‘Feel Sickened Having My Name Uttered’: PewDiePie on NZ Terrorist
Swedish YouTuber PewDiePie, who has been waging a ‘who will have the highest subscribers on YouTube’ battle with TSeries, found himself embroiled in controversy on Friday, 15 March.
Multiple terrorists opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand, killing at least 40 people and injuring 20 others. However, minutes before unleashing the attack, the gunman live-streamed the entire process – in it, he asked people to subscribe to PewDiePie.
The gunman live-streamed himself loading several weapons inscribed with names into a silver van and driving to the mosque, reports BuzzFeed.
According to the footage, the gunman was live-streaming through a GoPro device to Facebook. The nearly 17-minute video was also posted on YouTube.
In the first few minutes, the gunman says, 'Remember lads, subscribe to Pewdiepie' – the Swedish Youtuber has been condemned in the past for spewing racial slurs and making anti-Semitic comments on his channel.
‘Feel Sickened Having My Name Uttered’
The YouTuber responded to the Christchurch shooting on Twitter by distancing himself from the shooter and offering condolences to the families.
Meanwhile, representatives from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube said they have suspended the accounts of a suspected gunman and are working to remove all versions of a video of the shooting from their platforms.
Mia Garlick, a spokesperson for Facebook New Zealand, said in a statement to BuzzFeed that police alerted them to the live-streamed video.
A spokesperson for YouTube said in a statement that, “Shocking, violent and graphic content has no place on our platforms, and is removed as soon as we become aware of it.”
Twitter also said it had taken down the account of the suspected gunman and was working to remove all versions of the video.
The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, called it the ‘darkest day in New Zealand’.