Wednesday’s unfortunate shooting outside a synagogue in the city of Halle, Germany was live streamed on Amazon’s Twitch — another use of a live streaming platform to broadcast acts of terror. The video was 35 minutes long.
Twitch has now confirmed that the video was posted by the attacker on the platform.
A spokesperson stated;
We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Germany today, and our deepest condolences go out to all those affected. Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct, and any act of violence is taken extremely seriously. We are working with urgency to remove this content and permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act.
The attack brought back memories of the March mass killing at Christchurch, New Zealand, which was broadcasted live on Facebook.
The video shows a person shooting two people and making an unsuccessful attempt to beak into the synagogue. He also spoke in camera, speaking against Jews and denying the happening of Holocaust.
Two people are reported dead in the attack. The German authorities have confirmed the involvement of multiple attackers in today’s incident, but just once of them has appeared in the video.
In a series of tweets, Twitch has stated that 5 people watched the streaming live and about 2,200 watched the recorded clip before it was removed from the platform.
This video was not surfaced in any recommendations or directories; instead, our investigation suggests that people were coordinating and sharing the video via other online messaging services. Once the video was removed, we shared the hash with an industry consortium to help prevent the proliferation of this content. We take this extremely seriously and are committed to working with industry peers, law enforcement, and any relevant parties to protect our community.
Meanwhile, this incident is a stark example of why we need greater checks in place to control the content on live-streaming platforms. Twitch, Facebook, and others like them need to bring in stringent measures to ensure that their platforms are not used to spread terror.