New Zealand business urged to review advertising on social media

Businessman using digital tablet in office
Photo credit: Getty Images

Some New Zealand companies are weighing whether to advertise on social media in the wake of the mass shooting in Christchurch.

Two industry groups asked firms to consider where they advertise, after the attack was live-streamed on Facebook and redistributed on other platforms.

In a joint statement, the Association of New Zealand Advertisers and Commercial Communications Council called on Facebook and other platform owners to better moderate hate content.

"Businesses are already asking if they wish to be associated with social media platforms unable or unwilling to take responsibility for content on those sites," the statement said.

"The events in Christchurch raise the question, if the site owners can target consumers with advertising in microseconds, why can't the same technology be applied to prevent this kind of content being streamed live?"

Lotto NZ said it had already pulled advertising from social media "as the tone didn't feel right in the aftermath of these events," spokeswoman Kirsten Robinson said.

"Like the rest of the country, Lotto NZ is shocked and saddened by the tragic events that occurred in Christchurch on Friday," she said.

ASB Bank, one of the country's biggest banks and a unit of Australia's Commonwealth Bank, is in talks on whether to pull its ads from social media, according to a spokesman. Media representatives from Facebook and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Facebook said it removed 1.5 million videos globally of the attack in the first 24 hours after the attack and is removing all edited versions of the video that do not show graphic content.

Both Facebook and YouTube said they were using automated tools to identify violent content and remove them.    

Reuters AG