This post is part of the Tech Tuesday series. You can view more posts >> HERE.
Video is everywhere on the internet. It started with YouTube in early 2005. Now people are viewing more video content than ever. Brands are using video to promote their products or services. People (regular users) are using video to share important moments of their lives. Facebook Live launched on April 6, 2016 for everyone. This feature allows any Facebook user to broadcast live to anyone through the Facebook mobile app.
Since the launch of Facebook Live, brands and celebrities have used the feature countless times. I’ve watched interviews with journalists and behind the scenes footage from movie sets. News organizations have also benefited from the Live feature. Have you seen any behind the scenes footage from your local TV news shows? I’ve watched live weather broadcasts during stormy nights and even been there to see a new morning anchor introduced to the world — all on Facebook Live.
I’ll be the first to say it. Facebook Live is getting out of control. We have a problem. People are broadcasting the bad moments in life as well. I’m sure you’re aware of several live videos depicting crimes or illegal acts that have been shared and viewed on Facebook. Was this how Facebook meant people to use their video product?
3 Recent Facebook Live Incidents
1…The live broadcast of the aftermath of the shooting of Philando Castile. His girlfriend used Facebook Live to document the police shooting of her boyfriend last July. Castile died from his injuries. The world watched as Mr. Castile’s girlfriend reacted to the shooting as she streamed on her Facebook account. People were outraged and shared the video thousands of times.
2…A witness live streamed the shooting of a Little Rock (AR) teen earlier this year. The teen survived the ordeal. He was last reported in critical condition. There was a lot of uproar over the fact that the witness pulled out his phone – not to call the police or 911 – but to put the incident on Facebook Live. Again, this video was shared thousands of times. What has our society come to?
3…The latest horrific incident is from this past Easter Weekend, when a Cleveland (OH) man live streamed the brutal murder of Robert Godwin, Sr. Although, I didn’t see the Facebook Live video, I can only imagine what the family is going through. People seeing their father/grandfather shot as the video is shared across the internet. It’s so sad. This could have been my father or your father or grandfather. What possessed the suspect to live stream this crime? What did he hope to gain from showing this heinous act? Facebook Live was available, convenient and easy.
There are numerous other terrible acts live streamed on Facebook, everything from fist fights to gang rapes to suicides. People are filming all kinds of madness with the touch of button, thanks to Facebook. People not only watching these videos, but sharing them as well.
Facebook Live is easy
Facebook wants people to use the “Live” feature. They recently created TV commercials explaining how easy it is to start a broadcast. They paid money…to air this commercial…to a national audience. They launched a major marketing campaign last fall to promote the live-streaming product. It’s a top priority for the company. They are essentially encouraging people to live broadcast.
What can be done about Facebook Live?
Just today, Mark Zuckerberg discussed Facebook Live at the F8 Developers Conference in San Jose, CA. He noted the Cleveland incident from Easter Sunday and stated that social media is part of building community. He included that Facebook will focus on bringing people closer together and help “keep our community safe. There’s work to be done.”
photo courtesy of Facebook for Developers Facebook Live streamIt’s good to know that Facebook recognizes the problem. I hope they devote time and effort into preventing these tragic events from being broadcast on their platform.
In closing, video content is not going anywhere. It will continue to dominate the news feeds on several social media platforms. As more people watch videos there should be safe guards in place to prevent violent acts [filmed live] from being shared thus going viral. With the humorous amount of video on the internet, safeguarding content will be a monumental effort. As users of these social networks, we can be cognizant of not only what we choose to watch and share, but also what we choose to broadcast.
What do you think? Does Facebook Live have a problem? How are you using and consuming Facebook Live content? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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