“Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online,” New Zealand Police tweeted. “We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”
Unfortunately, the footage was distributed on a variety of platforms, including in comments that readers posted to news stories, but work was underway to limit its distribution.
“We have taken down the account of the alleged perpetrator and are working to actively remove all versions of the video from Twitter,” a Twitter spokesman said, according to BuzzFeed reporter Ryan Mac.
Facebook officials also issued a statement, according to Mac: “Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by this horrendous act. New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we removed both the shooter’s Facebook account and the video.”
Among those appalled by the video was Donald Trump Jr.
“Don’t give the POS NZ shooter what he wants,” President Trump’s son wrote on Twitter. “Don’t speak his name don’t show the footage. Seems that most agree on that. The questions is can the media do what’s right and pass up the ratings they’ll get by doing the opposite? I fear we all know the answer unfortunately.”
Authorities have not said who they have in custody in connection with the attack. But a man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for his actions. He said he considered it a terrorist attack.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.