Facebook: New Zealand shooting video had fewer than 200 real-time viewers

The number jumps to 4,000 for those who saw the livestream video before it was taken down. But then there were all the copies out there.

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Facebook on Tuesday offered some statistics in its defense following criticism of its struggle to contain the spread of a livestream video of Friday's mass shooting in New Zealand.

The social network said that the stream had fewer than 200 viewers during the live broadcast and that the video got roughly 4,000 views before it was taken down.

The numbers were revealed in a blog post by Facebook Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby, who said no users reported the video when it was live. The first user report came 12 minutes after the livestream ended, a full 29 minutes after it started.

As previously noted, Facebook purged 1.5 million uploads of the video and most (1.2 million) were blocked before going live on the platform. Sonderby said in the Tuesday blog post that the original video was digitally mapped so that Facebook software could detect and block similar videos.

On Friday, a gunman in Christchurch attacked Muslims praying at two mosques and livestreamed the shooting on Facebook. The death toll from the incident stands at 50, according to CBS News.

Watch this: Facebook deletes 1.5M videos after shooting, Democrats push ahead on Net Neutrality

Screen recordings, in which people video-recorded the stream on their phones and uploaded that video, were more difficult to automatically detect, according to Sonderby. To fix this issue, the company "expanded to additional detection systems," which included using sound detection.  

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism, a consortium of technology companies, highlighted more than 800 different versions of the video, Reuters noted.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Parliament on Tuesday that the government is going to look closely at the role social media played in the incident, Bloomberg reported.

"We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and what is said is not the responsibility of the place where they are published," she said. "They are the publisher not just the postman. There cannot be a case of all profit no responsibility."