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Brian Bernholm | 8. maj 2017

Facebook Live was meant to be part of the social network’s optimistic vision. But in the wake of two violent crimes, its response has left much wanting.

It’s barely a week since Facebook streamed the murder of 74-year-old grandfather Robert Godwin and the social network is reeling from another tragedy: a father in Phuket, Thailand, used Facebook Live to broadcast him killing his 11-month-old daughter before killing himself. Two harrowing clips of the incident were accessible to users on his Facebook profile for about 24 hours and were together viewed almost 400,000 times.

The two cases provided grisly bookends to Facebook’s annual developer conference F8, held in San Jose last week, just a day after Godwin’s murder. Throughout the two-day event, there was little mention of fake news, polarized politics, or the company’s newfound role as a forum for live-streamed crime (although Zuckerberg did namecheck Godwin in passing). Instead the company outlined its rose-tinted vision of a LOL-tastic future where we enhance our lives with digital trinkets in augmented and virtual reality and, in doing so, Facebook becomes the glue that binds friends, families and communities.

It’s time for a reality check.

Facebook continually claims credit for the positive outcomes of being more connected while downplaying or ignoring its ability to amplify negative outcomes. Nowhere has this jarring naivety been brought to the fore more viscerally than with live video.

Facebook Live allows anyone to broadcast a video directly from their smartphone to the social network. Despite a wide-reaching advertising campaign urging people to use the feature to share heartwarming life moments, it’s gained a reputation for much grittier subject matter: the torture of a young man with disabilities in Chicago, the musings of a spree killer being chased by police, child abuse, rape, and now murder.

 

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Source: TheGuardian / 26.04.2017

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