Facebook restricts livestreaming in response to New Zealand attacks

Facebook restricts livestreaming in response to New Zealand attacks
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Facebook will start restricting the use of its livestreaming feature for users who violate its content policies in a new shift that comes in response to the mosque attacks in New Zealand earlier this year that were livestreamed and quickly spread across social media.

The company announced in a blog post on Tuesday that users who break rules involving terrorism, hate speech and violence will not be allowed to use Facebook Live for a certain amount of time.

“For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time,” Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of integrity, wrote in the post. “We plan on extending these restrictions to other areas over the coming weeks, beginning with preventing those same people from creating ads on Facebook.”

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The social media company has struggled to respond to the withering criticism from New Zealand officials after the shooter broadcasted the attack that left 50 people dead.

The company has vowed to work with leaders as it continues to face scrutiny from around the world over its policies.

"I've spoken to Mark ZuckerbergMark Elliot ZuckerbergHillicon Valley: Trump seeks review of Pentagon cloud-computing contract | FTC weighs updating kids' internet privacy rules | Schumer calls for FaceApp probe | Report says states need more money to secure elections Maxine Waters says her committee will call in Zuckerberg to testify about Libra Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers struggle to understand Facebook's Libra project | EU hits Amazon with antitrust probe | New cybersecurity concerns over census | Robocall, election security bills head to House floor | Privacy questions over FaceApp MORE directly twice now, and actually we've had good ongoing communication with Facebook," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in an interview with CNN this week.

Facebook has said that it blocked 1.5 million uploads of the video in the hours following the New Zealand attack.

“These are complex issues and our adversaries continue to change tactics,” Rosen wrote in the blog post. “We know that it is only by remaining vigilant and working with experts, other companies, governments and civil society around the world that we will be able to keep people safe.”