YESTERDAY, Facebook announced that no-one reported the video of the horrific Christchurch terror attack while it was being streamed live on their platform.

It took the company a 24-hour time period to block 1.2 million uploads of the video, removing 1.5million videos of the attack worldwide. Despite this contamination of hate facilitated by their platform, rather than just apologise for their lack of rapid response to this virus, Facebook threw the onus back on to its users.

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This statement is classic Facebook – the buck gets passed and never stops with the tech giant itself; they always have a get-out clause in terms of their responsibility. But, as the wonderful and human New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern most succinctly put it: “They are the publisher, not just the postman … There cannot be a case of all profit and no responsibility.”

This sums up the issue with Facebook, and other social media platforms, and their lack of accountability over content shared on their sites. These massive, powerful companies have always put the responsibility for alerts about inappropriate content on to the user, thus washing their hands of any duty of care – this despite the fact that this is a platform that has made them all billionaires.

Even Sajid Javid has called out Facebook, Google, YouTube and Twitter in the wake of the shooting to do more to stop violent extremism being promoted and shared uncensored on a global scale. Meanwhile, Facebook PR guru and former LibDem leader Nick Clegg is conspicuous by his silence.

This lack of responsibility cuts through just about every aspect of our contemporary lives. It’s not just Facebook and these other media giants who are playing Pontius Pilate with their responsibility for the rise in far-right extremism and promotion of violent attacks. While certain media commentators, journalists, politicians, pundits and presenters were busy condemning this act of religious hate, extremist bigotry and downright evil in its purest form, others were reminding them of their part in fermenting ill-feeling towards Muslims and other minorities.

And yet, they “seem” to continue to be blissfully unaware of their part in stoking, encouraging and amplifying Islamophobia, arguing for their right to free speech, their right to say what’s in the murkier recesses of their minds. However, as Christchurch has shown us, as the hate-filled manifesto published by the murderer has shown us, once these ideas are out there, they spread, multiply and then no-one can stop it.

Most appallingly, on the night of the actual terror attack, the BBC decided to invite a man called Benjamin Jones on to their Newsnight programme. Jones is the UK head of a group known as Generation Identity (GI), a far-right organisation whose views on Muslims are extreme and dangerous, and whose views on “replacement” were echoed by the attacker in Christchurch, despite GI condemning the attack. Jones even mentioned Enoch Powell in his interview while disparaging the Muslim way of life as incompatible with Western values.

The National: The BBC were criticised for inviting a representative of a far-right organisation to appear on Newsnight after the New Zealand mosque attackThe BBC were criticised for inviting a representative of a far-right organisation to appear on Newsnight after the New Zealand mosque attack

It seemed to me quite an extraordinarily insensitive and downright dangerous decision to give this man a platform to spout his inaccurate and inflammatory doctrine on mainstream TV given the atrocity in New Zealand; indeed it seemed an almost mainstreaming of incitement to hatred, a careless desire for ratings which superseded any human response to horror. Is this educating and informing? It may be entertaining for a few bigots, and scandalising for those who enjoy tabloid sensationalism, but for most people it’s simply offensive to turn on the TV in our own living room and hear a man like this go unchallenged by a broadcasting corporation we used to affectionately describe as Auntie. Not anymore. Remember, it’s Newsnight that produced the documentary on Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, or Tommy “backbone of Britain” Robinson, as far-right strategist Steve Bannon likes to call him. It was the BBC that invited Bannon to a European Broadcasting event in Edinburgh last year, which our First Minister rightly pulled out of in protest. Despite the outcry, the BBC continues to give oxygen to the far right.

It’s just part of a wider picture of the media, searching indiscriminately for viewing, listening or reading figures to increase, upping the ante on controversial guests, polarising headlines, churning out sensationalist news stories where the facts are few and far between.

It’s up there with Nigel Farage’s number being on some kind of speed dial for media producers as they book the so-called “likeable rogue” to spark debate. All the while this wolf in sheep’s clothing panders to the very worst kind of religious and minority prejudice and anti-migrant attitudes. Jacob Rees-Mogg is another one who is never off our tellies and radios, the slightly sinister Victorian man in black, the comical toff who says one thing to our faces while doing quite another behind our backs. And, of course Boris Johnson, a man who knows no depths when it comes to promoting his own career. Like some overgrown, badly behaved teenager, he’ll say just about anything to get a reaction. Problem is, the kind of rhetoric he uses so carelessly is dangerous, divisive, and disgusting.

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These right-wing characters have become household names thanks to the BBC and wider media. Anyone who reads a paper, watches the news programmes or listens to the radio is familiar with these politicians. Farage has gone one step further, commanding a huge following on YouTube with his short and inflammatory appearances at the European Parliament, where he gives his fellow MEPs “what for” for the benefit of his devotees, who lap up all the bad boy of Brexit’s remarks and share widely with their global anti-community.

It’s another layer entirely into the darker corners of the internet, where dripping with anger and violent threats, the Christchurch murderer fed his hatred. Because this is an issue that starts with unfettered comments in the broad daylight of media discourse and worms its way down into the hidden mysteries of extremist internet communities, isolated from acceptable chat groups, but united by their animosity to minorities.

The worm moves down, but thanks to internet algorithms, it tills the soil and moves back upwards too, out of the dirt and into daylight, churning out diatribes and documents and horrifying film footage of deaths in real time. And it’s shared by social media, by online platforms such as Facebook, by newspapers, on websites, and the hate spreads its fingers out across the globe – the dance of the macabre continues.

Meanwhile the leaders and public figures who elaborated the lies and encouraged the hate in the first place, speak out against the atrocity with their thoughts and prayers for those who lost their lives. They are joined by the columnists who described Muslims women as “letter boxes” and bank robbers, and presidents who tried to ban them from the country, and Leave campaigners who pumped myths and falsehoods on immigration to their micro-targeted audiences. They all try to distance themselves from the horrible vicious circle that they’ve actively participated in and knowingly can’t control.

Ignorance and hate lead to violence and death. Unchallenged and given the room to grow, breathe and multiply, this ignorance and hate is a disease that has changed the DNA of our discourse. The reality for most Muslims is that, until this changes, until large companies take responsibility, commentators are made to think twice, and editors question rhetoric, the threats won’t stop and the horrible uncertainty will continue. We will always be looking over our shoulders, always wondering, will we be next? Will our loved ones be safe, anywhere, ever?