Australia\u2019s major telcos have temporarily blocked a number of sites hosting footage of Friday\u2019s terror attack in Christchurch.\nThe action follows a plea from New Zealand\u2019s Department of Internal Affairs for help in stopping the spread of the footage online.\nTelstra announced the actionon Twitteryesterday evening, adding: \u201cWe understand this may inconvenience some legitimate users of these sites, but these are extreme circumstances and we feel this is the right thing to do.\u201d\nVodafone confirmed it had taken similar steps yesterday, with the block involving \u201cdozens of sites known to be still actively hosting footage\u201d. It, too, apologised for any inconvenience but added \u201cwe believe it\u2019s the right thing to do in these extreme circumstances to help stop the further distribution of this video\u201d.\nOptus held out on a block until today when it confirmed that \u201creflecting on community expectations,\u201d it had followed suit.\nThe action by telcos follows the NZ department issuing a letter calling for support for its efforts to remove the online footage.\n\u201cWe cannot control the international sharing of this objectionable content, and as such, it is important to leverage our partnerships to assist us in managing this terrible situation,\u201d the letter from the department\u2019s Digital Safety Group read.\nThe telcos would not disclose the names of the sites, but Twitter users have claimed access to 4chan, 8chan, Kiwi Farms, Encyclopaedia Dramatica, Live Leak, Voat and Zerohedge were affected, depending on the ISP.\nDespite the gunman choosing to livestream the massacre on Facebook, and the video still being shared there and on Twitter days later, the block has not been applied to the social media sites.\nA Vodafone spokesperson said the distinction was that: \u201c[The blocked sites] are sites that are actively still hosting the content. The platforms you have named are taking action to remove the content.\u201d\nA Telstra spokesperson said Twitter and Facebook were \u201cproactively moderating\u201d.\nFacebook said it had removed 1.5 million videos of the attack globally, 1.2 million of them at upload. The platform also said it was removing edited versions of the video and \u201cany praise or support\u201d for the gunman.\nAccording to Facebook, the video was viewed fewer than 200 times during the live broadcast. The social media service said the video was viewed about 4000 times in total before being removed. The first report it received was 12 minutes after the broadcast had ended.\nFacebook VP and deputy general counsel Chris Sonderby said that before the company was alerted to the video an 8chan user had posted a link to a copy of the video hosted by a file-sharing site.\n"We continue to work around the clock to remove violating content using a combination of technology and people,\u201d Facebook Australia and New Zealand director of policy Mia Garlick saidon Sunday.\nMembers of the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT)\u2013 which include Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram \u2013said todaythey had\u201cshared digital fingerprints of more than 800 visually-distinct videos related to the attack via our collective database, along with URLs and context on our enforcement approaches\u201d.\nAustralia\u2019s eSafety CommissionerJulie Inman Grant said today she had contacted the major social media platforms\u201cto understand what measures they\u2019re taking to prevent the proliferation of the terrorist video and related inflammatory and harmful content following the tragic and senseless Christchurch shootings\u201d.\nThe Office of the eSafety Commissioner confirmed it had \u201cnot provided any direction or advice to Australian ISPs in regard to the blocking of websites\u201d hosting the footage.\nUndertheBroadcasting Services Act 1992, the Commissioner deals with complaints about prohibited online content, with powers to issue a takedown or cessation notice when such content is hosted or streamed in Australia.\nSince Friday\u2019s attack the office had received more than 60 reports about related content, and investigators are currently working to determine if it is hosted locally.\n\u201cThis horrific case further highlights the need for companies to take proactive steps to prevent their online platforms from being used to perpetuate hate, crime and heinous acts of terrorism,\u201d the eSafety Commissioner said in a statement.\nToday, in her first address to parliament since the attack, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Adern said her government would consider the role of social media in the incident.\n\u201cWe cannot simply sit back and accept that these platforms just exist and that what is said on them is not the responsibility of the place where they are published. They are the publisher. Not just the postman. There cannot be a case of all profit, no responsibility,\u201d she said.