Multiple Australian telephone companies have taken the extreme measure to block access to dozens of sites found to be hosting footage of Friday’s Christchurch terror attack.

Telstra, Vodafone, and Optus have all blocked access to notorious platforms like 4Chan, 8Chan, Zerohedge, and Voat, as well as broadcasting site Livestream.

The gunman from Friday’s terror attack initially used 4Chan and 8Chan to publish links to access a Facebook livestream of the shooting.

A Vodafone spokesperson said in a statement that temporary blocks had been placed on sites “known to still be actively hosting footage“.

We understand users trying to access these sites for legitimate purposes may be inconvenienced but we believe it’s the right thing to do in these extreme circumstances to help stop the further distribution of the video,” they said.

On its site, Telstra‘s group executive Nikos Katinakis said the telco “appreciates that it is necessary to ensure free speech is carefully balanced against protecting the community” but that the blocked sites were hosting disturbing content they felt was right to block.

These are shocking events and the idea that this footage could in some way be used to incite or support hate is a sickening thought. We will continue to do whatever we can to assist and to support a diverse and inclusive community.

A spokesperson for Optus told PEDESTRIAN.TV that the domains had been blocked “reflecting on community expectations.

PEDESTRIAN.TV understands that at least one of the telcos carried out the blocks after being provided a list by New Zealand organisations.

On Tuesday morning, Facebook said it had deleted 1.5 million reposts of the footage in the 24 hours following the attack.

The social media giant has also shared digital fingerprints of more than 800 visually-distinct videos with Google, Twitter, and Microsoft in an effort to remove content related to the attack.

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