Sat, 08 Aug 2020

Attack outside synagogue in German city was live-streamed

By Jay Jackson, Cleveland News.Net
10 Oct 2019, 23:12 GMT+10

HALLE, Germany - Amazon has removed the video footage of the synagogue shooting in Germany.

Amazon's live-streaming platform Twitch was used to broadcast the shooting live. The live-stream lasted 35 minutes.

The attack in the city of Halle, in eastern Germany outside the Yom Kippur synagogue on Wednesday left two people dead.

Although Amazon's Twitch removed the video from its platform, copies had already been downloaded and were being shared to other platforms.

Nonetheless Twitch moved quickly to limit the damage. "Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct, and any act of violence is taken extremely seriously. We worked with urgency to remove this content and will permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act," the platform send in a post on Twitter.

"The account owner streamed this horrific act live on Twitch for 35 minutes, during which time it was viewed by approximately five people. A recording of the stream, which was automatically generated based on the accounts settings, was viewed by approximately 2,200 people in the 30 minutes before the video was flagged and removed from Twitch," the tweet said.

Rightwing extremists live-streaming attacks is becoming a widespread practice. In March attacks on Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 51 people dead, were broadcast live on Facebook.

Wednesday's attack in Halle has been characterized by the UN Secretary-General Antnio Guterres as "another tragic demonstration of anti-Semitism," according to a statement issued by his spokesperson.

"He regards this as yet another tragic demonstration of anti-Semitism - perpetrated on the holy day of Yom Kippur - which needs to be fought with the utmost determination," it said.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said he was stunned and pained by the attack.

I call on the leaders of Germany and the Free World to bring the full force of law against antisemitism and its results, he said. We will continue to campaign for education and remembrance in the fight on antisemitism, which raises its head again and again in Europe and across the world, based on a clear understanding that it is not a problem of the Jews alone, but threatens to destroy us all.

The attack took place on Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement: the holiest day in the year for Jewish people.

The alleged attacker wore military-style clothing and was wearing a video camera to live-stream the event on Twitch.

Just last month, the Secretary-General launched the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites which aims to protect these locations from attacks and guarantee the safety of those who want to worship in peace.

The statement called on governments to support the plan, concluding with "Houses of worship around the world must be safe havens for reflection and peace, not sites of bloodshed and terror."

27-year-old far-right activist Stephan Balliet has been arrested over the shootings.

(Photo credit: DPA).

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