Shooting near German synagogue was livestreamed on Twitch

Shooting near German synagogue was livestreamed on Twitch
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The shooting near a synagogue in Halle, Germany, on Wednesday that left two dead was livestreamed on Twitch, the company confirmed to The Hill.

"We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Germany today, and our deepest condolences go out to all those affected," a spokesperson for Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, said.

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"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 suspected gunman has been detained, according to local law enforcement officials.

The 35-minute video was seen by approximately five people while being streamed, according to Twitch.

A copy of the stream uploaded automatically after its conclusion was viewed by roughly 2,200 people in the 30 minutes before the video was flagged and removed from the platform.

The shooting occurred on the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur while numerous synagogues are on high alert due to an increase in high-profile incidents of anti-Semitic violence.

The shooting being streamed to the public on Twitch, which is primarily used to stream video games, illustrates a growing problem for social media companies.

Earlier this year, a gunman livestreamed himself killing 51 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Facebook.

Tech companies scrambled to remove the 17-minute video, but copies remained available for hours on many platforms.

In the aftermath of that attack, several prominent websites committed new resources to curbing terrorist and extremist content.

Seventeen nations have signed the so-called Christchurch Call, a nonbinding pledge to crack down on extremist or violent content online. Google, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have also signed on to the agreement.

The Trump administration has declined to join the agreement, citing concerns about freedom of speech.