The murder of an elderly man was broadcast live on Facebook and the video stayed active for well over two hours.
Facebook’s live streaming service, Facebook Live, has drawn much criticism since its launch. It has been involved with many controversial incidents including broadcasting the graphic aftermath of a police shooting as well as showing many videos depicting bullying.
But this week has seem the most disturbing video streamed live from the service, the graphic murder of a 74 year old man who was shot by 37 year old Steve Stephens, who is currently the subject of a nationwide manhunt across the US as we write this article.
The short video shows Stephens stopping his car and approaching 74 year old Robert Godwin and after a brief exchange Stephens points his gun at Godwin and shoots. Godwin immediately falls to the floor, seemingly lifeless. Stephens points his camera as Godwin’s body and then returns to his car.
The whole incident was broadcast live on Facebook.
Once a video has been broadcast live on Facebook, it is then available to any Facebook user that its privacy settings allow, until such a point where the uploader or Facebook decides to remove the video.
According to reports, the video showing the murder was available for between 2 and 3 hours, and this has led to much criticism being directed at Facebook for allowing such a video to stay online for so long.
Facebook responded by saying that it was around 2 hours before the site received the first report and once that report had been received it took around 23 minutes to review and subsequently remove the video. The site also said it “knows it has to do better”.
Facebook have previously stated that their Live service is aimed at connecting the world. Of course, as we have said before, that’s not always a good thing, since plenty of what happens in this world can be very unsavoury indeed.
At the time of writing police are offering $50,000 reward for anyone who can help capture Stephens.
How can Facebook prevent this sort of thing from happening in the future? Let us know your thoughts.