Over 4.5 million pieces of content related to the Christchurch terrorist attack has been removed from Facebook in just over six months.

For the first time since the March 15 attack, Facebook has published information on the total number of instances of the attack video it has removed between March 15 and September 30.

It said that over 4.5 million pieces of content related to the attack were removed, with over 97 per cent of these identified proactively, before anyone reported it, a spokesman said.

"Most of this content was identified by our media-matching systems when they were uploaded and we continue to remove known copies of this content from the platform."

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Part of Facebook's fourth Community Standards Enforcement Report, the company published separate information on the amount of content removed from the site, either for violating the site's policies or breaking local law, VP Integrity Guy Rosen said.

"The Christchurch attack was unprecedented in both the use of live streaming technology and the rapid sharing of video, image, audio and text-based content depicting the attack."

While some of that content violated Facebook's community standards and was removed, the company also saw edited, non-graphic versions of content to condemn or raise awareness of the attacks shared.

That content would "not normally" violate Facebook policies, Rosen said.

"However, out of respect for the people affected by this tragedy, and due to a range of factors including the virality and cross-platform spread of this content and the New Zealand Government's decision to classify the content as objectionable, and therefore illegal, we took the unprecedented action to remove globally — instead of locally restrict — all content depicting the attack."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron co-chaired the Christchurch Call summit in Paris in May. Photo / AFP
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and French President Emmanuel Macron co-chaired the Christchurch Call summit in Paris in May. Photo / AFP

He said Facebook has placed restrictions on who can use Facebook Live and continues to make "meaningful progress" on our commitments to the Christchurch Call to Action.

"Since this horrific attack, we've continued to make significant product, policy and operational changes to prevent our services from being used in future to cause harm or spread hate.

"We've made restrictions to who can use Facebook Live and continue to make meaningful progress on our commitments to the New Zealand Government's Christchurch Call to Action."

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