Mirror editor apologises over New Zealand massacre video

A version of the video was still viewable on YouTube several hours after the attack.

A version of the video was easy to find on YouTube by typing in simple search terms
A version of the video was easy to find on YouTube by typing in simple search terms

The Daily Mirror’s editor has apologised after its website featured video footage of the New Zealand terror attack in which dozens of worshippers were murdered.

Versions of the horrific video, filmed by the gunman as he carried out a massacre in a mosque in Christchurch, are still viewable online after he livestreamed the murders on Facebook. Campaign was able to find a six-minute video on YouTube at 2.36pm today, nearly 11 hours after the attack. 

At least 49 people were killed at two mosques. The killer reportedly broadcast 17 minutes of the attack.

The Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail ran edited parts of the Christchurch terrorist’s first-person video on their websites, with advertising around them.

On the Mail Online, the video was viewable on a page with a takeover ad for the train service LNER, Buzzfeed's media and politics reporter, Mark Di Stefano, showed on Twitter.

— Mark Di Stefano ???? (@MarkDiStef) March 15, 2019

Lloyd Embley, the Mirror’s editor, Tweeted today: "For a brief period this morning the Mirror website ran some edited footage filmed by the gunman in Christchurch. We should not have carried this. It is not in line with our policy relating to terrorist propaganda videos."

Mark Bembridge, chief executive of contextual adtech firm Smartology, said the placement underlines oversight in the media-buying process.

"Natural language processing, a form of machine-learning, can help ensure that these glaringly erroneous media buys don’t take place," Bembridge said. "Advertisers must adopt a bespoke brand protection system using an exclusion list mechanism enabling brands to specify which content they don't want to appear alongside."

The tech platforms have said they are working to remove the video, which has been shared widely on social media.

Facebook said it took down a livestream of the shootings and removed the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts after being alerted by police.   

Mia Garlick, the social media giant's spokeswoman in New Zealand, said the company is working directly with police as they carry out their investigation.

Twitter and Google's YouTube also said they were working to remove the footage from their sites.