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Terrorists using social media channels to spread hate

Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-15 22:02:33-04

PHOENIX, AZ — The attack on a mosque in New Zealand was streamed in real time on social media. It happened a world away - but the impact is global.

Retired Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Special Agent in Charge and counter terrorism expert Bernard Zapor says, "to have the video of their heinousness perpetrated over the internet live - you're spreading seeds of this type of contempt for the next one. You're seeding the next event."

Zapor says the immediate concern is to make sure the New Zealand attacks are not part of a larger terrorist plan. "First and biggest priority is, is there any other targets to this operation. Are there other places at risk?"

A representative from Facebook, New Zealand told ABC 15 the company is working around the clock to find and shutdown any site by the alleged shooter and actors who may try to spread hate and capitalize on the most attacks. “Since the attack happened, teams from across Facebook proactively identify content which violates our standards and to support first responders and law enforcement."

Mia Garlick of Facebook New Zealand wrote, "We are adding each video we to find to an internal data base which enables us to detect and automatically remove copies of the videos when uploaded again. We urge people to report all instances to us so our systems can block the video from being shared again."

Facebook was first alerted to the attack being streamed on its site by New Zealand police. Once alerted, Facebook says it took the video down immediately. Facebook has also removed the suspect's Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Bernard Zapor says the video of the attack will hold many clues. "There is a tremendous amount of evidence that's going to be gleaned from the video capture of an event," Zapor says. "The actual images themselves, the process in which it was captured, the process it was upload" can send.

investigators down a cyber trail which can lead to those who watched the massacre as it happened. People who may be planning their own mayhem.

RELATED: How you can help New Zealand terror attack victims