A man who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant, 28, used Facebook to broadcast his slaughter of 41 worshippers at the Al Noor Mosque, in Christchurch as Friday prayers were underway.
New Zealand police alerted the social media giant to the livestream soon after it began, Facebook confirmed as they offered their condolences to the victims and their families.
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube are facing a monumental task in purging the sickening footage, as well as other content originally from Tarrant after two mosque attacks left 49 people dead.
Facebook said they were alerted to the terrorist’s attack at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, by the police soon after it began
Brenton Tarrant (pictured) live-streamed the massacre of dozens of people in Christchurch, New Zealand
Facebook said: ‘Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the community affected by this horrendous act’ (file photo)
‘Our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the community affected by this horrendous act,’ Facebook’s boss in Australia and New Zealand, Mia Garlick, said in an email seen by Business Insider.
‘New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced, and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video,’ Ms Garlick added.
‘We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware. We will continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues.’
The gunman spread his hate across multiple social media platforms, including posting a 73-page manifesto of hate to Twitter – they have since deleted it.
The media have shown the moments leading up to the attack, with most choosing to cut the footage when the violence begins.
However, social media users are plaguing the sites with a mass of disturbing content, unedited and totally unfiltered for anyone to see.
The sites which use a combination of human and artificial intelligence are struggling to cope with their users’ appetite for the content.
The terrorist’s footage showed the weapons being placed in the boot of a silver vehicle and then being unloaded at the mosque.
The white supremacist wears a body camera to give a first-person view as he walks towards the door of the mosque as he takes aim and starts firing on innocent worshippers.
Police cordon off Deans Avenue in front of the Al Noor Mosque after the attack on Friday
Police guard the area around the mosque as they carry out their investigation after the attack left 41 dead
A total of 49 people have been reported dead after attacks at two mosques in Christchurch (pictured: police outside the Al Noor Mosque
The gunfire began at about 1.45pm as the mosque was packed with devotees for its Friday prayer ceremonies.
At about the same time, a second shooter opened fire at the Masjid Mosque in Linwood, within six miles of the first attack.
Four suspects – who were not known to counter-terror authorities – are being questioned in custody.
In the aftermath of the bloody attacks, three men and one woman were arrested, with police charging ‘one man in his late 20s’ with murder. He will face court on Saturday.
Two others remain in police custody, with the fourth person arrested deemed not to have been involved in the attacks.
Of the 49 fatalities, 41 were killed at the Al Noor Mosque and seven at the Linwood Avenue mosque, with another dying in hospital.