1.5 Million Videos of the New Zealand Mosque Attack Have Been Removed, Facebook Says

Gunman live-streamed the attacks on social media for 17 minutes using an app designed for extreme sports enthusiasts

Locals lay flowers in tribute to those killed and injured at Deans Avenue near the Al Noor Mosque on March 16, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Stringer / Fiona Goodall / Getty

Facebook Inc said it had removed 1.5 million videos globally of the New Zealand mosque attack in the first 24 hours after the deadly shootings at two separate mosques during Friday prayers.

"In the first 24 hours we removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, of which over 1.2 million were blocked at upload...," Facebook said in a tweet late Saturday.

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The company said it is also removing all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content out of respect for the people affected by the mosque shooting and the concerns of local authorities.

The death toll in the New Zealand mosque shootings rose to 50 on Sunday, with more than 20 people wounded. The gunman live-streamed the attacks on Facebook for 17 minutes using an app designed for extreme sports enthusiasts, with copies still being shared on social media hours later.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said she wants to discuss live streaming with Facebook. 

This was New Zealand's worst ever mass shooting, which Ardern condemned as terrorism.

Political and Islamic leaders expressed their disgust at the deadly attack, with some citing rising "Islamophobia" as responsible.