Update: Twitch provided more information on the incident and said the stream was viewed by approximately five people. A recording of the stream found on the user’s Twitch channel was viewed by approximately 2,200 people within 30 minutes before it was removed from Twitch.
Original: A shooting took place at a Halle, Germany, synagogue on Wednesday which was live-streamed on Twitch by the alleged shooter as the tragic incident occurred. According to NBC News, Twitch confirmed that the video was indeed hosted on the streaming platform, though it’s now been removed. Two people were reportedly killed during the attack while others were injured, though the alleged shooter was never able to actually enter the synagogue.
According to NBC News, an armed suspect approached the synagogue in Halle where around 80 people were inside. The video in question is reportedly around 35 minutes long and showed a man parking near the synagogue before trying to enter the locked building. The man then shot a woman who was walking in the road before driving to a nearby kebab shop and shooting another person. More shots were fired at random targets before he abandoned his phone and drove away.
Within the video, the alleged shooter called himself “Anon” as a reference to the message boards which often play host to hate speech and related content since users can post anonymously. The man also denied the Holocaust and spoke out against feminism, immigration, and the Jewish people.
Twitch shared a statement on Twitter within a series of two tweets after the incident took place.
“We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Germany today, and our deepest condolences go out to all those affected,” Twitch said on Twitter before continuing its statement in another tweet. “Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against hateful conduct, and any act of violence is taken extremely seriously. We worked with urgency to remove this content and will permanently suspend any accounts found to be posting or reposting content of this abhorrent act.”
While Twitch has many different sections for users to stream their content, most of them dedicated to certain games, the shooting was reportedly streamed through a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive channel. The livestream was reportedly taken down within minutes of it appearing on Twitch, but not before it was captured and shared across “at least 10 white supremacist Telegram channels to tens of thousands of users,” according to NBC News.
Twitch’s primary purpose was always to allow content creators to stream themselves playing video games, but its umbrella of content expanded to include broader channels like once where streamers can just chat with their viewers. Twitch has not said how long the original video was available on the platform for or how many people might’ve seen it before it was removed.