Sick of Massacres? Get rid of the damn guns. But despite efforts to remove footage of the massacre, it is easily found on the web.

The 90-second video offers an unnerving first view. A man strides across a parking lot. Then he raises a semiautomatic gun and fires at two people standing in a doorway. One falls, while the other tries crawling away before getting shot again. 

The black-and-white clip was uploaded to Facebook on March 15, 2019. It was a partial recording of a livestream by a gunman while he murdered 51 people that day at two mosques in Christ Church, New Zealand.

For more than three years, the video has remained undisturbed on Facebook, cropped to a square and  slowed down in parts. About three quarters of the way through the video, text pops up urging the audience to ''Share THIS''

The clip has amassed about 7,000 views and 22 comments, including some asking for it to be deleted.

Online writings apparently connected to the 18-year-old man accused of killing 10 people at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, on May 14 said that he drew inspiration for a livestreamed attack from the Christchurch shooting.

The clip on Facebook - one of the dozens that are online, even after years of work to remove them - may have been part of the reason that the Christchurch gunman's tactics were so easy to emulate.

IN A SEARCH spanning 24 hours this recent past week, The New York Times identified more than 50 clips and online links with the Christchurch gunman's 2019 footage. 

They were on at least nine platforms and websites, including Reddit, Twitter, Telegram, 4chan, and the video site Rumble, according to The Time's review.

Three of the videos had been uploaded to Facebook as far back as the day of the killings, according to the Tech Transparency Project, an industry watchdog group, while others were posted as recently as this past week.

The clips and links were not difficult to find, even though Facebook, Twitter and other platforms pledged in 2019 to eradicate the footage, pushed partly by public outrage over the incident and by world governments.

In March 2020, about a year after the shooting, nearly a dozen tweets linking to variations of the video appeared on Twitter. More videos appeared when the gunman was sentenced to life in prison in August 2020.

Other groups jumped in to pressure the tech companies to erase the video. Tech Against Terrorism, a United Nations supoorted initiative that devlops tech to detect extremist content, sent 50 alerts baout Christchurch content to tech companies and file hosting services from December 2020 to November 2021, said Adam Hadley, the founder and director of the group.

That represented about 51 percent of the right-wing terrorist content the group was trying to remove online, he said.

''One video can have gigantic reach, and not noticing a failure to act can make it a very popular node,'' Mr. Hadley said. ''Terrorist actors know this and try to send it over as many platforms as possible.''

Despite the vigilance, at least nine videos with Christchurch footage appeared on Gab, another fringe site, in 2021, according to a review by The Times. Some were narrated by conspiracy theorists who posited that the shooting had been staged.

After the attack on Saturday, several links to the Christchurch massacre appeared online again. On Twitter, some users who commented on the Buffalo news asked where to find videos of the New Zealand killings.

''You can find it all over Twitter,'' one user replied, adding a kissing face emoji.

The World Students Society thanks Authors, Ryan Mac, Kellen Browning and Sheera Frenkel.


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