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Social Media Platforms Scrambling to Remove All Videos of New Zealand Terror Attack; Soon Mosque Terror Attack Suspect in Christchurch Court; Any Moment, Trump Signs His First Veto Upholding National Emergency. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired March 15, 2019 - 15:30   ET


[15:30:00] BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: All right, back to our breaking news. 49 people are dead and dozen more are injured in the attack on two Mosques in New Zealand. The disturbing aspect of this deadly attack, a shooter appears to have live streamed the whole thing on Facebook. The disturbing and graphic video lasts nearly 17 minutes. It has not been verified yet by CNN.

But Facebook's artificial intelligence tools and its human moderators apparently did not detect this live stream. Facebook was alerted to it by the New Zealand police and then removed the shooter's account and video but by then the video had already rapidly spread across multiple platforms leaving Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram scrambling to get this content off their site.

So, let's start there. I've got CNN's Sara Sidner with me and social media and tech expert Lance Ulanoff. And so, Lance, just first to you on that point. How is it that they cannot yank it down like that?

LANCE ULANOFF, SOCIAL MEDIA AND TECH EXPERT: Well, first of all, they wait for somebody to report it, right? That tends to be how it is. Facebook -- I could pick up my phone right now and start live streaming from here immediately, so that happens first, then somebody says, hey, some user says oh, my god or -- then they go and pull it down. But in that period of time, the internet is a cloning machine. One walks in a million walk out. It's a problem of scale from that moment forward and there is also, you know, from the A.I. side, from the algorithmic side recognizing what is, in fact, violent video, what isn't entertainment, that's not as easy as it sounds and they still haven't done enough. Two years ago, a woman live streamed officials shooting her boyfriend at a traffic stop and that went live and in that two years, we really haven't gotten better at stopping this stuff from flooding out on to social media.

BALDWIN: That's a problem. You cover so much of this stuff. How easy it is for these people to use the internet to spread their message.

SARA SIDNER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It's true. We should be really clear that the ideology of white supremacy, the ideology of neo-Nazis, of the KKK, of white nationalists if you will, it is as dangerous as the ideology of members of ISIS, as the ideology of al Qaeda. It is 'othering', trying to make one group and vilify that one group and say that you are better than that one group and that the other group is dangerous, right? Are invaders which we know having read through the entire ramblings of someone who's clearly got some serious issues and as you read through that the word invaders is on 25 pages of the 87 pages that he wrote and so as you look through that and you start to see what is happening, it is really about being afraid of the other and where is this all going? Where did he get it all from? Where did he get all these ideas from? He himself says the internet. That's where only the truth is on the internet. I want to hear actually from the SPLC who looks at the stuff and researches the stuff, not just from white supremacy but all hate groups. Here's how people are being -- their minds are being changed.

BALDWIN: Let's watch.


KEEGAN HANKS, SPLC SENIOR RESEARCH ANALYST: White supremacists are really everywhere that the average person is online and that has to do with the fact that they're very highly motivated to reach audiences and try to attract people with their ideologies. So, when I say they are everywhere I am talking about Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter but also on their own websites and forums. They're going anywhere they can to recruit people and disseminate their ideologies.


SIDNER: Can we be really clear that this is terrorism? That it doesn't mean if you're white or brown, Muslim or Christian, whatever your race or religion is, if you go and kill people in the name of something else trying to change something, trying to change governments, it is terrorism and now 49 people are dead and 48 people injured. That's what we're dealing with and the problem is getting worse.

ULANOFF: I wanted to talk a little bit about the social media aspect of this in that while this person clearly mental problems was very specific in mentioning certain people, mentioning certain social media things and posting his manifesto online in a -- some people call it a press kit but it was really engineered to be viral. Mentioning somebody like Pewdiepie who says I have nothing to do with this, well that causes what I like to cause a second wave and the second wave of virality, this person apparently engineered -- it's truly the weaponization of social media which makes it that much worse.

[15:35:00] BALDWIN: So, what can law enforcement, what can the social media, you know, executives, bosses, master minds, how can they work together to stop this? You're both looking at me like a needle in a haystack.

ULANOFF: I actually started talking about this on Twitter today and I suggested that for live streams, at least, it's time to put a delay. I'm not sure why everybody needs to go live right now unless you're an official, unless you're you Brooke going live right now, but if there was a 30 second delay, that would actually give the algorithm more time to work on the content and the humans more time to address it. The problem is that the system is still set up to go live now and I don't think it's a major change if you are a verified individual with a job where it is your job to go live at a moment's notice, fine, you get that. If you have a track record of proving you're a citizen journalist, it's time to do this because we are in a case where the algorithms have not cut up with the content. I believe they can. Apple told me they do trillions of computations on single photos in a second. We can do this. We can get better. Stop opening the door and let anybody walk through because there's tremendous power in broadcast and that is not been recognized.

SIDNER: Look, there's no gateway but to be fair, a lot of people using internet do not like that idea.

BALDWIN: Of course not. Big brother. Policing.

SIDNER: I'm not talking people that have terroristic ideals, I'm talking about 13-year-olds, 15-year-olds, 25-year-olds. They don't like the idea of being regulated, if we don't do that, if it's the wild, wild west, then you'll start seeing this. Your children are going to start seeing these horrifying images and once it's out there, it's almost impossible to pull it back.

ULANOFF: You cannot stop the spread.

BALDWIN: One of the best conversations I've had all day, guys. I appreciate it. We'll continue it. Sara and Lance, thank you so much.

We are moments away from President Trump signing his first ever veto. It will strike down Congress's bipartisan resolution to end his national emergency declaration at the Mexican border. We'll take the White House and those cameras in the oval office as soon as we see the President.



JACINDA ARDERN, NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER: Many of those who have been directly affected by the shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence.


BALDWIN: That was the Prime Minister trying to spread a message of unity in the wake of a terror attack that killed 49 people. President Trump says he called her moments ago to express his condolences. The top of the hour, the only suspect charged so far in the attack will be in court in Christchurch. That's where we find Emma Cropper from Newshub, New Zealand. What do you know?

EMMA CROPPER, REPORTER, NEWSHUB, NEW ZEALAND: What we know is that the death toll does still stand at 49 and those injured inside the hospital stands just over 42 of those in critical condition, one is a 4-year-old who's being transferred to a children's hospital, but there is been a strong presence from family inside that hospital. More than 200 family members going in and out throughout the night. We were down there at 2:00 a.m. and there were still children, still family flowing in and out of the hospital waiting for any news of people. There have been 12 operating theaters under way there, operating on people throughout the evening and those family members would have been waiting for news on the outcome of those as well.

BALDWIN: And so, you said 42, there's a 4-year-old being transferred, quickly on this 28-year-old. He is about to meet his moment in court, yes?

CROPPER: Yes, I'm outside our local court House here at the moment. There's a growing presence from public as well as international and local media here in the courthouse. He should be appear within the next couple of hours now. It is expected here in New Zealand these first appearances usually brief appearances where they discuss legal restrictions. What we can say about people what they are appearing in court. There won't be much detail that comes out of the appearance. He has been in custody overnight after being arrested by police yesterday afternoon here in New Zealand, so he will appear we are expecting him to appear within the next couple of hours.

BALDWIN: OK. Emma Cropper for us there at the court in Christchurch, thank you.

Back here at home, any moment now President Trump will be coming to us from the oval office in front of cameras to sign his first veto of his presidency. This is for the bipartisan rebuke of his national emergency declaration. What will the President say? Stay tuned.


BALDWIN: In just a couple minutes made for TV event at the White House to showcase a move President Trump has never actually done before. This is his first veto. It'll make his rebuke of lawmakers as public as the one the Senate made against him this time yesterday. Those 12 Republicans joining Democrats in approving resolution to block the President's national emergency declaration.

[15:50:00] The declaration unlocked more than $3 billion in defense funds to build a border wall. So, I have with me CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger. Gloria, happy Friday, nice to see you.


BALDWIN: The White House -- the White House requested cameras to be in the oval office, clearly Trump wants the photo op, what is his motivation?

BORGER: Well, his motivation is first of all, to tell his base that I'm doing what I promised you I would do which is I'm getting money to build this wall. He's also clearly given his tweets this morning going to send a message to those Senate Republicans who voted against him that maybe was not so smart because I'll come after you at some point if you're up for re-election and I think largely this is him saying, you know, I did what I said I would do. BALDWIN: I'm draining the swamp.

BORGER: Yes, absolutely.

BALDWIN: Let me read this tweet for everyone. This is what the President tweeted this afternoon. "I'd like to thank all of the great Republican Senators who bravely voted for strong border security and the wall, this will help stop crime, human trafficking and drugs entering our country. Watch when you get back to your state, they will love you more than ever before." Is that a not so veiled threat for those that did not vote in his favor?

BORGER: Of course. If you support me, just wait, it was worth your while. They will love you like they love me. If you didn't support me, remember there are 12 Republicans. If the you look at that list of Republicans and you know this, they from all, you know, they are from all walks.

You've got Rand Paul, a libertarian. You got Susan Collins, a moderate. You've got conservatives on that list. But he is saying this is going to hurt you back home. I promise you I will make this point you were against me. You were therefore against the wall and you were disloyal to me. Of course, the President saw this as something personal that if you crossed him on this you were crossing him. You were not making a constitutional argument which is what a lot of these Republicans are saying. You've not you're not allowed to do this constitutionally. Or why are we here? We are the ones that were to appropriate money and say where the money goes.

BALDWIN: Stay we me. We'll do this here. Special coverage of the President's first veto next.


BALDWIN: So, we are back with the breaking news. Officially the President of the United States has signed his first veto. Gloria Borger is back with me. No surprise. We are waiting for that. We wanted this TV moment. I do have a little more color I can relay to you that Bill Barr the Attorney General defended this national emergency declaration saying it was clearly authorized under the law. Saying, legal.

BORGER: Right. He has a lot of Republicans in the United States Senate that disagree with him and who believe it sets a terrible precedent. Don't forget you have a Republican President now. What if you have a Democratic President that said I will spend, you know, TK billions of dollars on climate change. Republicans saying it is our responsibility and not yours. We do not believe it was what the founding fathers intended. They think it's unconstitutional but obviously they disagree with the Attorney General.

BALDWIN: How about on the Republicans? I have you for about 60 more seconds here. We know the House passed the unanimous vote on making Mueller report public. All of the Republicans voted on the Democrats there. On the senate side what we were talking about yesterday, this vote, a number of Republicans who don't normally break with Trump, broke with Trump. Are you starting the see serious cracks in Republican support for him?

BALDWIN: You know, it's very hard to tell. On House vote for example, I think the Republicans in the house, voted to make Mueller public. They don't want the Democrats cherry picking this information.

[16:00:00] They would rather have it all out there and give their own interpretation to the American public. On this issue in the Senate with the national emergency, I think you see people choosing between the constitution and the President of the United States. Will that hold for Republicans? I doubt it.

They kind of go issue by issue these days. You saw one Republican Senator Thom Tillis change his mind because he was afraid of what it would do to him back home and he could get primaried on the right. We know President Trump has a long memory and he can go after people which he is happy to do it seems to me. It is very hard to predict where Republicans are going to land on any particular issue right now.

BALDWIN: Gloria Borger, you are the best. Thank you very much. Good to have you on. Thank you. I'm Brooke Baldwin let's send things to Washington. "THE LEAD" starts now.