A new report has revealed that most of the harmful online content referred to officials last year related to the March 15 terror attack.
The Digital Violent Extremism Transparency Report for 2022, released by the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA), found the department received 707 reports of potentially harmful content online.
More than half of those referrals, 56 percent, related to the Christchurch terrorist attacks in 2019.
"This highlights the ongoing impact of the Christchurch terrorist attacks three years on [at the time the reports were made] and demonstrates the importance of preventing the proliferation of this harmful, objectionable content."
Of the 707 reports, 39 percent were deemed objectionable and 26 percent were harmful.
The report, released on Thursday, found significant local and world events may have contributed to spikes in online content referrals received by the Digital Violent Extremist Team (DVET).
DVET received its highest number of reports in May, with 165 referrals. It was the same month the Buffalo mass shooting took place in the US and the Uvalde Elementary School Shooting.
There was an increase in February and March too.
The report said the spikes are "likely a result" of the release of the conspiracy-based Three Faced Terrorist documentary in February, which has been banned in Aotearoa. Last year there was also the remembrance service for the Christchurch terrorist attack in March.
Social media platform Telegram was the most reported platform, with 142 reports. Thirty-five percent of its reported content related to the Christchurch terrorist attacks.
"Although Telegram had the highest volume of referrals, it had fewer unique URLs, which indicates that the same content was referred multiple times," the report said.
Twitter was the second-highest platform to be investigated by DVET. It received 109 reports, 39 percent of which related to the Christchurch terrorist attacks too.
"During 2022, Telegram and Twitter removed objectionable content quickly with content often being removed proactively by the platform before investigations were finalised," the report stated.
DVET found the majority of content investigated in 2022 related to identity-motivated ideology, at 48 percent. Politically-motivated ideology, which includes conspiracy-related content, wasn't far behind at 34 percent.
"The majority of identity-motivated ideology URLs relate to 'white identity', which includes ideologies of white supremacy and content relating to the Christchurch terrorist attacks," the report said.
The report highlighted an increased level internationally of individuals showing a "pick and mix" style approach when it comes to their extremist ideologies, as opposed to one extremist belief.
"People may demonstrate a mixed, unstable or unclear ideology, where they display a combination of elements from multiple ideologies, switch between different ideologies, or do not present a coherent ideology but may still pose a terrorism risk," the report said.
The report said the Parliament occupation in February could be an example of the "pick and mix" approach, given the protesters had "varying ideologies" but had "found shared causes about which to protest".
Reports received in 2022 increased by 3 percent compared to 2021.