(Adds quote from Google spokesperson)

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA, April 4 (Reuters) – Australia will fine social media companies up to 10 percent of their annual global turnover and imprison executives for up to three years if violent content is not removed “expeditiously” under a new law passed by the country’s parliament on Thursday.

The new law is in response to a lone gunman attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, killing 50 people as they attended Friday prayers.

The gunman broadcasted his attack live on Facebook and it was widely shared for over an hour before being removed, a timeframe Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described as unacceptable.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with one murder