stream the event. it would have still made the news worldwide and pushed his ideology without Facebook and the live stream.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "I can only assume that the reason the video stream lasted online for 17 minutes was because a lot of the viewers did not bother to report the stream, which goes to show you of the mentality of some of the people who use Facebook."

      Elsewhere there was a comment that the police asked FB to stop and they refused so it's not down to the mentality of the viewers but to FB themselves. They need a complete reversal of that attitude. Do not let FB off the hook for one moment by blaming only their users.

    2. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      As for using AI to identify terrorist videos, I think with today's video game graphics being very realistic and only getting better with every generation, it would make it hard for AI to identify when it is real and when it is someone just live streaming the latest FPS.

      Something I have wondered as well myself.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Possibly helpful concept

    Terrible event. Horrific.

    Perhaps some of the twisted people that do such things are eventually able to come to their senses, understand that they did evil, and feel remorse. If such an outcome ever results, they might be used in the information war. A video with several mass killers expressing true remorse and similar concepts might be helpful. It might allow future killers to think ahead, beyond their present insanity.

    People of a mass killing mindset would unintentionally seek out such videos, because of key words. They couldn't miss them.

    Just a suggestion. Others may consider if it's feasible or not. I don't know.

  21. The Central Scrutinizer

    Such a disgusting act of violence

    I have very fond memories of New Zealand, having holidayed there once. It's a country of magical beauty and great people.

    We Australians have a strange affinity with the Kiwis, constantly giving each other good natured shit over cricket and rugby.

    This appalling, disgusting attack has left us all shocked. Rightly so the reg has declined to name the fucker responsible.

    Then I get home this afternoon to see this shit.

    https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-16/fraser-anning-egged-in-melbourne-while-speaking-to-media/10908650?pfmredir=sm

    Fuck you Anning, who became a senator with a whopping 19 votes at the last federal election!

    Take your neo nazi shit and your thugs back under that rock you crawled out from. I'm with #eggboy

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think you've vastly misunderestimated the task of moderation

    Bearing in mind that any livestream could turn violent at a moment's notice, it's simply impossible to implement what you are suggesting. The only solution is to ban livestreaming. Whether that is an acceptable price to pay is a discussion for another day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I think you've vastly misunderestimated the task of moderation

      Would personal responsibility do it? Make each person on FB have their own website, paid for, and personally liable for, as back in the old days.

      If FB don't have the ability or possibility to police it, then take the site down. We also don't have the ability to fly an aircraft without wings, or with faulty software. So we take those down until they are fixed. These big companies put up the websites before they checked the safety or liability or lawfulness of them.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I think you've vastly misunderestimated the task of moderation

        "Make each person on FB have their own website, paid for, and personally liable for"

        Somehow I don't think being personally liable for his website would have stopped this nutter. As I've said before, providing those intent on breaking the law with more laws to break does not inhibit them.

  23. John Savard Silver badge

    I'm concerned the fact that he livestreamed the mass murders didn't lead to them being interrupted in progress posthaste.

    As to the rest - since I don't have to pay YouTube $20 to put a video on their site, of course they can't afford to pay a human being to review each and every video posted. They may make millions in ad revenue, but it's pennies off each video.

    1. Ghostman
      Unhappy

      I'm surprised too. I don't post to YouTube, do Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other "social media" sites. I don't allow them on my computer or my phone.

      Which means I have no idea about posting and livestream rules for them. I would think that they should have a synopsis of a livestream posted before they get permission to do one, and if it becomes a hate filled rant, or something like the one done by the shooter, a screen sized notice should come up with the wording "Your Live-stream has been reported, blocked, recorded for legal purposes, and law enforcement is on it's way to your location. Place your weapons down, place your hands on your head, walk to the nearest wall, and remain there with your head against the wall until law enforcement arrives. Failure to do so could result in serious injury, or death, if you do not comply."

      Since recently most mass shooters have committed suicide when they hear sirens coming to their location, that might make them go ahead and put themselves out of our misery.

      SAD, well because this is a sad situation.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Sad fact.

      If he'd have accidentally put a pop song in it, it would have been taken down immediately.

    3. DavCrav Silver badge

      "As to the rest - since I don't have to pay YouTube $20 to put a video on their site, of course they can't afford to pay a human being to review each and every video posted. They may make millions in ad revenue, but it's pennies off each video."

      'It conflicts with my business model' is not a reason not to require YouTube to do something. If they cannot make it work, they can shut down. But their pleas should be worth absolutely nothing in deciding what protections (if any) should be built into such systems.

  24. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "If the shooter – and the ones that will come after him – couldn't be sure that his video would ever make its way to the public, that there was a very high likelihood that it would be flagged during the upload process and stopped – would he had been sufficiently driven to carry out his actions?"

    Who knows? Some would, some wouldn't. There's a long history of atrocities being carried out without live streaming. On the whole the probability is that he would. What's more concerning is the incentive to copy-cats and a general lowering of the mental barriers that prevent people from doing this. It's not so much that preventing the upload would have discouraged him but it might have prevented others.

    One thing is clear. Some nutters are apt to advertise their mental state in the ways the article points out. It might be more productive to devote resources to these more than on profiling on the basis of appearance anyone who happens to walk in from of some CCTV camera to "predict" whether they're going to commit a crime or on trying to hoover up everyone's business. It's not as if they're hiding what they're doing.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: a platform with 1bn+ people just descend into Mad Max territory.

    "a platform with 1bn+ people just descend into Mad Max territory."

    You missed the important bit:

    "a platform with 1bn+ people just descend into Mad Max territory <<<while such platforms and their 'leaders'/'directors' are allegedly worth $$$$billions>>>

    Who can explain to readers why it is that the 'people' (I use the term loosely) at the top are personally and individually rewarded with gigabonuses when things 'go well', and yet are never responsible and definitely never personally and individually accountable when things go badly?

    Sort that, and a lot of other things might magically also sort themselves.

  26. HKmk23

    In the article itself

    The author wrote "The shooter appeared to have spent as much time planning for the social media impact of his actions as the actual actions themselves."

    There you have it. "social" media is the cesspit and like all cesspits that is where all the sh#t ends up. Those who indulge are therefore simply sh#t themselves.

  27. Twanky

    Awkward question.

    I guess this is a question that only the 'social' media platforms would be able to answer: I wonder what adverts were being shown around the original and subsequent copy videos and pictures of the crime - and what the owners think of their adverts being shown in that context. If I were an advertising customer I would want to know. A vain hope, I fear; I expect the platforms would strongly resist publishing those stats.

    The multi-layer contracts selling screen space probably preclude the advertisers (the platforms' actual customers) suing the platforms but if we (Joe Public) could be told that (say) XYZ company's adverts were shown to 10% of people who viewed the crime then XYZ's directors might be interested in reputation damage limitation and bring additional pressure to bear.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Awkward question.

      "then XYZ's directors might be interested in reputation damage limitation and bring additional pressure to bear."

      That has happened in the past but it's a feedback loop that seems to act very slowly.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Act or the Reasons?

    Although I completely agree with every single point of the article I believe that the social media platforms have a further responsibility which they are not taking responsibility for and niether is any government. The right to free speech does not give the right to hate speech, It is now many hours on, and thanks to the very brave police officers this "man" has been arrested rather than martyred. This person wanted fame, that is quite clear that he needed to feel like he belongs to something no matter if it's right or wrong, and that to me is the bigger problem.

    How did he link up with a white supremissist movement or at least the cowards who influenced him? I am not blaming governments / security services for not joining the dots but I will blame them for not taking the right action at the right time. Like in the 60s -> 80s there were groups of pedophiles, we all know of some quite harrowing accounts of people turning blind eyes to this, because those perputrators could ruin their careers or because they felt they wouldn't be believed by the authorities. (I'm not talking the victims here, who were ignored).

    Facebook and the alike have "abuse" policies etc.... but they are only enforced when enough people complain or when media outlets highlight the problem. These social media platforms try to remove themselves from what people say but if they deeply cared they would take less profit and employ more people to check what people are saying or live streaming.

    In individual person should not be penalised by restricting social media too much, but perhaps what each individual should do, is try to force social platforms into properly channeling resources into the problem. My recommendation would be to only use the platforms once in the next week/next month until responsibility is taken, everyone writes just one message, all the same. Don't "like" anything, don't post anything, don't PM anyone, don't tweet. If everyone did that it would force them to listen because the only thing the big companies truely care about is the profit and loss sheets.

    Most importantly, I hope people can remember, is that most people do not go looking for trouble, most people despise this and most people are good hearted,kind and don't give a shite about what religion or race you are.

  29. James Anderson

    Facebook is a publisher

    .. and as such should be subject to the same laws and legal liabilities as newspaper and book publishers.

    Facebook will argue its current status as a common carrier is correct. But the telephone company does not listen to my calls and interrupt a conversation about barbecues with suggestions that I buy a new Weber. The fact that Facebook scans your posts and sells this data to advertisers should be enough to revoke its common carrier status and get it classified as a publisher which it so obviously is.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Facebook is a publisher

      Given that newspapers seem to have been hosting the video that's not an argument that gets us very far. Newspapers also seem to be unrestrained these days. It's a more general matter than just Facebook.

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Facebook is a publisher

      "Facebook will argue its current status as a common carrier is correct. "

      That's the Cubby vs Compuserve defense - which falls down flat because Facebook engages in moderation and runs bang, straight into Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co. territory.

  30. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    One of the problems

    is what i'll call "the peppa pig problem"

    In that i can be streaming something tottally innocent, like say an on-line gaming stream or peppa pig video, then cut the stream straight to an ISIS video of some poor bastard having his head cut off.

    An hrs delay defeats the purpose of a 'live' stream, and yet how does the platform provider censor the stream if some ass hat does that.

    And then theres always the 'echo chamber' effect of the internet where some disturbed person only ever seeks out opinions that match their own, are we to censor those opinions too... and how long before the censorship spreads?

    Or maybe we could blame the camera manufacturers, or the makers of the kit that can link a camera to your livestream.

    Or how about , blaming the neo-nazi fuckhead who will rightfully spend every day of the rest of his life in jail.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "cut the stream straight to an ISIS video"

      That is a problem that is difficult to solve without fundamentally changing Facebook - though funnily enough not a problem major, professional broadcasters have. Wonder why that is.

      Facebook needs to grow up and realize what its platform is being used for. And it's not just livestream murders. It's anti-vaxx, flat earth, conspiracy theory nonsense that is suddenly given an immense platform.

      I don't like any form of government censorship, heavy handed moderation, and similar - which is part of the reason why we try to push boundaries with headlines and writing.

      On the other hand, it's not a black and white issue of freedom or no freedom. It's one thing to share stuff with friends or small groups privately that others may or may not like. It's quite another to have access to a huge potential audience.

      Do I have the answers? No, no one has. Though, thinking about it, maybe one approach would be tiered moderation. After the first 10,000 views, it's flagged up for increasing levels of moderation as the views increase in stages (10k, 50k, 100k).

      C.

      1. VikiAi Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: "cut the stream straight to an ISIS video"

        Everyone want's rights. No-one wants responsibilities. Viva Humanity!

      2. TechnicalBen Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "cut the stream straight to an ISIS video"

        Wait... the problem is, you are letting your kids watch "pepper pig" on facebook/youtube on an unofficial channel.

        You'd not let the kids eat out the back of a garbage can just because it had "pepper pig garbage, honest gov!" written on the back. How people still trust the internet in this day and age, or go for the "free" garbage, when actual free content is next door (iplayer/CITV for example for kids) is insane.

        What is wrong with parents?

      3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

        Re: "cut the stream straight to an ISIS video"

        Quote

        Facebook needs to grow up and realize what its platform is being used for. And it's not just livestream murders. It's anti-vaxx, flat earth, conspiracy theory nonsense that is suddenly given an immense platform.

        -------

        And this is where education comes into it, teaching people that just because something is on the internet and endorsed by a C-list celebrity, it does not make it true.

        How many ads do we see for 'de-tox your liver' which sells some expensive supplement to your diet, which after you look through the ingredients, does nothing at all apart from drain your wallet. oh and your liver keeps on de-toxing because thats its job in your body.

        As for the anti-vaxx people, they should be confined to one town or region where there can fail to immunise their kids to their hearts content (and expand the children's section of the local graveyard)

        It is education that is key to this, that its not a good idea to let little 4 yr old sally look for peppa pig videos on youtube by herself, or that conspiracy theories are usually ranted by people with tendencies towards paranoia

        But none of this cuts it with the people in charge, its much easier to blame facebook et al for the spread of such views/videos because its a quick and convienent target that satisifies the general media/concerned population's for a quick and easy answer to a very difficult problem.

        And if you wish to go down the censorship route, who decides what is allowed and what isn't?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: "cut the stream straight to an ISIS video"

          "As for the anti-vaxx people, they should be confined to one town or region where there can fail to immunise their kids to their hearts content (and expand the children's section of the local graveyard)"

          I think there's a problem with that solution.

        2. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: "cut the stream straight to an ISIS video"

          "And this is where education comes into it, teaching people that just because something is on the internet and endorsed by a C-list celebrity, it does not make it true."

          And as P.T. Barnum claimed, there's a sucker born every minute, and these suckers can take the rest of us with them. So what do you do when education doesn't work?

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: "conspiracy theories ... paranoia"

          "conspiracy theories are usually ranted by people with tendencies towards paranoia"

          OK. Devil's advocate time: what about Snowden-style revelations, which for a long time were dismissed as tinfoil hat stuff. Till they were revealed as reality, and the establishment folks who had been dismissing them as tinfoil hattery either disappeared or changed tune to "everybody knew it was happening but we couldn't admit it in public."

          See also:

          "a quick and convienent target that satisifies the general media/concerned population's desire for a quick and easy answer to a very difficult problem"

          24x7 rolling news channels relying on cheap live coverage of meaningless live interviews and speculation, while having almost no meaningful fact-based analysis of topics, has a lot to answer for.

      4. NoNBNforMe

        Re: "cut the stream straight to an ISIS video"

        Major broadcasters don't have this problem because they can dedicate a member of staff to monitor each stream being broadcast. They typically have a couple of seconds delay and can cut the feed if something unacceptable happens.

        I agree that facebook should be held accountable but I can't see a realistic solution without killing the live streaming feature which is used by many users for legitimate purposes. Is it possible to have moderators watching all livestreams? How many livestreams are typically running on facebook at any one time, thousands, tens of thousands?

      5. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: "cut the stream straight to an ISIS video"

        "That is a problem that is difficult to solve without fundamentally changing Facebook - though funnily enough not a problem major, professional broadcasters have. Wonder why that is."

        Limited inputs. They only take in so much footage a day: mostly from already-trusted sources like their own reporters, established news feeds, etc.

        Expand that scope to the unwashed masses and you hit a major problem of scale.

  31. Rupert Fiennes Bronze badge

    Is it even possible or sensible?

    The internet makes it technically possible to livestream anything. You could buffer videos, but then people would find another way, perhaps one less amenable to censorship.

    In the end, I'm an optimist. If an adult wants to show something horrible, they will: we cannot in the end stop it being viewed by another. But we can all judge the poster, and I suspect the shock of seeing something like this (no, I haven't seen it, but I'm making a reasonable assumption) is liable to turn more people off this guy's "manifesto". Saying you hate Muslims is one thing, but watching them shot is quite another.

    1. VikiAi Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Is it even possible or sensible?

      Anyone can broadcast anything from any IP address they have access to, but getting it under people's eyeballs is where Facebook et.al. come in. Social Media as the notification and sharing platform is the issue, what/where/how the content is transmitted is a red herring.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Is it even possible or sensible?

        Is it? What happened when torrent sites got busted and shut down? New ones sprang up in their place. There's a strong demand for stuff like this. Facebook was simply the "first in" regarding it, but if they make themselves untenable, odds are something else will rise to take its place: possible in the Darknet where they don't worry so much about laws.

        1. VikiAi Silver badge

          Re: Is it even possible or sensible?

          I think we are arguing the same side from different angles. :-) Yes, content cannot practically be suppressed, and people who really really want to see it will, but the potential audience that is prepared (or technically able) to access it outside the comfort of their mainstream web-for-dummies social-media interface is very significantly reduced.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Is it even possible or sensible?

            But the hardcore fans become the wellsprings for the rest. All it takes is one of them spreading the filth into the Clearnet...

  32. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    I'm not sure about one word in the title. It's not so much the internet they build as the internet they parasitised.

  33. Planckito

    For any society and for the whole of humanity, the treatment of minorities is not a matter like many others; It is, along with the treatment of women, the elderly and children, one of the most revealing data ethical progress or retrogression. A world that respects every day human diversity, where everyone can express themselves in the language they prefer, profess in peace their creeds and quietly assume their origins without exposing themselves to hostility and vilification or the authorities or of the majority population.

  34. a handle

    Remove beer tax, back to the pubs.

    30 years ago if someone started spouting crap at the pub, the presence of other people would keep it mostly in check. "Dont be a twat Johnny" Over time police would be called in. It wouldn't grow into a monster, or less likely too perhaps.

    People feel anonymous using the Internet, they can drown themselves in others extreme thoughts. And here we are with Christchurch.

    Remove tax from beer, turn Internet off.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Remove beer tax, back to the pubs.

      Remove tax from beer, turn Internet off.

      Pretty sure more people have died from beer than from fanatics (well, not counting during war)

      1. a handle

        Re: Remove beer tax, back to the pubs.

        A risk of getting stabbed or getting liver failure, but you could stay at home and read a book, or go to church. I'm hoping they cancel the Internet, turn it off, and encourage small friendly pubs with tax free beer, and very fast self driving e-motorbikes lined up outside.

        It's not going to happen I know. So perhaps raise the bar or ban public ownership of semi-automatic guns/rifles. Plus encourage people to be a little more moderating of people they mix with, gotta be strong to do that.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Remove beer tax, back to the pubs.

          So perhaps raise the bar or ban public ownership of semi-automatic guns/rifles. Plus encourage people to be a little more moderating of people they mix with, gotta be strong to do that.

          Actually, with a lot more of the latter, there probably wouldn't be much of a need for the former. The same family who taught my to shoot and how to kill animals also taught me a lot more than most about respecting animals, caring for them, caring for the land and so on. They also taught me a lot about respecting others and how to 'play nice' even when you really hate the other person and every thing they stand for.

          More teaching people how to play nice with others, getting people out into social realms and social norms and modelling what is good. When role models are Bruce Willis and the like, where the "hero" murders unarmed surrendering crims (DH3, scene near the end where a guy raises his hands and shouts "don't shoot" in German), well I can understand modern man being a little mixed up. I enjoy "action movies" from time to time, but I'd also like to see more modelling of decent actions, even in the worst of circumstances.

          That said, a friend watches a lot of old "western" movies. Ones where the idea of killing someone over some tiny imagined slight is romanticised heavily. I'm starting to wonder if the distance between us from modern tech is really such a bad thing after all :)

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: Remove beer tax, back to the pubs.

            "That said, a friend watches a lot of old "western" movies. Ones where the idea of killing someone over some tiny imagined slight is romanticised heavily."

            I got news for you. Those really did happen quite a bit in the late 19th century. The Wild West's population was predominantly male and tended to be troublemakers, many on the run. Texas alone recorded over 100 shootouts in the late 19th century. Most were triggered by grudges.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Holmes

              Re: Remove beer tax, back to the pubs.

              "That said, a friend watches a lot of old "western" movies. Ones where the idea of killing someone over some tiny imagined slight is romanticised heavily."

              I got news for you. Those really did happen quite a bit in the late 19th century.

              No shit Sherlock! But I do fail to see where I said it didn't happen.

              The rest of your post falls very much under "[citation needed]", and completely misses the point of my post, as per usual :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Remove beer tax, back to the pubs.

      As I recall, alcohol also removes inhibitions, meaning plenty of times "Don't be a twat Johnny," would be met with a right hook, a "Fuck off!" and soon a pub riot.

      1. Teiwaz Silver badge

        Re: Remove beer tax, back to the pubs.

        As I recall, alcohol also removes inhibitions, meaning plenty of times "Don't be a twat Johnny," would be met with a right hook, a "Fuck off!" and soon a pub riot.

        And that's a major problem too?

        Pub riots are relatively low-key affairs, might be the occasional death or two and a maiming, but unlikely to be the likes 50 deaths, as it is less likely someone would off home to collect their automatic rifle and set up a social media stream for the event.

  35. Rainer

    It's a two-sided sword

    I remember that in 1990, when I watched the Football Worldcup, the camera would occasionally show scantily-clad female fans whenever a team from South-America was playing (Brazilian fans being the worst "offenders". Commentators would often point out that while the matches were broadcast in IRan, too, it wasn't live, but "live +5s". During these 5s, a gentleman in the IBC working for the Iranian government would switch the stream to a different camera so that his fellow citizens wouldn't have to get an eye full.

    A couple of years later, we got "Nipplegate" and US television took a page from the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and also adopted that "live +5s" broadcasting, for basically the same rationale as in Iran.

    I certainly don't want a multi-billion dollar US company (nor a multi-billion dollar Chinese company) to decide what I can see and what not or what is good and not good for me. I think it was the Cloudflare CEO who has in the past remarked that he hated even being in the position to be able to decide something like this.

    In this single isolated case, that may actually align with what I and many others think.

    But as they say: even a broken clock is right twice a day.

    I don't even have a Facebook account (the whole premise of the platform is absurd).

    That said, it didn't really surprise me that somebody would stream a shooting. In fact, it surprised me that it took so long. The technology has been here for years. All it took was for someone to go all the way to the end.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: It's a two-sided sword

      "That said, it didn't really surprise me that somebody would stream a shooting. In fact, it surprised me that it took so long. The technology has been here for years. All it took was for someone to go all the way to the end."

      There are many more documented cases of "live" criminal acts on the likes of Periscope too.

    2. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: It's a two-sided sword

      "But as they say: even a broken clock is right twice a day."

      Even one with the hands broken off? Because some of these may be missing a hand or two in addition to having a few loose screws.

  36. Mario Becroft
    Unhappy

    Counterpoint

    May I suggest--purely as a Devil's advocate--that free speech is more important than hand-wringing over censoring unpleasant information.

    I find it unlikely that censorship (or lack of) from Facebook might have made a material difference to what happened. No matter how much the video is shut down, it will be reposted somewhere else. In fact, such action may even trigger a fight-back where the video that some can't stomach is reproduced in every possible medium.

    I present an alternate view: all speech is good. Meaning, everyone gets to decide what they choose to say, read or see. Anyone who is deeply offended by seeing such incidents can choose not to watch the video.

    This eliminates the sense of martyrdom on which perpertrators of many such atrocities rely (which might further popularise their material): "facebook took down my video. What happened to freedom of speech? You can find the video here, here and here. Fight the repressors!"

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "censoring unpleasant information"

      FWIW government-level censorship is a terrible thing, and stripping unpleasant stuff from the internet is not great - OTOH it would be nice if FB took some responsibility for the content they are disseminating.

      I highly suspect a lot of Register headlines would be deemed unpleasant by a large number of people and I'd hate for us to be thrown off the internet as a result. OTOH if The Reg had the same reach as Facebook, I don't think our headlines would be quite the same.

      C.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Counterpoint

      "May I suggest--purely as a Devil's advocate--that free speech is more important than hand-wringing over censoring unpleasant information."

      Freedoms are not absolute. They conflict. My freedom to extend my fist conflicts with yours not to be punched in the nose. As soon as we accept this simple fact we are in a position to start thinking sensible what the trade-offs are. If we fail to realise trade-offs are needed then we will repeatedly get things wrong.

      If you want a Devil's advocate position here's one: whilst I hope we may agree that the people in the mosque had a right not to get shot did they also have a right not to have their being shot livestreamed? If so how does this rank against the shooter's right to free speech?

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Counterpoint

        "If we fail to realise trade-offs are needed then we will repeatedly get things wrong."

        Therein lies your problem. Some people DON'T get and never will. And they will protest violently and in fact thing they're in an existential war for survival. How do you deal with such a nutcase without him/her triggering violence?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TBH I beilieve the only way you get the likes of Facebook and Youtube to behave is to threaten to offficially sinkhlole all DNS records referring to the organisations for a period of time. Until they come to the table and negotiate proper behaviour.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Emotionally, I'm not averse to that. Philosophically opposed. Unfortunately, Facebook can be accessed from the DarkNet if I recall correctly. Which is definitely perverse.

    2. Kiwi Silver badge

      TBH I beilieve the only way you get the likes of Facebook and Youtube to behave is to threaten to offficially sinkhlole all DNS records referring to the organisations for a period of time.

      A lot of advertisers made a fuss recently about boycotting YT over the supposed paedo problem (though I suspect many of them got back to their normal practise the moment we were focused on something else).

      Perhaps pointing out to these advertisers (as publicly as possible) that by using FB they are associating their brand with a firm that promotes terrorist videos and murdering children will get their attention, and get them to go elsewhere.

  38. goldcd

    As my humble counterpoint

    Whilst I don't particularly like Facebook - but I don't think they're to blame for this pool of excrement murdering a lot of innocent people.

    Maybe more pertinently (or naively) I can't believe that anybody who saw this video would be swayed to join his cause - In much the same way I doubt watching an ISIS beheading would inspire us all to all go off and fight for the caliphate.

    "Think of the Children!" is a worn out trope, and can't just be appropriated from ridicule when handy to your current thinking.

    A lot of current news-stories seem to be covering "ironic-racism" as a 'cover', a 'gateway', a 'tactic' to win people over - and my own view is that hiding/censoring/whatever information plays into this strategy. Just show the scum. Show everything. Make people watch and pick a side (we all know once sides are picked, we become inoculated to argument).

    When I become benevolent dictator of the planet, the day after a similar act, your facebook landing page will run this footage in the centre of your screen. Maybe on one side it'll show the 'lolz and memes' of the shooter, and the other, on every f'in shot it will pause and play back one of those saccharine auto-montages of the life that was just taken.

    Facetious, yes, and I wish I had a cleverer way of presenting my point - but telling the world "49 people are dead" misses the point.

    Something Facebook might actually be good at doing - show that these weren't "49 deaths". Show these were 49 individuals, with even more than a name, a religion and a stock-photo. People posting pictures of their cats, planning a cinema trip, trying to get more than 4 people to turn at at a place at a time and all the rest of the banality that is actually relatable to.

    I loved that when you wrote this story you deliberately didn't mention the fuckers name. Next step on this path is to mention every name of all those he killed - and give them the voice that he took (even if it is a picture of their cat pulling a silly face).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As my humble counterpoint

      - Show everything. Make people watch and pick a side (we all know once sides are picked, we become inoculated to argument) -

      Not showing the horror of what this evil was leads people to treat it as less than it was.Time to wake people up and show them the full brutal truth of what such hate amounts to.Time to radicalise the good guys.No more hiding.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: As my humble counterpoint

        And what if all you do is just get the bad guys off and embolden them to do commit greater atrocities? Not to mention the problem of desensitization?

  39. Mage Silver badge
    Devil

    Simple

    Just close ALL unmoderated Social Media. It serves no purpose except to make money for the owners.

    Companies can run their own websites.

    Families can use email and less toxic real time chat / voice / photo sharing that's private and not owned by Facebook, MS, Apple or Google.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Simple

      I agree fully with the latter, but still like un-moderated media such as El Reg. I keep in touch with a wide portion of family and friends, and have only had one friend complain that I don't use FB.

      Of course, El Reg sometimes has every post moderated, and I think sometimes they use a trust system as well (ie I don't rank highly enough or am too annoying a twat so on some threads my posts will be moderated, whereas you rank higher/are more likeable and on the same thread your posts are allowed through unhindered). But for the most part, we're allowed to chat amongst ourselves and only see the mods appear should a post be reported.

  40. Trollslayer Silver badge
    Flame

    Block Farcebook and Tw*tter

    I despise them and use a browser utility called Privacy Badger that blocks everything from them, including the cookies in Farcebook's hidden pixels.

    Those appear in various adverts to get users to see them when they go on those websites.

  41. Paul 87

    The more censorship that's needed, the more we try and stamp out hateful ideas by blocking them away, the more the terrorists win in their goals.

    The far right lunatics *want* a police state, they *want* people to be oppressed and restricted in what they can and can't say.

    It's a horrendous event, but lets drag the ideas expressed out into the light and ridicule them, make a joke out of them and expose them for the pathetic rantings that they are. If it were legal to do so, I'd suggest putting the idiot naked into a perspex cage, with one way sound, and let people point and laugh at what a pathetic example of humanity he is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Far Right

      I have a problem with the concept of such mental defectives that want to get rid of someone based on their heritage being associated in anyway with any political wing.

      They are nutcases, and should be judged solely on their own idiocy.

  42. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Fundamental Problems

    There are a couple of fundamental problems this highlights. There is no way a priori the service will know what the content will be. Since the vast majority is either benign or someone trying to win a Darwin Award the vast majority of content just needs a quick once over. The problem is the extreme edge cases like this one; either you disallow live streaming or you run the risk of something like this happening. I personally say run the risk and try educate the Congress critter equivalents you have limited control over what is being streamed initially. The best you can do is pull the plug on the stream. The other problem is the voyeurs who will watch something like this who create a 'market' for this kind of video. If no one watched the stream, then there would be no point in doing one.

    What I would like to know is how many people actually watched it live (or even initially knew about it) and how many people watched it because the media babbled about its existence. I saw a headline about the massacre shortly after it occurred but only later read about the video (haven't tried to watch it). I am more complaining about sites like CNN, MSNBC, and FOX News that will babble about the stream while it is still available implying people need to watch it. This is an artifact of the 24hr news cycle where no one wants to be left without the most graphic images possible of an unfolding story and their need to hype any tragedy for views and clicks with intelligent reporting and commentary being ignored. What I have seen all these channels do is find some babblemouths to opine on rumors as the story unfolds when details are sketching while presenting this nonsense as expert knowledge bordering on hard facts.

  43. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    WTF?

    sad day

    The person who I shall refer to as "Yet Another Stupid One" or YASO is so stupid that I'll bet that he does not know the meaning of the word hypocrisy.

    Coming from Australia, a country that did not exist before immigration, and where the incomers tried to commit genocide. Sending this YASO and Brevik to the bottom of the Mariana Trench is too good for them, although, with weights on their feet, I would volunteer to help them over the side of the boat.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: sad day

      "Coming from Australia, a country that did not exist before immigration"

      Not forgetting the ultimate hippocracy in that he himself was an immigrant to NZ having emigrated from OZ.

  44. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    It is a difficult one. Who decides what is illegal content? As other commenters have noted, some things are perfectly legal in some jurisdictions but not in others. Do we make the popular social media platforms such as google and facebook free of anything vaguely contentious anywhere. No kissing couples (same or different sex - doesn't matter - it's all contentious), no video game uploads, no talking about abortion, no talk of freedom of the press. Only fun stuff like people smashing up iphones, cats being cute and reviews of tech. And adverts.

    Having a several minute (or even an hour or two) delay while some human checks content is a good idea, so no more live feeds - not such a great loss for many people.

    But posts about weapons, racist ideologies and killing could easily be taken down if only facebook et al actually employed enough people. Sure, they'd make less profit, but aren't they just a little bit too greedy as it is?

    Case in point, and nothing to do with killing: I've noticed in my facebook feed, day after day, adverts for cheap Microsoft software. Not just cheap but software that's only available by subscription (office 365) with "lifetime keys". Clearly illegal stuff and probably using stolen accounts. And with different companies almost every day peddling this stuff. FIrst of all, Facebook should detect this, it's easy, with a human in charge. Secondly, when I report it to Facebook, only one of two things ever happens: 90% of the time, I get no response, and the remaining 10% of the time, I get a message back saying it doesn't contravene Facebook's standards! There's no way to offer up an explanation, no way to report again.

    Now if Facebook can't even manage a bit of obviously illegal software, how the hell would they manage to prevent live-streaming of killings in a reasonable space of time?

    These companies need to seriously up their game. They created this monster, and they should be able to advise on the best solutions! Government regulation is doubtlessly required as well. Massive fines should focus the attention of social media companies.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "when I report it to Facebook"

      You're reporting it to the wrong place. Microsoft or maybe FAST would be more interested. And in any case what are these Facebook standards of which you write?

  45. Charles Calthrop

    beautiful article

    thank you. Articulated what I was thinking much better than I could.

    Ironically would share were I still on facebook.

    We have to hope we can fix this

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Root causes

    Start with the gun laws, seems this may be the case in NZ.

    Force all publishers to be responsible for what they accept/host online.

    Educate kids in anti troll/hate messages.

    Of course, religion has a lot to answer for but as it appears to be a core function of humanity, who knows what can be done.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Root causes

      "Start with the gun laws, seems this may be the case in NZ."

      NZ's gun laws are pretty good - to the point that the vast majority of "mass killings" over the years have been performed with double barrel shotguns. More knee-jerk gun control laws won't help the issue.

      OTOH _Enforcement_ of NZ's gun laws (particularly the need for psychological assessment before being declared fit to possess category E weapons and general mental health assessment) is lacking - and that's down to an overly complacent/lazy police force. (If you think "Gene Hunt" (or worse) mentality you're about right - look at the gung ho way Kim Dotcom's place was raided. UK police who've moved to NZ have generally found they can't stomach it and left again. Tales abound in e2nz.com)

      I've had dealings with regional police in NZ. Unless handed everything on a silver platter they're unlikely to take action to prevent crime occurring(+) and even when organised crime rings settle in the country it takes concerted prodding to get them to notice - cf Rathkeale Rovers having a substantial number of family units circulating in the country - police now acknowledging at least 32 known offenders, but only 4 in custody/one able to flee the country in less than 24 hours after being released on bail using on a relative's passport - and this only because annoyed citizens started researching and piling material to a height which couldn't be ignored - tie ins also noted to multi-billion dollar drug smuggling, so the roofing/driveway scams seem to be a distraction tactic in both Australia and NZ - the more being dug up, the more obvious it is becoming that this organised crime 'family' has been resident in AU/NZ for at least 20 if not 30+ years)

      (+) In a number of cases the _police_ have been the criminals. NZ has had a notable number of criminal convictions overturned in the House of Lords where the Law Lords pointed out obviously fabricated evidence and made very harsh criticisms of policecondust and judiciary's over-cozy relationships with them - NZ's response was to remove the House of Lords as the independent highest court so that couldn't happen anymore.

      In _most_ cases over the years it's come out that NZ police failed to heed warnings of erratic or extremist behaviour in the days/weeks/months leading up to an incident - Aromoana is held out as the classic case because of its horror, the use of automatic weapons and rural isolation, but there are dozens more cases of murders where the police were warned week/months beforehand but stood by and did nothing until triggers were pulled.

      NZ has one of the highest per-capita gun ownership rates in the western world (at one point substantially higher than the USA) and one of the lowest firearms-involved(*) crime rates so they must be doing most things right, however when they do get things wrong, they get them very very wrong.

      (*) Virtually every case has involved stolen weapons(**), locally manufactured weapons or ones which have been smuggled in/been in criminal circulation for decades (***)

      (**) Securing your weapons is a big deal and having stuff stolen is grounds for license revokation. Despite individual weapons not needing registration (they used to, it was found to be ineffective) owners are required to keep records of serial numbers, etc.

      (***) It's _difficult_ to smuggle things into a country that's 3 hours flight from anywhere else and some of the stuff criminals have predates effective gun laws enacted 50 years ago

      1. Kiwi Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Root causes

        I've had dealings with regional police in NZ. Unless handed everything on a silver platter they're unlikely to take action to prevent crime occurring(+)

        (+) In a number of cases the _police_ have been the criminals.

        I could tell you stories, but I think you may've already come across some of them.

        I guess according to some here on El Reg that makes us both anarchists! :)

        I'm always amazed at how NZ police seem to rate as the least corrupt in the world, yet I don't think you'll find a lazier more incompetent self-entitled bunch anywhere else.

  47. johnrobyclayton

    You get what you...

    You get what you pay for

    Facebook, Youtube etc, are free or cheap enough, except for your attention and the information about yourself that you give up.

    You get what you vote for

    If you want something different, vote differently, if you do not like the choices, run for office yourself.

    You get what you do nothing to stop

    Evil happens when good people do nothing to stop it irrespective of what their opinions on what good and evil are.

    If you do not like a company's behaviour:

    Go to another company.

    Create your own that out competes them that behaves as you see fit.

    Buy them and change their behaviour.

    Vote for legislators that create the regulations that enforce the behaviours you require.

    Become a legislator and vote for the regulations that you require.

    Do something that stops behaviours that you deem evil. Convince others to prevent evil from being done. Share your attempts with others.

    You might want to create a manifesto in this case, just so people can understand your choices and the intent of your actions.

    As has been said before, there are no easy options here.

    There are plenty of easy to state wishes that are in a lot of cases, especially now extremely heartfelt.

    But as has been observed many times before magical wish based thinking and requirements in the political/technological/social/environmental spaces serve no useful purpose.

    It is only the choices that we make, the actions that we engage in that makes the world what we want. We live in a world full of other people that are choosing and acting as they see fit.

    If these events prompt you to choose something or do something, then make your choice. Act.

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: You get what you...

      It is only the choices that we make, the actions that we engage in that makes the world what we want. We live in a world full of other people that are choosing and acting as they see fit.

      Well said!

      I do my best (most of the time) to model not only the behaviours and things I believe to be right, but to also show that I can live a happy life by them.

      As I've said around here before, people have threatened me but I don't let that get to me (I won't go on a hunting trip with such people either of course, but I won't live in fear). Do what makes yourself happy, but try hard to not do what makes others sad (unless their 'sad' is demonstrably unreasonable). Try to win others over to your POV, but let them share their POV with you as well - you might learn something valuable.

      Jesus said "treat others as you would have them treat you". Bill and Ted said "be excellent to each other". Either one works.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    I got as far as the ridiculous attempt to try and shift blame onto the US and, by default, Trump, and then stopped reading. The trips to Eastern Europe, where racism is prevalent, and his admiration for the Chinese, and just think of their treatment of the Uighurs, is completely ignored in favour of "Blame the US and Trump". I expect that sort of nonsense from the Guardian and Daily Heil, not El Reg, and the author should be ashamed of himself for such blatant political point-scoring nonsense whilst the bodies of the victims haven't even gone cold. Congratulations, El Reg, you've just lost another reader, for if you can't stay out of the same drivel as the gutter press and stick to tech news then there's no place for you in my life for such moronity will be treated with the contempt it deserves.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Baldy Man

      Most articles that I am interested in, I read completely.

      Some, like this, I tend to straight to the comment thread as I expect to see the same attacks you are now leaving this otherwise wondrous site because of.

    2. Kiwi Silver badge

      Given your creating an account just to post that trash, I have a feeling you weren't exactly much of an El Reg regular.

      Door's over that way ->. Don't let it hit your backside on the way out.

  49. Snow Wombat
    FAIL

    Except...

    Silicon Valley and co can not be trusted, not to abuse those real time censorship tools for political ends.

    So no, this is a terrible idea.

  50. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    An Alien Three Penny Worth .....

    Does NOT sharing/understanding the aftermath and/or consequences of tragic incidents, with the selective non presentation of witnessing media, not fatally insulate and isolate the masses from the work of others they really should know everything about?

    It is certainly something the chattering political classes fear most in their shenanigans to try and ensure their cabal's/revolutionary council's/closet cloistered Cabinets secrets for remaining in retention of command and control, remain widely generally unknown. It is all so perversely incestuous.

    With probably one of the biggest secrets being they are just as puppets tasked with doing the bidding of a whole raft of other faceless beings wishing to remain nameless and relatively invisible and thus to think themselves virtually invincible. Perfect useful and useless idiots indeed in a time where nothing escapes scrutinous observation.

    Such always has me thinking Einsteinian ......

    Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former.

    1. Conundrum1885

      Re: An Alien Three Penny Worth .....

      My £€¥$§0.02 worth.

      The problem isn't so much that the content wasnt taken down quickly enough but that nutters shared it everywhere. We should examine the possibility of formal charges against every last one of them.

      1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  51. Greg Fawcett

    Thank you

    I'm a kiwi. There has literally only been one story on TV, radio and news sites for the last three days, with hundreds of opinions and variations of our PM's "they are us" message. So I wasn't expecting much from an article on a tech website, but I'm blown away.

    First, for identifying the prime motivation for this sick individual (glory), and not giving him an ounce of it. Second for pointing out how if FB had cut his feed, he probably wouldn't have done it, and therefore how complicit big tech is. I'm hoping Google engineers spent their weekend figuring out how their vaunted AI could have stopped this; I have less faith in Facebook and Twitter's management.

    To those debating how criminal you have to be to be banned from Facebook; or how dangerous a gun has to be to banned; get real. The main reason NZ is so cool is that we're small, and we only have two degrees of separation. When most of us know someone who knows someone who was affected, "but I need a semi-automatic for <unconvincing reason>" just doesn't cut it - we'll have legislation banning semi-automatics on the table by the end of the week. I just hope that the ideas from this article provoke as much action against filterless social media.

  52. kiwi.mec

    Christchurch tragedy-related scams and attacks

    For anyone who thought that the Internet had reached the bottom of the barrel for us kiwis, think again: https://www.cert.govt.nz/businesses-and-individuals/recent-threats/christchurch-tragedy-related-scams-and-attacks/ It's really hard to imagine the low life's that would resort to taking advantage of such a situation.

  53. fung0

    No such thing as 'a little censorship'

    Freedom of speech is indivisible, because there is no omniscient arbiter. As soon as you draw a line, others will get to work moving it. The 'common sense' rules you establish to muzzle 'offensive' others will soon be used to muzzle you.

  54. martinusher Silver badge

    Maybe a missed opportunity?

    You can't hide atrocities but you can certainly personalize them. Some of the most powerful write ups of mass murders have been a page with the picture and a short biography of each victim. This is so powerful because the victims stop being statistics and start to be people -- friends, neighbors, colleagues, and ultimately, any of us.

    So I'd grab that video feed and add a commentary to it -- this 'thing' that he's just shot was actually a person with a name, age and a biography.

    We also need to talk about the injured because apart from the emotional scars people who get shot and survive often have life changing injuries -- sure, they're not dead, but they're disabled for period of time, sometimes permanently. The so-called assault rifle is particularly dangerous because it fires high velocity ammunition; the bullet will cause capitation when it hits flesh which destroys a much larger volume of tissue than you'd get from a subsonic bullet.

  55. Thekatman

    Two things.

    One reason houses of worship are targets for mass murder is that the entire congregation is facing the religious leader and no one is watching the front door. Most HOW shooters walk in through the front door. Have folks watch the front door and be armed and this hateful action might cease.

    Second thing.... I find it ironic that a lot of posters on this thread are liberals and others have a poor opinion of America yet every one of us clicked on this clickbait piece to watch the video because the title of the piece indicates so.

    Click here to see the New Zealand livestream mass-murder vid! This is the internet Facebook, YouTube, Twitter built!

    Go figure, you hypocrites.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I clicked it under the assumption that

      A: titles mean dickey all here.

      B: The Reg has a decent moral code.

      I haven't read up on any of the other sites on this issue, can't even trust the BBC not to post far off gory pics.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      It is obviously talking about how social media 'works', not offering it themselves (unlike, say, the Daily Heil). Regular readers will also note it's in the same format as other headlines about something fucked-up that social media has now normalised.

    3. RancidOrange

      You figured incorrectly, matey. I clicked because I knew the Reg wasn't going to be showing anything of the kind. You may find you are in the minority if you expected to watch said video.

    4. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe a missed opportunity?

      "So I'd grab that video feed and add a commentary to it -- this 'thing' that he's just shot was actually a person with a name, age and a biography."

      I've watched enough crime documentaries to realize some nuts get off on that kind of stuff. Just yesterday I watched an episode of Forensic Files featuring a St. Louis serial killer. When a news reporter tried to do the exact bit you described for one of the victims, the killer wrote to the paper demanding another one. IOW, some killers LIKE intimacy with their victims.

    5. Thekatman

      Appreciate the comments.

      Good day, sir!

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  56. RobTub

    Although the internet has come into people's lives pretty much devoid of precedence in terms of rules and regulations, it should be recognized that if a service is to generate revenue from a given country, the laws of that country must be adhered to. So far, this has never been done and the internet companies making money out of this unfettered access are doing it with the knowledge that they need to voluntarily put up the necessary resources to ensure laws of countries they have access to are adhered to.

    A sizable portion of their profits are money that rightly should be spent on filtering their content and making them suitable for each country's consumption. It should be understood that freedom of expression/speech and rights of access differ from country to country. In one country, freedom of speech may include any thing from the filthiest to the responsible, whilst in another you have freedom of responsible, accountable speech. In one country, a person's rights may include the right not to respect anyone, whilst in another you have the right to responsible behavior from others. Thus, using the lame excuse that the internet should be kept free from any form of regulations is just an excuse to not be accountable for one's actions and to conveniently free oneself from having to moderate the service content to be in line with a country's established laws. And that, coincidentally, works wonders for the bottom line.

  57. File Not Found

    Quite right

    Thanks for a good, solid, straightforward argument that sets it out simply. Just get this done, Fb and the rest of you....

  58. Apprentice

    Comments are turning into a political debate

    The Register is all about technology news. I get the Facebook angle and all but this article has turned the comments section into a political debate that should be discussed elsewhere like Reddit.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Comments are turning into a political debate

      It's a political problem, not a technological one, therefore all debates are inevitably going to turn political. It doesn't mean The Register shouldn't cover it, where else can you get a political/technological mix of comments?

      Comparing hashes is ancient technology, YouTube has Content ID to recognise pieces of copyrighted video. Disabling sharing should be done already and in a world without lobbying probably would have already been done.

    2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

      Re: Comments are turning into a political debate

      this article has turned the comments section into a political debate that should be discussed elsewhere like Reddit.

      This article, like others on El Reg, has turned the comments section into an arena for sensible, rational and civilised political debate. And I don't have a problem with that, whether I agree with what anyone posts or not.

      We could all do with a lot more of what we get here than what we so frequently get elsewhere.

      So, whether it is, or should be, the place for political debate; I really don't care if it becomes that at times. I can always choose not to read the comments or participate as I feel fit.

  59. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Don't throw the book at them, throw the whole damn library at them

    The social media companies that have allowed these videos to be spread should be fined in every country which has anti-terrorism laws.

    The UK will probably end up do nothing apart from obtaining assurances which allow ministers to appear on the telly saying everything's under control, but I bet Germany's already preparing the case.

  60. Big_Boomer

    It was obvious this was going to happen!

    I said to my better half when Facebook introduced Live Streaming, that it would be used by a terrorist to stream atrocities within a year or 2, and I was wrong. It took 2 years and 2 months. This kind of access to an audience is too tempting to damaged scum like him, and it WILL get used again for this kind of thing as the supply of damaged scum is endless. The social media companies need to be held to account. If they propagate this kind of material then they should be fined every penny they earned from it x10. Then when they are losing money on this hate mongering shite, maybe they will put something in place to keep it off their systems. Any bets whether this instance will lead to a change in their policies? Or will it require another live streamed atrocity before they get off their arses and either drop all live streaming, or else find an effective way of policing it.

  61. Wayland Bronze badge
    Trollface

    "The simple fact is that the availability of such content, unchecked, is driving the problem."

    No, the shooter played you and you fell for it.

    Subscribe to PewDiePie is clearly just to trigger you leftie Californian fools into thinking that PewDiePie is some kind of NAZI radicalizing people to become right wing nut jobs.

    It is further made obvious when he credits Candice Owns as one of his heroes.

    His whole aim is not to kill 49 Muslims but to set the left against everyone who is not a leftie. It's clearly working well and would be very entertaining if it was not so dire for Free Speech.

    1. sum_of_squares

      Re: "The simple fact is that the availability of such content, unchecked, is driving the problem."

      An interesting point of view.

      Personally I doubt the guy thought so much about the potential reactions for different political groups, though. He despised a certain group of people and killed them, end of story.

      People can be stupid an cruel, that's the world we're living in.

      And raging against facebook or the media won't change a single thing.

      My condolences to the families.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: "The simple fact is that the availability of such content, unchecked, is driving the problem."

        But how do you keep the kooks from taking the rest of us (most of which aren't in a position to care) with them?

      2. NonyaDB

        Re: "The simple fact is that the availability of such content, unchecked, is driving the problem."

        "Personally I doubt the guy thought so much about the potential reactions for different political groups, though. He despised a certain group of people and killed them, end of story."

        Oh he gave a LOT of thought about what his actions would do.

        Read his "manifesto" - he explicitly says his actions were designed to sow chaos and he tells you exactly what he thinks of each political group. He wrote how he hates "conservatives", ANTIFA, muslims, etc.

        The terrifying part is he is completely sane, even if his motivations are completely murderous.

  62. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I'm very glad that El Reg did not post the shooter's name

    I think we would have fewer of these "blaze of glory" idiots if the media did not mention their names during coverage. Let these various haters and nutcases go to the public oblivion they so richly deserve.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: I'm very glad that El Reg did not post the shooter's name

      They'll just get more ostentatious until they FORCE you into publicizing them. They're willing to go MAD for their cause. How do you deal with someone like that, giving the mere act of taking them out could easily trigger more atrocity?

      1. Marketing Hack Silver badge

        Re: I'm very glad that El Reg did not post the shooter's name

        More ostentatious than fatally shooting 50 people at close range while livestreaming the attack? What extra level of ostentation is available? Dancing elephants and chorus girls?

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: I'm very glad that El Reg did not post the shooter's name

          How about 9/11? At some point, you either reply or get killed.

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The problem is open communication. In the 90s and early 2000s everyone was saying open communication would save us, bring new ideas to light while shining that same light onto the bad ideas. That we, the people, would be able to use arguments and good ideas to change minds and bring people closer together. The problem becomes is people refuse to change their minds, specially when others cannot or will not tell their own to their own ideas are wrong as well. Too many people willing to prove too many others right, seeing nothing wrong with horrible ideas just because of the people they come from. It's not hard to find evidence to back up any horrible ideals or conspiracies people come up with.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    1.2 million videos of the event were removed by Facebook and Twitter in the first 24 hours after the attack.

    It's really like people do not understand the scale of our modern world. And you know if things were so automated to be able to pull down every single problem the same people demanding they do a better job would be screaming discrimination and censorship. You can't have it both ways.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Facebook?

      "if things [at Facebook?] were so automated to be able to pull down every single problem the same people demanding they do a better job would be screaming discrimination and censorship. You can't have it both ways."

      Really?

      What do you think stops "high value commercial content (films, TV, live concerts, etc)" spreading like wildfire across Facebook (and elsewhere)?

      The innate natural kindness of Mr Zuckerberg and his audience?

      Or some other kind of encouragement, perhaps by the high value content media rights owners and their enforcers?

      Whatever it is, if it works for them, why can't it work for the incident in question here?

      YOU can't have it both ways. Only big business is allowed that privilege (at the moment).

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Facebook?

        "What do you think stops "high value commercial content (films, TV, live concerts, etc)" spreading like wildfire across Facebook (and elsewhere)?"

        They don't use Facebook. They use the Darknet and Torrents which are easier to use for larger files. And yes, they DO spread like wildfire in spite of God, Man, or Hollywood. Hell, many of them are hosted in countries hostile to Hollywood so tend to respond with the Finger. That's why they have to go after the downloaders--because the hosters are increasingly protected by hostile sovereignty.

  65. RancidOrange

    Publishing platforms

    The author mentioned that the video was made available on "publishing platforms." Unfortunately, in the eyes of the law they aren't publishers and there lies the problem.

    If social media organisations were treated as publishers then do you think this video would have been made available on their sites? I'm sure they would suddenly be able to find a way to moderate all posts to prevent this happening rather than being fined out of existence.

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: Publishing platforms

      Given the sheer volume of materials that passes through them everyday, you'd just be putting them into a dilemma: either they get fined out of existence or they'll be pushed into obscurity (and replaced with a new entity based in a more-lenient country) because of the sheer physical limits of moderation versus that tidal wave of stuff they get every day. Odds they'll pull a fly-by-night and become said new forum in the friendlier country (which WILL be there for the country that wants their tax revenues).

    2. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Publishing platforms

      Because social media platforms have acted to remove 'political' content, I think they've already lost the publisher argument. Especially as in some cases, it seems to have been done on their own initiative, ie 'deplatforming' controversial accounts.

      But that's necessary, especially if those accounts are promoting hate, inciting illegal activities and posting content that is illegal in X jurisdiction. Problem there is with global reach, what's legal in one country may be illegal in another. But the 'social' media companies allegedly use their sophisticated analytics to profile all their users so they can flog ads.. And location is rather key for that. So the same analytics could surely be turned to filtering out illegal content.

      Problem there is defining it, given legislation can be a bit vague on the subject, but that's all part of the great debate between industry and politicians. Many years ago, I was at a LINX meeting where the new head of the IWF told us that they were going to start censoring political content. The IWF chap was ex-police and quite forceful in his view. Other members and I pointed out the IWF was funded by the members, and we weren't happy with the idea of scope creep away from it's purpose of stopping child pornography. That debate continues. If it's illegal, there should be effective methods to remove content and allow investigations.

      With video and live streaming, I guess it's trickier. But the content providers already use analytics and fingerprinting to identify and remove copyright content, often pretty rapidly. One option may be to agree standards for video/live streaming and apply DRM to it so that sharing becomes impossible, or at least harder. People will still find ways around it, but it may slow the spread of noxious & illegal 'viral' videos.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    restrictions to weapons

    Great to tick the boxes in people's minds that "SOMETHING's gotta be done... DONE, problem solved!" But the problem won't be solved by banning automatics if somebody's determined enough, they'll find a (legal) way, petrol bomb, poison, or any other chemical, etc. It's not to say that weapons' control shouldn't be tighter, but it's not going to solve a problem of people with festering hatred towards this or that group, or "group". I don't see any viable solution. And yeah, kicking facebook is also great for the mob mentality (which I gleefully cheer) of "hang the bankers! burn the rich!" etc, but it won't solve the problem either, although I don't claim to know if there's any solution. Trouble is, most, if not people, hold a lesser or stronger grudge against this or that group of "others", and unless we re-engineer the humans, which is not likely to happen, tight control only makes those feelings fester, waiting for the right moment, when the controls drop...

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: restrictions to weapons

      But the problem won't be solved by banning automatics if somebody's determined enough

      But we must have less guns! Guns are bad and kill people!

      Lets just ignore the fact that in the last 24 hours more people have died from alcohol than from guns, more have died from the use of cars than from guns, probably more have died in home and work accidents, many many more have died from preventable starvation and disease, if only us richer people weren't so damned greedy and selfish.

      This guy had a car with a decent amount of cargo space. A little more thought into his IEDs (shoulda spent more time in the library, easy to avoid the censors and the sensors that way!) and he could've gone out in a "blaze of glory" and killed a LOT of people as well.

      Admittedly, his method perhaps was one of the more effective methods, just like how the Washington Sniper killed relatively few yet had quite a significant effect on the area, but he could've done more damage without guns.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: restrictions to weapons

        "Lets just ignore the fact that in the last 24 hours more people have died from alcohol than from guns,"

        Let's just ignore the fact that alcohol as a vice pretty much predates civilization and is so ingrained in most cultures that taking it away pretty much takes away their identity. Why do you think bootleg liquor became familiar even among the everyday people during the height of US Prohibition?

        "Lets just ignore the fact that in the last 24 hours more people have died from alcohol than from guns,"

        A necessary evil as more people needs to be able to get to their jobs (emphasis on the plural) on time or be unable to feed their families and/or pay the bills.

        "probably more have died in home and work accidents"

        I don't know about that. The average life expectancy has been trending upward since way back when.

        "many many more have died from preventable starvation and disease"

        Preventable in what ways specifically. As a comedian once said, "You Can't Fix Stupid."

        "Admittedly, his method perhaps was one of the more effective methods, just like how the Washington Sniper killed relatively few yet had quite a significant effect on the area, but he could've done more damage without guns."

        And it would've been hard to stop any sniper who legally acquired a scoped hunting rifle on account of say being a licensed deer hunter. Just as it's hard to stop an ANFO bomb (a la Oklahoma City) because the key ingredients are ubiquitous to any farmer (and Bath Township was committed by a farmer exploiting his legal supply of excavation charges).

  67. Colonist-in-IT

    Cure for the Incurable

    I appreciate all the solutions offered here, but most are out of my realm of influence.

    I do know that I can keep a watchful eye for that person who is desperately in need of something I can give.

    I can't cure 'Crazy', but maybe by giving of myself to someone other than 'myself', I can possibly keep their insanity from leaving the ground level. Use my influence to keep that person in need in the world with consequences before they reach the level of where the only thing that is important is being 'noticed'.

    Is it insane to search social media for people who are lonely?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cure for the Incurable

      Change the question. Is it insane to search social media for people who WANT to be lonely?

  68. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shooter is which side?

    Reading the 37 page manifesto it is apparent he identifies as being an Eco-Fascist, and his main country of admiration is China.

    That would make this shooter a person that is of the FAR LEFT, not the right. This bloke makes Antifa look like altar boys.

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