[social-work] CRIME AND CRIMINALS: MURDER HOMICIDE : VIOLENCE AND VIOLENT CRIMES : BROADCASTS: LIVE BROADCASTS : INTERNET MEDIA: NAMED MEDIA: FACEBOOK: Facebook Streams a Murder, and Must Now Face Itself

 

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CRIME AND CRIMINALS: MURDER HOMICIDE :

VIOLENCE AND VIOLENT CRIMES :

BROADCASTS: LIVE BROADCASTS :

INTERNET MEDIA: NAMED MEDIA: FACEBOOK:

Facebook Streams a Murder, and Must Now Face Itself

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Facebook Streams a Murder, and Must Now Face Itself

EMILY DREYFUSS

CULTURE

DATE OF PUBLICATION: 04.16.17.

TIME OF PUBLICATION: 9:26 PM.

Wired

https://www.wired.com/2017/04/facebook-live-murder-steve-stephens/

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In the video, a man that Cleveland police have identified as 37-year-old Steve Stephens gets out of his car and approaches an elderly shopper carrying a grocery bag. Stephens demands his target repeat a womans namethe woman who he is apparently making this video for. By this point the barrel of the gun is visible in the frame, and the victim senses that something is very wrong. As Stephens fires a single shot, the camera jostles away, so it actually misses the one moment he was seemingly so intent on capturingbut when it pans back, his victim is lying in a pool of blood. That motherfucker dead cause of you, Stephens concludes, addressing his intended audience.

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In a brief press conference held at 6pm CTbroadcast on Facebook LiveCleveland police chief Calvin Williams claimed that, while Stephens had asserted that he had killed 13 people today, law enforcement officials had found no evidence of any other murders; Robert Godwin, 74, seems to be the only victim. Then again, when this article was published, Stephens was still at large, the subject of a massive manhunt by federal and state authorities. We have brought everything to bear on this, Williams said. Everybody is out there looking for Steve. Presumably, when authorities do find Stephens, it will be in part because of clues embedded in the video he so freely shared: the make and model of his car; details of his physical appearance; what hes wearing.

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And when the manhunt is over, and the grieving begins, so too will Facebooks soul-searching.

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Facebook is not the first media company to struggle with the prospect of unwittingly broadcasting violence shortly after being uploaded. When news anchor Christine Chubbuck killed herself on live TV in 1974, the station was unable to stop the event from airing, but never showed the footage again. The number of viewers who actually saw the event was minimal. Facebook has taken similar steps, pulling Stephens video shortly after it was posted. This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook, the company said in a statement. We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.

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But Facebook, of course, is a decentralized system, with millions of freelance reporters with unfettered access to the public. By the time the company removed the video, thousands had already watched it, and it lives on in other corners of the internet. Meanwhile, the company has resisted calls to use its algorithms to censor videos like this before they are ever postednot just because it does not want to be accused of violating speech rights, but also because training computers to identify real-time or recent murder is hard. Facebook has long relied on an army of humans to scour videos uploaded to its site. With videos, and especially Live videos, that job goes from hard to impossiblenot even Facebook employees can watch a video before it posts.

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Currently, Facebook relies on other Facebook users to flag videos that need to be taken down. But that means that someone has to watch the horror before others can be spared it. The onus falls to the viewers, not the company, to determine what is appropriate, what should be shared, and what should be flagged for removal.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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jwne@temple.edu
http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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[social-work] CRIME AND CRIMINALS: MURDER HOMICIDE : VIOLENCE AND VIOLENT CRIMES : BROADCASTS: LIVE BROADCASTS : INTERNET MEDIA: NAMED MEDIA: FACEBOOK: Facebook Streams a Murder, and Must Now Face Itself

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