Even after the New Zealand police urged people and media outlets not to share the horrific footage of the Christchurch mosque shooting Friday (March 15), many failed to heed the warning. This prompted Twitter users to start an online movement where they echoed the advice of the police and spread awareness about the negative consequences of sharing or viewing the footage.

Shortly after the shooting took place, the New Zealand police tweeted: “Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.”

However, a number of Australian media outlets either linked or embedded the footage in the coverage of the incident.

Moments after the attack on Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue in central Christchurch, a bodycam footage of the gunman carrying out the shooting was live-streamed on YouTube and Facebook. The video reportedly showed a gunman walking into the mosque and opening fire.

However, Mia Garlick, spokeswoman for Facebook in New Zealand, said that a video showing Christchurch shootings has been taken down. "New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video," Garlick said, CNN reported

The campaign urging people not to share or view the footage is gathering steam on Twitter, pointing out that doing so feeds into the warped ideology of the shooter and furthers the spread of hate speech.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that 40 people have been killed in the attack and 20 injured. "This is one of New Zealand's darkest days... There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence,” Ardern said in a press conference following the attack.

The police confirmed that four people have been arrested so far in relation with the shooting, of which at least one of the shooters is believed to be an Australian national. The person was described as a man, who was "white, aged in his 30s or 40s and wearing a uniform."

“Three are men and one is a woman, we are working through that as well," New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. “There have been huge acts of bravery to apprehend these people, but let's not assume that the threat is over. We are as visually equipped as we can be. As you can imagine this is requiring every police and emergency resource that we have available. We have defence force aircraft in Wellington ready to fly more resources into the area, and we will do that from other locations nearby as well. This is absolutely tragic. There will be so many people affected."

Here are a few photos of the first responders: 

Chirstchurch Mosque Shooting An image grab from TV New Zealand shows a victim arriving at a hospital following the mosque shooting in Christchurch, March 15, 2019. Photo: TV New Zealand/AFP/Getty Images

Chirstchurch shooting Police officers cordon off the area close to the mosque after a gunman filming himself firing at worshippers inside in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019. Photo: Flynn Foley/AFP/Getty Images

Chirstchurch Shooting An image grab from TV New Zealand taken shows a New Zealand police officer walking past ambulances at a hospital following a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, March 15, 2019. Photo: Laurent Fievet/AFP/Getty Images

 

Hours before the attack, one of the attackers is believed to have posted a link to an unsigned 87-page manifesto that was full of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and listed reasons for the attack. Speaking at a press conference Friday, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the attackers "extremist right wing, violent terrorists."

"Australia and New Zealand, we're not just allies, we're not just partners, we're family and as family members with our New Zealand cousins today, we grieve, we are shocked, we're appalled, we're outraged," he said.