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After Christchurch, Reddit bans communities infamous for sharing graphic videos of death
In the aftermath of the tragic mosque massacre that claimed 49 lives in Christchurch, New Zealand, tech companies scrambled to purge their platforms of promotional materials that the shooter left behind. As most of the internet is now unfortunately aware, the event was broadcast live on Facebook, making it one of the most horrific incidents of violence to spread through online communities in realtime.
As Twitter users cautioned others from sharing the extraordinarily graphic video, some Reddit users actively sought the video and knew exactly where to look. The infamous subreddit r/watchpeopledie was quarantined (making it unsearchable) in September 2018 but until today remained active for anyone to visit directly. The subreddit has a long history of sharing extremely graphic videos following tragic events and acts of violence, like the 2018 murder of two female tourists in Morocco.
[...] The subreddit remained active until some time late Friday morning Pacific Time, when Reddit banned the controversial community.
How 'hashing' could stop violent videos from spreading
Some experts say tech companies should more broadly adopt a technology they're already using to combat child pornography and copyright violations to more quickly stop the spread of these types of videos.
[...] Facebook (FB) says it took down the livestream "quickly," but hours later, re-uploads of it were still circulating on the site. Twitter suspended the original account in question and is working to remove other versions on the platform. YouTube said it is utilizing "technology and human resources" to remove content that violates their policies.
Technologists say digital hashing, which has existed for more than a decade, could be better used to prevent the re-upload of videos. Hashing wouldn't have been able to catch the original live video of the attacks, but it could stop re-uploaded copies from spreading.