Technology & Science

Man charged with distributing live stream of New Zealand mass shooting

An 18-year-old man has been charged with distributing a live stream of the mass shooting at two mosques last week. Authorities warn that both possession and distribution of the video are considered an offence.

Possession or sharing of video of deadly mosque attack considered an offence

A still image from a video the alleged gunman filmed and streamed live online as the attack was unfolding shows him retrieving weapons from the trunk of his car. New Zealand says it's an offence to possess or share copies of videos showing Friday's mass shooting that killed at least 50 people at two mosques. (Twitter via Reuters)

An 18-year-old man was denied bail at a court in New Zealand on Monday after he was charged with distributing a live stream of the mass shooting last week, the New Zealand Herald reported.

The man was arrested on Friday, but police have since said they do not believe he was directly involved in the attacks at two mosques in Christchurch that day, in which 50 worshippers were killed.

He faces charges of sharing the gunman's live stream and posting a photograph of one of the mosques attacked with the message "target acquired," along with other chat messages "inciting extreme violence," the Herald reported.

His request for bail was refused, but the judge granted him name suppression. He is due back in court next month.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder for the mosque shootings. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.

'Classed as objectionable'

New Zealand said on Monday that any possession or sharing of a video showing a mass shooting on Friday that killed at least 50 people has been classed as an offence.

The gunman who attacked two mosques on Friday live-streamed the attacks on Facebook for 17 minutes using an app designed for extreme sports enthusiasts, with copies still being shared on social media hours later

"The footage related to the attack has been classed as objectionable, so it is an offence under New Zealand law to possess, share, and/or host it," said Sarah Stuart-Black, director of New Zealand's Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.

Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos globally of the New Zealand mosque attack in the first 24 hours after the attack. It said it is also removing all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content out of respect for the people affected by the mosque shooting and the concerns of local authorities.