The subreddit ‘r/watchpeopledie’ was banned from the site on Friday, hours after a shooter stormed two mosques in Christchurch and killed 49 while live-streaming the massacre.
The video of the horror attack quickly circulated online, despite attempts to quash its spread.
On r/watchpeopledie, which is devoted to sharing such footage, Reddit users feverishly tried to get their hands on the 17-minute clip.
Reddit displayed the ban hammer on the subreddit r/watchpeopledie, indicating that the forum devoted to videos of death had been permanently banned on Friday
A heavily armed shooter stormed two mosques on Friday in New Zealand, firing indiscriminately as he broadcast live on Facebook. A still from the broadcast is seen above
Activity on the board was so intense that a moderate locked a thread about the video late on Thursday, according to TechCrunch.
The mod posted a statement reading: ‘Sorry guys but we’re locking the thread out of necessity here. The video stays up until someone censors us.
‘This video is being scrubbed from major social media platforms but hopefully Reddit believes in letting you decide for yourself whether or not you want to see unfiltered reality.
‘Regardless of what you believe, this is an objective look into a terrible incident like this. Remember to love each other.’
After watching the video, many returned to the forum to express their regret at having seen it, and caution others against watching the extremely graphic footage.
Users of the subreddit continued to trade links to download the video until the board was permanently banned sometime on Friday.
‘We are very clear in our site terms of service that posting content that incites or glorifies violence will get users and communities banned from Reddit,’ a Reddit spokesperson told TechCrunch. ‘Subreddits that fail to adhere to those site-wide rules will be banned.’
Accused shooter Brenton Tarrant appeared to be well versed in online culture and memes, and posted a salute to his associates on the imageboard 8chan moments before the attack
Two similar subreddits, r/gore and r/wpdtalk (‘watch people die talk’) were banned on Friday as well.
Elsewhere on Reddit, two subreddits devoted to the YouTuber PewDiePie were temporarily set to private by moderators in the wake of the attack.
Accused shooter Brenton Tarrant, 28, was heard in the video shouting ‘subscribe to PewDiePie’ before opening fire.
PewDiePie, a Swedish entertainer whose real name is Felix Kjellberg, has been locked in competition with the Indian record company T-Series for the most YouTube subscribers, a showdown known as the Great Subscriber War.
In a statement, PewDiePie expressed sympathy for the victims and disavowed the attacker, saying ‘I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person.’
Tarrant appeared to be well versed in online culture and memes, and posted a salute to his associates on the imageboard 8chan moments before the attack.
PewDiePie (above) expressed sympathy for the victims and disavowed the attacker, who shouted ‘subscribe to PewDiePie’ before storming a mosque and opening fire
On Saturday, Australian-born Tarrant appeared in court to face initial charges in the case.
He stood in the dock wearing handcuffs and a white prison smock, as the judge read a single murder charge against him. A raft of further charges were expected.
Tarrant posted a manifesto online prior to the attack, in which he stated that he was an ‘eco-fascist’ opposed to Muslim or any other immigration to European and Anglosphere countries.
He wrote that he hoped the attack would heighten divisions over gun control policy in the U.S., which he speculated would lead to a civil war along political, cultural and racial lines.
Tarrant in his writing cited U.S. conservative commentator Candace Owens as the single greatest influence on his radicalization.
Owens, who is black, dismissed that claim as ‘pointedly absurd’ in a statement.
Brenton Tarrant, the accused Christchurch shooter, appears in court on Saturday. He is seen making an ‘OK’ sign with his hand, which has been adopted as an ironic white power symbol