Facebook Reportedly Said The NZ Shooting Wasn’t “Gruesome” Enough To Flag

Facebook’s policy director for counter-terrorism has reportedly told US Congress members the platform’s algorithm failed to detect the livestreamed Christchurch massacre because there was “not enough gore.

The Daily Beast reports that members of the US House Homeland Security Committee (HHSC) were left confused and befuddled after Facebook’s policy director for counterterrorism, Brian Fishman, said the video of the attack was not “particularly gruesome.

The comments came during a meeting between staff of the HHSC and reps from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter on March 27. The tech giants were grilled on the response to the New Zealand shooting, which was on Facebook for an hour before it was taken down following NZ police intervening.

Missouri Democrat Emanuel Cleaver told The Daily Beast he asked Fishman “how many heads must explode before [the algorithms] pick it up?” 

“I guess I should just tell my children and my grandchildren, from Shakespeare, ‘Something wicked this way comes’—because that is what we would expect on a daily basis if Facebook can’t come up with a way to stop it,” he said.

Earlier this month the Australian government passed a law that pushes heavy fines and jail time for internet companies that fail to quickly remove “abhorrent” video and images from its site.

The controversial legislation could see companies like Facebook be fined 10% of annual turnover and will also introduce an e-Safety Commissioner with the power to issue notices.

On Wednesday, New Zealand Parliament voted to change gun laws, stopping the circulation and use of most semi-automatic firearms.