German Synagogue Shooting Was Livestreamed On Twitch

Police near the scene of the shooting in Halle, Germany (Photo: Getty)

A shooting at a synagogue in Halle, Germany, on Wednesday during Yom Kippur was livestreamed on Twitch.

Twitch confirmed to CNBC that the attack, in which two people were killed, was streamed on its platform. The Amazon-owned company is primarily used by gamers who livestream their gameplay and communicate with viewers.

“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 told Gizmodo, in a statement. “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.”

When asked how many people viewed the original stream of the shooting and how long it was up before Twitch took action, the spokesperson told Gizmodo Twitch was investigating the matter and did not have any more information to share.

According to NBC, minutes after today’s synagogue shooting was streamed on Twitch, it had spread to at least 10 white supremacy channels on Telegram, an instant-messaging app.

NBC reports that during the 35-minute livestreamed video, the man attempted to enter a synagogue, but couldn’t get in. He then shot a woman on the road and later shot a man in a kebab shop. At one point, the apparent shooter looked into the camera and recited an antisemitic screed in which he denied the Holocaust occurred. He also reportedly introduced himself as “Anon,” which NBC points out is potentially a reference to the anonymous message board 4Chan.

This shooting comes seven months after a white supremacist allegedly targeted two mosques and killed 51 people. The incident was livestreamed on Facebook. In August, a six-page letter, written by the alleged shooter from jail, was posted on 4Chan.

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Comments

    I don’t know how Twitch can stop this unless somebody is personally monitoring every single stream for objectionable content. It would be interesting to see the stats on if/when it was reported and Twitch’s response time.

      After a certain amount of time streams could become verified in a way so they are no longer need too be moderated, so only new or infrequent streamers would need to be monitored, It's impractical but it's at least an option.

      I'm not sure how long the accounts of these people have been active before they do this stuff but in assuming they ain't big streamers or very active on these sites.

      I'm sure they could also use AI too distinguish between IRL streams and gaming streams, so they could cut down on the amount of streams they need to monitor.

      It would also only take about half a minute to see if the stream is in need of further monitoring anyway, if the "THOT Patrol" can get on female streamers as quick as they do for showing "too much skin" in sure Twitch can find away to suspend stream where people are being murdered.

        AI is still bad at detecting new content - it’s fine for matching content but I have no doubt it’d wipe out legitimate streams too. It isn’t a solution.

        You’re probably right about the patrol comments though.

          Wouldn't leave the decision too the AI though just let it flag potetional streams for review, like you said its good at matching content so the streams it would flag would be minimal.

      I'm kind of surprised no one is already, and by "no-one" I mean "Twitch is basically a global surveillance system that I'm surprised governments aren't (ab)using".

    Not to make light of something so serious.
    But fuck i hope 4chan doesn't get blocked again, I just wanna shitpost about /toy/s and /co/mics in peace

      Not the most appropriate time to express these feelings, but I understand how you feel.

        I know i know. I feel a little bad for talking about something so "meaningless" on a story with 'real' impact like this. But i feel like censorship of websites is pretty important too (even if i am using it to talk about toys).
        When they did that during the christchurch attack, i have to say its got me pretty worried about our laws/regulations.

    Pretty sure "Anon" has been used since before the internet even existed. So while it may (even probably) is internet related it's not necessarily so. I guess I see the problem as media drawing parallels before they're confirmed.

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