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Facebook, YouTube and Twitter struggle to remove mosque shooting video

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The shooter in at least one of the two mosque attacks in New Zealand on Friday used social media to stream his deadly rampage live.

Shortly after, tech giants scrambled to remove his accounts, but versions of the video remained on some sites hours after the shootings, which killed at least 49 people.

Facebook, Twitter and Google’s YouTube all said they removed the original video following the attack. But hours later, people still reported online that they were able to find versions of the video on the platforms.

Twitter removed the original video and suspended the account that posted it, but is still working to remove copies that have been posted from other accounts. Twitter said that both the account and video violated its policies.

“We are deeply saddened by the shootings in Christchurch today,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement. “Twitter has rigorous processes and a dedicated team in place for managing exigent and emergency situations such as this. We also cooperate with law enforcement to facilitate their investigations as required.”

Facebook also removed the stream and has also been working to remove content praising the attack.

“Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video,” said Mia Garlick of Facebook’s New Zealand office. “We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware. We will continue working directly with New Zealand police as their response and investigation continues.”

Facebook has previously experienced abuse of its livestream function and has taken steps to detect problematic streams in real time. In 2017, the company added additional measures to detect live videos where people express thoughts of suicide, including using artificial intelligence to streamline reporting, and adding live chat with crisis support organizations. These policies followed a series of suicides that were reportedly livestreamed on Facebook’s platform.

Several people tweeted that they have been able to find repostings of videos of the attack on Youtube more than 12 hours after it happened, even though YouTube said it took down the original video, which violated its policies. A straightforward search on YouTube will generally yield legitimate reports from news organizations, but graphic videos could still be easily found if a user filtered results by upload date.

YouTube has taken steps to ensure legitimate news reports are prioritized when searching for a trending event, rather than other videos that have the potential for spreading misinformation. In July, YouTube said in a blog post that its Top News section would highlight videos from news organizations and it would link to news articles immediately in the wake of a breaking news event.

Those moves can prevent videos from bubbling up at the top of search results or appearing in YouTube’s trending section, but that doesn’t necessarily stop them from being uploaded to the site.

A YouTube spokesperson said in a statement: “Shocking, violent and graphic content has no place on our platforms, and is removed as soon as we become aware of it. As with any major tragedy, we will work cooperatively with the authorities.”

The video also appeared in a Reddit forum dedicated to violent videos, where users discussed and commented on the images. The forum is protected by a warning of disturbing content which visitors must acknowledge before viewing the page. Reddit removed the video and similar links at the request of New Zealand police, according to the Redditor who first posted the video. But users who found the video elsewhere online claimed to have downloaded copies and were offering to share the files in direct messages.

“We are actively monitoring the situation in Christchurch, New Zealand,” a Reddit spokesperson said. “Any content containing links to the video stream are being removed in accordance with our site-wide policy.”

— CNBC’s
Sara Salinas
contributed to this report.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.

Watch: 49 people killed in shootings at New Zealand mosques



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Cboe to stop listing bitcoin futures as interest in crypto trading cools

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A trader works in S&P 500 stock index options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in Chicago, Illinois.

Jim Young | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A trader works in S&P 500 stock index options pit at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) in Chicago, Illinois.

The major U.S. exchange company that paved the way for bitcoin futures has had a change of heart.

Cboe Global Markets, which rolled out the first bitcoin futures contracts in December 2017, has decided to stop adding new ones. In a statement last week, the Cboe Futures Exchange said it will not add new bitcoin futures in March. It did not rule out the possibility of other cryptocurrency derivatives, though, and “is assessing” its approach for how it plans to continue.

In the meantime, active bitcoin contracts are still available to trade, but the last of them expires in June.

Futures are a way for investors to bet on whether the price of a commodity — in this case bitcoin — will rise or fall. The contracts expire each month, meaning an exchange has to continuously list more if it wants to keep the market alive.

The move by Cboe highlights cooling enthusiasm for bitcoin after an all-out mania led by retail investors in 2017. When the “XBT” futures launched in December of that year, bitcoin was trading near $17,000. Not long after, it shot to almost $20,000. Prices have come crashing down by 80 percent since. Bitcoin was trading near $4,000 as of Monday afternoon.

Cboe was not the only exchange to try to capitalize on the bitcoin frenzy. Its Chicago-based rival CME Group debuted its own cash-settled bitcoin contracts, also denominated in U.S. dollars, and has not announced any changes. CME’s version has historically seen more trading volume. CME bitcoin futures’ 30-day average volume is more than four times larger than Cboe’s.

When they were introduced, futures gave investors a way to buy and sell cryptocurrency in a regulated marketplace. Those in favor of it said it would be a way to usher institutional investors into the bitcoin marketplace. There has been little evidence of that happening in the form of crypto derivatives.

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Jamie Dimon says we’ve split the U.S. economy, leaving the poor behind

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Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., gestures while speaking during a Bloomberg Television interview at the JPMorgan Global Markets Conference in Paris, France, on Thursday, March 14, 2019.

Christopher Morin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., gestures while speaking during a Bloomberg Television interview at the JPMorgan Global Markets Conference in Paris, France, on Thursday, March 14, 2019.

J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said that the U.S. economy has essentially been split into those benefiting from thriving corporations and those who are left behind.

“I don’t want to be a tone deaf CEO; while the company is doing fine, it is absolutely obvious that a big chunk of [people] have been left behind,” Dimon said. “Forty percent of Americans make less than $15 an hour. Forty percent of Americans can’t afford a $400 bill, whether it’s medical or fixing their car. Fifteen percent of Americans make minimum wages, 70,000 die from opioids” annually.

“If you travel around to most neighborhoods where companies live, they’re doing fine,” Dimon said. “So we’ve kind of bifurcated the economy.”

Dimon was speaking at an event at the bank’s New York headquarters to unveil a new $350 million program to boost job prospects for people in under-served communities. The J.P. Morgan chairman and CEO has frequently voiced concern about the declining labor force participation rate and the shortfalls of the educational system in preparing people for emerging roles.

Making progress against these issues involves companies working with local organizations to provide skills outside of the university context, he said.

Dimon called the education system “broken” and said his bank stopped giving philanthropic dollars to colleges years ago.

“Harvard and Princeton are not a philanthropy,” Dimon said. “Helping these kids is.”

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Apple Watch heart study with Stanford: results and debate

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Apple and researchers from Stanford Medicine released some new results from a study of more than 400,000 participants, who were given Apple Watches eight months ago to monitor their heart rhythm to signs of a medical condition known as atrial fibrillation. The watches are not the newest version, which has an electrocardiogram built-in, but are able to detect abnormal heartbeats.

The results were presented on stage this weekend at the American College of Cardiology conference in New Orleans, prompting a wide range of reactions from the cardiologists who attended. The discussion was not just limited to the Apple Watch, but about the role of consumer wearables more broadly in screening and potentially even diagnosing disease.

In interviews with CNBC, some in the medical community pointed to the high participation in the study as reason enough for optimism — 419,000 is far higher than most medical research studies — while others expressed concern that Apple Watch would produce many false alarms.

Most agreed that the results presented on stage were still preliminary, as the full paper has not been published in a scientific journal. Moreover, it was an observational study, and not a randomized controlled trial. (Apple is moving ahead with study of this kind that includes a control arm for the heart health features on its Apple Watch, in partnership with pharmaceutical company Johnson & Johnson.)

Atrial fibrillation is an important health target for Apple, as it impacts up to six million people in the United States, but many of them have not been diagnosed. For some people, especially those over the age of 65, the condition can put them at a higher risk for serious health complications, including strokes.

Heart health is the focus of Apple’s efforts in health care, so it’s vital for the company to win over the support of cardiologists. At this stage, Apple is ahead of its rivals, including Alphabet and Samsung, in introducing novel health features to its devices. But to win over the medical community, it needs to open up a dialog about the pros and cons, and publish research in scientific journals, which is not in the DNA of a company that has historically prized secrecy.

For Apple, its inaugural heart study with Stanford represents an important first step, and just one of its ongoing medical research efforts.

“We’re trying to be thoughtful about how we introduce this in partnership with the medical community,” said Sumbul Desai, a physician and Apple’s vice president of health, in an interview with CNBC. “We want to hear (from doctors) about all the positives and all the negatives.”

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