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Twitch: No hate portal for right-wing terror

2019-10-10T11:40:37.079Z

Stephan B. streamed his attack in Halle live. But not via Facebook or Twitter, but via Twitch. Why did he choose this gaming platform?



In the afternoon, Stephan B. shot two people on Wednesday, after all that is known, he wanted to kill many more. He filmed his act with a helmet camera and transmitted the video directly into the net. On the platform Twitch people could watch him during the attack.

The livestream lasted 35 minutes and five people watched it in real time. Twitch writes that on Twitter. At the end of the transmission, 2,200 people watched the video before the video was reported and removed. Why the assassin chose Twitch for his act is unclear. For right-wing radical content, the platform is not yet known. Twitch is actually a portal for gaming.

Gamer can broadcast live as they play a video game. Other people watch them in real time and chat with them. Meanwhile, Twitch, which belongs to Amazon, has opened for other content. In the category " inreal life ", people talk about their everyday life or share their opinions on many different topics, filming themselves while eating or making music. Similar to YouTube, users click through the channels of other streamers, popular channels are shown rather than unknown. Stephan B. was apparently not a typical Twitch user: The account he used had been created about two months before the attack and had previously only tried to stream live, it says from the platform.

Twitch has a zero tolerance policy on hateful behavior Twitch via Twitter

Twitch is therefore not comparable to platforms like 8chan, which are also known for right-wing extremist content. In the forums of the image board there is practically no moderation, people can unfilter all their hatred there. Twitch works quite differently as a streaming portal. Before Amazon took over, streamer but there could share pretty much everything and post what they wanted. Even in the comment columns you can still find right-wing content today. However, Twitch is now more like Facebook, Twitter or YouTube: anyone can use the portal, but must follow certain rules. Radical content, such as videos of violence, is usually not tolerated. One has a "zero-tolerance policy towards hate-filled behavior," Twitch says. "We [...] will permanently block all accounts that publish the contents of this heinous act."

Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct, and any act of violence is taken extremely seriously. We act with this to abolish this content and would like to repurchase this account.

- Twitch (@Twitch) October 9, 2019

Above all, Twitch differs in one point from social networks like Facebook or portals like YouTube: viewers sometimes cut along what they're watching. This is rare in other networks. These episodes in turn invite viewers to other platforms such as YouTube or social networks. Maybe Stephan B. has promised from his live stream on Twitch that his video will also be circulating on the net.

This also seems to have worked in part. Although only a few people saw the video live, it seems to have spread quickly thereafter. A separate investigation indicates that people shared the video over online messaging services, according to Twitch. The American scientist MeganSquire writes on Twitter that the media content has been shared on two channels within 30 minutes on the messenger service Telegram. The videos have then been relayed by smaller channels. The channels would have reached about 15,000 accounts, but they might overlap, soquire.

How the hall shooter's media content flows through Telegram in <30 minutes. There are two source channels, one for a long video, another for a short clip. Each video was amplified via "forwards" by smaller channels, shown in black. Total audience was ~ 15,625 accounts. pic.twitter.com/IX7E1Vqkf4

- megan squire (@ MeganSquire0) October 9, 2019

Normally, such small channels on Twitch are only those who are looking for them directly. This is similar to Twitter or Facebook: If a user has few followers, it is unlikely that you will accidentally come across the account or its contents. The video did not appear in recommendations or directories, says Twitch. Therefore, the question arises as to whether the few people who watched it live might have been looking for the Hall Attacker's account.

Impossible to remove a video from the net

The attack of Stephan B. was not the first to be seen live on the net. Many recall the right-wing attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand last March. The local perpetrator had streamed his attack live on Facebook, it was seen directly by 200 people. It was removed 29 minutes after the start, but was uploaded again and again by users. For the first 24 hours, Facebook purportedly deleted 1.5 million copies of the video.

The Global Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), which was founded by Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube, has now quickly announced that it will delete and flag the videos of the attack in Halle so that other platforms can recognize them as terrorist inmates. This works through a hash, a kind of digital fingerprint. Nevertheless, it is almost impossible to completely remove a video that was once online from the internet: Copies are often made and uploaded to other platforms.

Halle - "It was a miracle that he did not make it through the door" Eyewitnesses from the synagogue in Halle describe in the video how they experienced the attack. Members of the Jewish community criticize the lack of police protection.

Source: zeit

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