Mucaad Ibrahim, 3, the youngest known victim of the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. Abdi Ibrahim
NEW Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has urged social media companies to take more responsibility after a deadly attack on Christchurch mosques was live-streamed on Facebook and links to a white supremacist manifesto were posted on Twitter.

“We cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published,” Ardern said in parliament yesterday.

“They are the publisher, not just the postman,” she added. “There cannot be a case of all profit, no responsibility.”

Three of New Zealand's largest broadband providers - Vodafone NZ, Spark and 2degrees - banded together yesterday in an open letter to Facebook.

“Internet service providers are the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, with blunt tools involving the blocking of sites after the fact,” they wrote. “We must find the right balance between internet freedom,” they added.

“Social media companies and hosting platforms that enable the sharing of user-generated content with the public have a legal duty of care to protect their users and wider society by preventing the uploading and sharing of content such as this video.”

A number of New Zealand companies yesterday pulled their advertisements from social media in reaction to Facebook's perceived inactivity in dealing with the material the killer published.

“Westpac NZ has suspended all advertising on social media networks until further notice, including Facebook, and we will be engaging with social media companies about the publishing of harmful content,” the Australian bank said on Twitter.

On Monday, the Association of New Zealand Advertisers (ANZA) and the Commercial Communications Council released a statement encouraging their members to consider where to spend their advertising money.

“The events in Christchurch raise the question: If the site owners can target consumers with advertising in microseconds, why can't the same technology be applied to prevent this kind of content being streamed live?” the group said.

“We challenge Facebook and other platform owners to immediately take steps to effectively moderate hate content before another tragedy can be streamed online,” it added.

Facebook's vice-president for global policy, Monika Bickert, told local media that the live stream was viewed by fewer than 200 people while it was live.

“And in the time that it took us to remove any version of that initial video from Facebook, fewer than 4000 people - including the initial number who saw it live - were able to view that video,” she told the New Zealand Herald.

Yesterday, 30 victims were still being treated at Christchurch Hospital. Nine of them remained in critical condition. dpa African News Agency (ANA)