The Download: The grim spread of the Buffalo shooting video, and crypto’s tough test

The 18-year-old gunman broadcast the shooting in a grocery store in a predominately Black suburban area to the streaming platform Twitch on Saturday morning. Although Twitch took down the livestream within two minutes from the start of the attack, a recording of the video was swiftly posted on a site called Streamable. That video was viewed more than 3 million times before it was taken down, according to the New York Times. Links to the recording were shared across Facebook and Twitter, and another clip that purported to show the gunman firing at people in the supermarket was visible on Twitter more than four hours after being uploaded. Additionally, TikTok users shared search terms that would take viewers to the full video on Twitter, according to Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz.

Although Twitch removed the livestream in less time than the 17 minutes it took Facebook to take down the live broadcast of the 2019 mosque shooting. in Christchurch, New Zealand, in which 51 people died, the rate at which the recordings were able to spread across the internet shows little has changed. A 180-page manifesto uploaded by the suspect to Google Docs last Thursday credited the 4chan community for his radicalization in white supremacy and repeatedly cited the racist “great replacement” conspiracy theory—which many social media companies pledged to eliminate from their platforms in the wake of the Christchurch attack.

The prevalence of terrorist content on social media demonstrates the platforms’ failure to prioritize user safety, says Imran Ahmed, CEO at the Center for Countering Digital Hate. “We have been victims of the greedy, desiccated indifference of social media companies for too long, the burden having been borne by societies rather than companies themselves,” he says. “It’s about time governments stepped in to ensure platforms put people before profits and ensure their platforms are not so easily weaponized by white supremacists and preachers of terrorism.”

Rhiannon Williams

Crypto is weathering a bitter storm. Some still hold on for dear life.

One shiny premise of DeFi ,or decentralized finance—a catch-all term for cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects related to the exchange of value—is that by spreading out and automating operations, and removing power from middlemen like banks, it can offer a system more resilient to global forces.

But with the traditional market slipping dramatically and Big Tech stocks plummeting, that theory of resilience is getting a real-life road test—and the results are not great. Read the full story.

—Rebecca Ackermann

It will soon be easy for self-driving cars to hide in plain sight. We shouldn’t let them.

As self-driving cars become more common, and we grow used to the sight of vehicles driving around without a human behind the wheel, the question of how we know who’s driving will become increasingly serious. The rooftop lidar sensors that currently mark many of them out are likely to become smaller, making it easier for the vehicles to hide in plain sight. But if they ever hit our roads for real, other (human) drivers need to know exactly where they are and what they’re dealing with. Read the full story.

By Jack Stilgoe, a professor of science and technology policy at University College London.

The must-reads

I’ve combed the internet to find you today’s most fun/important/scary/fascinating stories about technology.

1 Shanghai wants to end its covid lockdown on 1 June 
Exhausted residents must be hoping that reality complies with official aspirations. (The Guardian)
+ Daily cases in the city have dropped to their lowest level in 52 days. (SCMP)
+ China’s economy has paid the price for the nation’s zero-covid policy. (Bloomberg $)

2 Abortion rights activists are starting to accept crypto donations
But paying for abortions using crypto could expose both the people getting the abortions and the donors. (NYT $)+ After a wild week, no one seems to know what’s in store for crypto. (WP $)
+ One of crypto’s most influential chief executives says he has no confidence in Bitcoin as a payments network. (FT $)
+ The crypto crash could be just the tip of the recession iceberg. (The Atlantic $)