Attack on German synagogue was broadcast live for 35 minutes on Twitch
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    Attack on German synagogue was broadcast live for 35 minutes on Twitch

    This is not the first time that such an attack has been shared live on social media.. Credit: Flickr/ Gage skidmore

    The attack by a gunman on a synagogue in Halle, Germany on Wednesday, which killed two people and seriously wounded at least two persons, was broadcast live for 35 minutes on the streaming platform Twitch and then seen by 5 people, the streaming platform has announced.

    Some 2,200 people then saw the version stored on Twitch, before it was deleted, said the platform specialized in video games and e-sport, in several tweets.

    It added that the video was then shared “in a coordinated manner” through third-party messaging.

    According to Twitch, the account on which the shooter broadcast his attack was created about two months ago.

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    “We have moved as quickly as possible to remove this content, and we will suspend all accounts that post or post images of this abominable act,” said a Twitch spokeswoman interviewed by AFP.

    “Once the video was eliminated, we shared the information with a consortium in our industry to help prevent the proliferation of this content. We take this very seriously and we are committed to working with our peers, law enforcement and all stakeholders to protect our community,” Twitch said.

    Following the attack, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “I am shocked by the news of the brutal attacks in Halle – on this day [yesterday], Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish year.”

    “My thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims and with the Jewish community in Germany and throughout Europe, which in recent years has repeatedly become the target of anti-Semitic attacks. Growing antisemitism is a call for all Europeans to stand together. On this day we stand in solidarity with the Jewish community.”

    Live streaming

    This is not the first time that such an attack has been shared live on social media.

    In March 2019 Brenton Tarrant broadcast an attack live for about 17 minutes on Facebook, before it was able to stop the transmission. Tarrant attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March, killing 51 people.

    The delay by Facebook saw it receive very strong criticism. Since then, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has taken several initiatives to prevent such a thing from happening again.

    Jules Johnston
    The Brussels Times