- An 18-year-old man has been charged with distributing the horrific terrorist attack video of Christchurch mosque in New Zealand.
- He was also charged with inciting violence after sharing the video of Friday’s massacre and posting a photo online showing one of the mosques where the shooting happened, and writing the caption: “target acquired.”
- According to Nine News Australia, the teen faces up to 28 years in prison.
An 18-year-old man allegedly posted a picture of one of the mosques that were targeted last Friday by a terrorist attack and captioning it with the words “target acquired.” The teen was charged with distributing Friday’s terrorist attack video of Christchurch mosque in New Zealand and inciting violence.
Nine News Australia reported that he can face up to a maximum of 28 years in jail.
A court order was issued to not name the 18-year-old. Though not involved in the mosque terrorist attack, he is being charged with “one count of sharing an obscene video and another count of inciting violence.” Authorities did not reveal which social media platform the teen used.
District Court Judge Stephen O’Driscoll denied bail for the teen on Monday. He will return to court on April 8, as reported by Australia’s News Corp.
The 28-year-old gunman live-streamed the 17-minute terrorist video on Facebook before spreading quickly across other platforms like Twitter and YouTube. A self-declared white supremacist, the shooter cited Donald Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity” in his manifesto. He killed 50 and wounded dozens of worshippers before being captured by police.
New Zealand has censorship laws that allow its government to make certain videos illegal to view, possess, and distribute. David Shanks, Chief Censor of the country, classified the horrific video as “officially objectionable.”
“We’re aware that for a time after the attacks, this video was widely available on social media and many New Zealanders saw it, sometimes without meaning to,” Shanks said in a statement. “Its important people are now clear they should not view, download or share the video.”
Shanks admitted that it’s difficult to monitor social media in New Zealand, but noted that making the video illegal to view would hopefully help it from spreading much further.
“The argument that social media platforms have around this is that they operate like a phone company, that they’re not responsible for what is put on their platforms and delivered through their platforms,” Shanks said.
Ardern added that social media companies can’t simply be about “all profit, no responsibility.”
“It’s a matter of taking stock of what we’ve got,” Shanks said of the ban. “Now there is action that can be taken for those who are posting, reporting and publishing this material.”