The Facebook Live feature has never been used in such a horrific manner before. If you are unfamiliar with the story, a man from Cleveland named Steve Stephens filmed himself committing a homicide on Facebook Live a couple of days ago. The crime was undoubtedly disturbing, but also appalling was the fact that the video stayed up on the social site for almost three hours before being taken off.
The man is still yet to be found by police, and arguably a big part of that has to do with the slow reaction from Facebook on the issue. Surely Facebook could have handled this situation more swiftly and in a better manner. They have since issued an apology to do damage control, but I would say that damage cannot be undone.
Social media has a strange ability to not only organize crime but also to locate it and stop it. Just as police scan social sites for potential lawbreakers, the sites themselves need to be on the lookout for odd behavior. Sites encourage users to “share”, and that they do. What is shared and said on social media should be regulated not just for vulgarity or indecency, but also to help stop senseless crimes like these from happening.
Given, Stephen’s social media accounts (Facebook and Youtube) do not give any blatant indications that he was capable of homicide, but in many cases posts will show signs of potential violence. This could potentially become a privacy issue, but perhaps safety is more important in this case. What do you think?