Facebook introduces new rules for live streaming after Christchurch shooting

CALIFORNIA: Facebook is introducing new rules for its live streaming feature, in response to the deadly terrorist attack in New Zealand that was broadcasted live on the social media platform.

In a blog post published on Tuesday, Facebook announced that it will temporarily restrict users from using its live feature if they break its “most serious policies”. The post does not specify these rules but points to the “current community standards” that prohibit spreading terrorist propaganda on the social network.

A Facebook spokesperson told CNN that under the new policy, the alleged Christchurchshooter would not have been able to live stream the March 15 massacre. The statement implies that the alleged shooter had previously broken the Facebook community standards.

The company also announced that it will invest USD 7.5 million in a research partnership with universities that would study ways to improve the existing image and video analysis technology.

Following the Christchurch terror attack, some users had modified the gunman’s video footage to avoid detection in order to report it after it had been taken down. Facebook and some other social media companies were heavily criticised for failing to curb the spread of that footage. More than a month after the shooting, its copies could still be found on major tech sites.

Tuesday’s announcement by the social media giant comes ahead of a push by New Zealand and France to encourage tech companies and countries to work together in the effort to limit the spread of extremist content online.

The non-binding agreement, called the Christchurch Call, is expected to be announced on Wednesday at a meeting of digital leaders for the Group of Seven nations.

“I’ve spoken to Mark Zuckerberg directly twice now, and actually we’ve had good ongoing communication with Facebook,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told CNN. “The last time I spoke to him a matter of days ago, he did give Facebook’s support to this call to action.”

“This call to action is not just about regulation, but instead about bringing companies to the table and saying, ‘You have a role too, and we have expectations from you,'” she added.

51 people had lost their lives and about as many were injured after a suspected white supremacist targeted two mosques, open firing at those congregated for Friday prayers on March 15.