Mass shooting at New Zealand mosques prompts companies to pull their ads from social media

Some New Zealand companies are considering whether to advertise on social media, after last week’s mass shooting was livestreamed on Facebook and redistributed on other platforms.

The Association of New Zealand Advertisers and the Commercial Communications Council writes:

The events in Christchurch raise the question, if the site owners can target consumers with advertising in microseconds, why can’t the same technology be applied to prevent this kind of content being streamed live?

At least 50 people were killed as a 28 year-old man from Australia opened fire at two New Zealand mosques. The shooter is described as a white nationalist who posted a racist manifesto online and wore a bodycam to livestream the event.

The man was taken into custody and charged with the murders.

Before the assault took place, a post on a message board linked to an 87-page manifesto filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim messaging. The post also directed users to a Facebook page that hosted the live stream.

the manifesto

According to a Vox news expert on extremism, in addition to laying down a hate-filled ideology, the document is filled with references to internet jokes and memes apparently intended to provide content for the media to quote and report on. In this way, the manifesto creates an opportunity for fringe opinions to be mainstreamed by network coverage.

For example, the title of the document (intentionally withheld from the article) was probably chosen in order to get people to look it up and discover an obscure anti-immigration book that’s been in circulation for a long time–but has recently been the subject of a surge of Google searches.

Another example, the shooter referenced President Trump in an apparent attempt to connect the crime to the US president, again, to keep the media buzzing.

The shooter leveraged social media to promote his agenda and recruit new members by spreading the information through social media platforms as well as through mainstream media–which gives the sense that the movement is more legitimate and more popular than it actually is.

heroism

48-year-old father of four was praying in the mosque with his sons when the shooting started.

Abdul Aziz ran toward the shooter, grabbing the only thing he could find — a credit card machine — and pitched it at the attacker. When that didn’t work, he bolted outside, weaving through the cars in the parking lot, calling out to the gunman, trying to pull his attention outside and away from the people in the mosque.

When the attacker dropped a gun, Aziz snatched the weapon from the ground–hoping to use the attacker’s gun on the attacker– but there was no ammunition left.

So, when the gunman went to his car, maybe for more ammunition, Aziz harpooned the gun at the windshield, shattering the glass. The gunman fled the parking area.

Originally from Kabul, Afghanistan, Aziz fled the violence of his country and lived in Australia for 27 years, settling in New Zealand more recently.

some reaction around the world

An Australian lawmaker, Senator Fraser Anning blamed Muslim immigration for the attacks. He said in a statement that was widely shared on Twitter, “The real cause of bloodshed on New Zealand streets today is the immigration program which allowed Muslim fanatics to migrate to New Zealand in the first place.”

In response, a 17-year-old cracks an egg on Anning’s head.

Mr. Anning turns and throws a haymaker at the kid, hitting him in the face twice. Check it out here:

What makes a mass shooter? Geek out on FBI data-supported profile. The desire for notoriety is among the list of more consistent traits, which has led to recommendations for reducing the time and information the media should responsibly spend on shooters.

From data on profiling, we can see that social media is an obvious amplifying platform that feeds into the psychology of mass shooters.

Social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, are facing new criticism after they struggled to block livestreamed footage of the massacre.

Should social media be liable for its content? Let’s take a look.


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