Twitch Pulls Shooting Vid Quickly, But Facebook And Streamable Reuploads Reached Millions

While the video has since been removed for violating Streamable’s terms of service, it managed to circulate on Facebook for up to 9 hours, The New York Times reports. Some users who flagged the video to Facebook for harmful content told the Times they received a message back that it didn’t violate the platform’s terms of service. A Facebook spokesman confirmed to the The New York Times that the video was in fact in violation, but couldn’t explain why notifications to the contrary had gone out to some users. Axios, meanwhile, reports it was able to view a video of the shootings on Facebook as late as 11:30 p.m. ET last night. Facebook and Streamable did not immediately respond to requests by Kotaku for comment.

According to The New York Times, footage of the mass shooting also circulated on Twitter, and in some cases was directly uploaded to the platform. “A company spokeswoman initially said the site might remove some instances of the video or add a sensitive content warning, then later said Twitter would remove all videos related to the attack after The Times asked for clarification,” the publication wrote.


Based on a manifesto believed to belong to the man police identified as the gunman, the Buffalo mass shooting was partly inspired by the 2019 Christchurch mass shooting in New Zealand, among other recent atrocities. The Christchurch killings were infamously broadcast for an extended period on Facebook Live. In his purported manifesto, the Buffalo gunman wrote that he was partly motivated by livestreaming. “I know that some people will be cheering for me.”

Social media platforms have a long history of inconsistent and bungled moderation, but livestreamed footage has to originate somewhere. In Twitch’s case, it is extremely easy to set up a new account and begin broadcasting immediately. All you need is an email address. “Go live in five,” the mobile app advertises. It takes less than a minute to create a new account and begin livestreaming from your phone. There are obvious benefits to this sort of democratization of content sharing. It also makes places like Twitch and Facebook Live uniquely susceptible to amplifying despicable acts.


In the wake of this latest attack, politicians like New York’s Governor, Kathy Hochul, are already calling for more scrutiny of tech platforms when it comes to hate speech and other harmful content. “I want them to sit in the room, look me in the eye and tell me, too, have you done everything humanly possible to make sure that you’re monitoring this content the second it hits your platform?” Hochul said in a press conference Sunday. “If you’re not, then I’m going to hold you responsible. So, prove to me that there is nothing else that can be done.”

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