How social media can stop hateful content from spreading

The deadly attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 50 people were killed and many others critically injured, was streamed live on Facebook by the man accused of carrying it out. It was then quickly shared across social media platforms.

Versions of the livestream attack video stayed online for a worrying amount of time. A report by The Guardian found that one video stayed on Facebook for six hours and another on YouTube for three. For many, the quick and seemingly unstoppable spread of this video typifies everything that is wrong with social media: toxic, hate-filled content that goes viral and is seen by millions.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2019, with the headline 'How social media can stop hateful content from spreading'. Print Edition | Subscribe