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Home Technology Shooting near German synagogue was livestreamed on Twitch

Shooting near German synagogue was livestreamed on Twitch

Police block a street near the shooting scene in Halle, Germany. 


Getty Images

A shooting Wednesday that killed two people outside a German synagogue during one of the most important Jewish holidays was livestreamed on Twitch. The video has since been removed from the streaming platform but was uploaded to other video sites. 

The shooter failed to enter the synagogue in Halle, Germany, but wreaked havoc, including the deaths of the two individuals, before driving away. The man used a Galaxy S8 on a helmet to record his crime while wearing a kevlar vest. Wednesday is Yom Kippur, the holiest day for Judaism. Inside the synagogue were 70 to 80 worshipers, according to a local Jewish leader. All were safe and unharmed.

“Hi, my name is Anon,” the shooter said in English at the start of the video while in his car. “Anon” is a shortened version of “anonymous,” used commonly on sites like 4chan and 8chan. “I think the Holocaust never happened. Feminism is the cause of the decline of the West which acts as a scapegoat for mass immigration. And the root of all these problems is the Jew. Would you like to be friends?”

The video continued to show the shooter’s two victims: a woman near the synagogue and a man in a nearby kebab eatery. The shooter also threw what looked like a grenade, according to CBS News.  

Documents that appear to be from the shooter were posted to a message board Wednesday. One contained a link to the livestream, as well as a callout to an 8chan user. Another included several images of guns and magazines, some of which appear to have been manufactured with a 3D printer. The document included plans for the attack, and “achievements” similar to those found in video games. 

The attack marks the latest incident in which a violent act has been livestreamed for the public, raising questions about the responsibility of platforms like Twitch, which is owned by Amazon. It echoes the Christchurch shooting in New Zealand in March, when a shooter killed 50 Muslim worshipers in the Masjid Al Noor mosque. The man streamed his actions on Facebook. 

Halle police said they have a person in custody but have yet to identify the suspect. 

Twitch confirmed that the shooting was streamed and was removed from its platform. 

“We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy that took place in Germany today, and our deepest condolences go out to all those affected,” said Brielle Villablanca, director of corporate communications at Twitch. “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.”

Originally published on Oct. 9, 12:43 p.m. PT.
Update, 1:45 p.m. PT: Adds additional details. 





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