Assignment 1: Facebook Live Killings
Ever since Facebook has started up in 2004, they have had billions of monthly users according to Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO, in an article that was published in June 2017. The article goes on to state that Facebook is shifting its focus from connecting the world to bring the world closer. They want to show everything the “Good” on Facebook (Balakrishnan, 2017).
Social media is a very powerful tool that is changing the way that everyone is looking at the world with just one post at a time. Facebook has become the cornerstone with watching crimes in real time. When you are on the outside looking you, you feel as though Facebook should be held liable for the crimes that are being committed on their website along with being punished for not being able to go to the aid of the victim. Unfortunately, Facebook does not have any legal or ethical duty to go and recuse the victim. Facebook can only be held accountable or liable if they have created the danger for the victim (Wechsler, 2013). There is no law currently in place and no moral requirement in the United States that obligates any person to help someone in danger (Wechsler, 2013).
Facebook does have come community standards to try and help to keep their subscribers safe. They do not condone any kind of disruptive behavior. They do their best to monitor and control what is being posted and work with law enforcement when something does come up. Their main goal is to keep their subscribers safe. They encourage them that when they see something that they feel is needs to be taking down you can report it and Facebook will look into it. If they feel that it is not what they stand for then they will take it down and ban that user that posted it for at least 30 days (Facebook/Community Standards).
Even though Facebook has connected everyone from around the world, it has its downside. Ever since they have started up the Facebook live there have been so many negative posts and even crime related posts that come about. The Guarding has an article by Solon that stated that the Facebook live feature is supposed to be used as a tool that share your heartwarming life moments by being able to broadcast live videos directly from your smartphones, but it has also gained a reputation in a very different light. There have been post that have gone viral about child abuse, the musings of a spree killer as the police were on the chase, a young man with disabilities in Chicago being tortured, and the rape of a women in Sweden. Per the article, these criminals were drawn to posting their criminal acts on Facebook live due to the face of having a big audience to brag it out to (Solon, 2017).
Facebook live has been used for so many live murders and suicides since its public access in January 2016. Some of them are; the Turkish man Erodgan Ceren, Jared McLemore who torched himself to death in Memphis, Tennessee, and James M Jefferey, who shot himself in Robertsdale, Alabama. There was a Thai father, Wuttisan Wotanglay, who hanged is 11-month-old child when he accused his partner of cheating then he killed himself. There was Steve Stephens, 37, who filmed killing 74-year old Robert Goodwin in Cleveland, Ohio then he shot himself while on the run from the police (Harper and Mullin, 2018).
Unfortunately, we cannot hold Facebook accountable for any of these crimes that were done by the users/criminals. They will continue to be the platform for these to be posted simply because of the accessibility of the stream to get out. Facebook just needs to continue to be cooperative with law enforcement and to continue to remove and block and post or livestreams that show any kind of criminal action that is posted. They only issue is that they rely on the user to flag and report any kind of offensive material and it is only then that the Facebook team can take action.
In November of 2017, Facebook started using artificial intelligence technology “proactive detection” to help to stop the live suicides. This technology detects a pattern of suicidal thoughts that someone may be posting and then it will send it to some trained moderators that will step in instead of waiting for someone to report it. They will then contact their partner agencies for them to respond (Constine, 2017). Their hope is to not only prevent suicides but hoping this could expand and to help detect any other acts so they can respond accordingly.
One thing that Facebook could do is have some king of pop-blocker that will not allow you to up load and kind of graphic or inappropriate content on the site. They can also try and educate people on how to use the site and to encourage ethical use on their site as well. They could hire an ethical committee, but I feel that would not help any, people need to be educated on the right and wrongs because not everyone was brought up the same way. Teaching everyone and showing them is the best way. Explaining why Facebook was created for in the first place and bringing it back to the way it is supposed to be.
Even though Facebook does have somethings in place for when inappropriate things are posted, I do believe they could do more. Just putting them in “Facebook Jail” for 30 days is not enough. And in all reality, all they have to do is make another account or use someone else’s to post. They should have rules in place about what can happen and will happen is someone is caught posting anything that is remoting illegal. This way they can show everyone that they are taking this issue seriously and will not stand for it and that anyone who is trying to commit a crime will not be able to broadcast for the entire world to see like they have been in the past.
- Balakrishnan, A. (2017, June 27). 2 billion people now use Facebook each month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg says. Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/27/how-many-users-does-facebook-have-2-billion-a-month-ceo-mark-zuckerberg-says.html
- Community Standards, Facebook (2019). Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards/violence_criminal_behavior
- Constine, J. (2017, November 27). Facebook rolls out AI to detect suicidal posts before they’re reported. Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://techcrunch.com/2017/11/27/facebook-ai-suicide-prevention/
- Harper, P., & Mullin, G. (2018, February 28). Seen a tragic Facebook Live killing video? Here’s how to report inappropriate content. Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3426352/facebook-live-clips-murder-suicide-shootings-report/
- Solon, O. (2017, April 26). Live and death: Facebook sorely needs a reality check about video. Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/25/facebook-live-mark-zuckerberg-murder-video-thailand
- Wechsler, M. (2013, June 06). Good Samaritan Laws & the Duty to Help or Rescue Someone. Retrieved January 26, 2019, from https://www.thelaw.com/law/good-samaritan-laws-the-duty-to-help-or-rescue-someone.218/