When news broke of the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand that left at least 49 dead Thursday evening, I started watching Twitter. Two surprising themes stood out: people urging their social media followers to protect themselves from accidentally watching an extremely graphic 17-minute video of the attack — and separately, New Zealand and Australian locals condemning local channel Sky News Australia from intentionally sharing parts of that same footage with their viewers. Now, broadcaster Sky New Zealand has taken the drastic step of removing Sky News Australia from the airwaves. “We stand in support of our fellow New Zealanders and have made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform until we are confident that the distressing footage from yesterday’s events will not be shared,” Sky NZ wrote in a since-deleted tweet, archived by BuzzFeed. Sky NZ later changed its message drastically, stating that the network is simply “working with our colleagues” at Sky News Australia “to ensure coverage doesn’t compromise ongoing investigations,” and suggesting that it was a joint decision with Sky News Australia to pull coverage off the air. But that doesn’t line up with statements from a Sky New Zealand spokesperson to the New Zealand Herald, which were along the lines of the original tweet: “We made the decision to remove Sky News Australia from our platform while disturbing footage of the shootings was being shown to avoid causing any distress to our viewers. It will remain off air until we are confident the… [Read full story]
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