09 October 2019, Saxony-Anhalt, Landsberg: Police officers walk along a hedge with machine guns in their hands near Wiedersdorf/Landsberg. Besides the shots in Halle, there were also shots in Landsberg (Saalekreis) about 15 kilometres away. (Photo by Jan Woitas/picture alliance via Getty Images)
picture alliance | picture alliance | Getty Images
Wednesday’s shooting in the eastern German city of Halle outside of a synagogue was livestreamed on Amazon‘s Twitch service, the company confirmed to CNBC. Two people were killed in the attack, German police said earlier in the day.
“We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Germany today, and our deepest condolences go out to all those affected,” a Twitch spokesperson said. “Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct, and any act of violence is taken extremely seriously. We are working with urgency to remove this content and permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act.”
It shows the growing problem that streaming platforms are facing: When people want to commit evil, they can broadcast their crimes to an audience using social networks, which can amplify their reach.
Twitch is a platform that was built to allow video gamers to livestream their games while chatting with their audience. Other companies have dealt with similar problems.
The New Zealand mosque massacre, which claimed 50 lives, was livestreamed to Facebook in March. Facebook said it worked to remove 1.5 million videos of the attack that were posted in 24 hours after it was initially streamed, and that 1.2 million of them were “blocked at upload,” by Facebook. YouTube, Twitter and Reddit also removed versions of the New Zealand livestream from their sites.
— CNBC’s Lauren Feiner contributed to this report.