Internet Platforms Appear Split on Whether to Pull Shinzo Abe Assassination Footage 1

Internet Platforms Appear Split on Whether to Pull Shinzo Abe Assassination Footage

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Internet Platforms Appear Split on Whether to Pull Shinzo Abe Assassination Footage

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As of writing, Gizmodo was still able to find videos of the event on YouTube, however selecting several of the videos triggered a warning saying, “the following content has been identified by the Youtube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.” At least as of now, YouTube appears to be taking a slightly different approach to Facebook and Twitter. Gizmodo reached out to both YouTube and video streaming platform Twitch for clarity on its strategy around the videos but we haven’t heard back.

Image for article titled Internet Platforms Appear Split on Whether to Pull Shinzo Abe Assassination Footage

Screenshot: YouTube

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Abe, who served as Japan’s Prime minister from 2006-2007 and again between 2012-2020, was shot in the back Friday while giving a speech in the city of Nara. The gunman reportedly fired off two shots with the DIY firearm from a distance of around 10 feet. In the video, the supposed shotgun more closely resembles a bundle of pipes held together by tape. The suspect, a 41-year former member of Japan’s navy, reportedly told police he wanted to kill Abe because he believed Abe held ties to a “certain group,” according to Bloomberg.

Image for article titled Internet Platforms Appear Split on Whether to Pull Shinzo Abe Assassination Footage

Photo: Christopher Jue (Getty Images)

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Firearms are extremely rare in Japan, making the method of the attack all the more surprising. To put that into perspective, Japan has only experienced 14 gun-related deaths since 2017, and just one for all of 2021, according to The New York Times.

While videos depicting Abe’s death do violate the written rules for most major internet platforms, those same sites have tended to allow more leeway for historical political assassinations. For instance, Gizmodo was able to find videos depicting John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination on both Facebook Watch and YouTube. The leeway isn’t limited to decades of footage either. Gizmodo was able to view footage depicting the comparatively more graphic 2016 assassination of Andrei Karlov, the former Russian ambassador to Turkey, on both platforms as well.

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