Philip Neville Arps, right, appeared at court at Wednesday at charges related into repostatg The gunman’s live video.Pool phointo By Mark Mitchell #New_ZealandMarch 22, 2019
CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand — A lone white supremacist is the suspect in the Christchurch mosque killings .
But under New Zealand law, many others could face charges for spreading or perhaps even possessing all or part of the 17-minute Facebook Live video streamed by the killer as he methodically shot the victims.
Others could face related charges in connection with publicizing the terrorist attack, under a human-rights law that forbids incitement of racial disharmony.
The restrictions mean New Zealanders could face legal consequences for intentionally looking at the Christchurch killer’s video, which may have been seen millions of times around the world.
Facebook and other social media platforms also could face new legal issues because of the video, and not only in New Zealand.
A Christchurch teenager, whose name has not been released, was denied bail on Monday over charges that he had posted a photograph of Al Noor Mosque, one of the two that were attacked, a week before the shootings, with the caption “target acquired.” He was also charged with reposting the video.
The cases underscore the challenge that social media companies face in thwarting and deleting objectionable activity on their platforms.
Facebook said it had removed the attacker’s video minutes after the New Zealand police reached out to the company after the shootings.
The original video was viewed about 4,000 times on Facebook before removal.
“We have had reports that it also ‘auto-played’ to some people who did not even know what it was.”