Facebook says it removed 1.5 million videos of the New Zealand mosque attack

People take pictures on a pedestrian bridge, illuminated with colors of New Zealand’s national flag as a tribute to victims of the mosque shootings in Christchurch, in Jakarta, Indonesia, March 17, 2019. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc said it removed 1.5 million videos globally of the New Zealand mosque attack in the first 24 hours after the attack.

“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 bit.ly/2HDJtPM late Saturday.

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. The gunman who attacked two mosques on Friday 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.

Reporting by Bhanu Pratap in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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