Tragically, Germany faced an act of terrorism enacted near a synagogue in the city of Halle – livestreamed by the shooter on Twitch. The violent act was carried out during Yom Kippur, a religious day of atonement practiced in Judaism.
The German synagogue shooting was streamed on Amazon's Twitch https://t.co/eQsNtjpS34— CNBC (@CNBC) October 9, 2019
At the time of writing, the shooting has left 2 deceased and one suspect is already in custody. To summarize the events, the attacker arrived at the synagogue by car and attempted to breach the locked doors. After failing, he attempted to detonate homemade bombs, which were ineffective. Eventually, a passerby was fatally shot by the attacker while still attempting to gain entry, finally becoming frustrated and driving away. He then arrived at a close-by kebab shop and attacked the establishment, fatally shooting one of the clerks. The terrorist was supposedly using a helmet-mounted camera to broadcast the attack.
This atrocity has been compared to the mosque shooting in New Zealand, streamed on Facebook in March and leaving 51 dead. Concerns have been raised around the unfortunate reality that more killers are attempting to network and broadcast their violence. CNBC writes, "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."
The broadcast on Twitch lasted around 35 minutes before being cut off. Twitch was quick to offer their position on Twitter, reinforcing their commitment to removing any hatefulness or acts of violence from their platform as quickly as possible.
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.— Twitch (@Twitch) October 9, 2019
Many on the internet quickly moved to condemn the act. According to Reddit user "333base," the stream was in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive section on Twitch, and rightfully called the categorization "disgusting." Another user, "kkh90," commented, "its very hard to comprehend what can make a man do this."
With this cowardly act, Twitch has truly experienced rock-bottom regarding content streamed on their platform. Preemptively ensuring that hateful or violent conduct be instantly cut off can be an incredibly difficult task. Overall, it is truly unfortunate that the terrorist chose to stream this horrible crime, and our hearts go out to the victims and those affected by the tragedy.