Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Robert Godwin's Murder Was Replayed 1.6 Million Times

That's an astonishing number, considering the subject.

See Jason Riley, "Who Watches a Murder Streamed Live on Facebook?":

The most shocking aspect of the Easter Sunday Facebook murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin, Sr. might be that this sort of social media mayhem is losing its ability to shock.

In March, a video of a 15-year-old girl being sexually assaulted by several teenage boys was streamed on Facebook.

In February, a teenager was convicted of fatally shooting his friend; the killer implicated himself by sending a selfie with the dying victim on Snapchat.

In January, four people were arrested after broadcasting a video on Facebook that showed them taunting and beating a mentally disabled teenager who had been bound and gagged.

Already this year, a 14-year-old girl in Florida and a 33-year-old man in California have committed suicide on Facebook.

Last year, an armed woman in Maryland live-streamed her fatal standoff with the police, and a 12-year-old in Georgia recorded her own suicide by hanging via the app.

Shortly after Facebook launched its new video-streaming service last April, CEO Mark Zuckerberg told BuzzFeed that the goal was to support “the most personal and emotional and raw and visceral ways people want to communicate.” But preventing abuse of these platforms has been a challenge.

There’s been a smattering of calls from public officials and activists to suspend these streaming capabilities until better filters are in place, but the popularity and profitability of live video make that course of action unlikely. Besides, the safe-harbor provisions of the federal Communications Decency Act, passed by Congress two decades ago, give operators broad protection from liability for content posted by their users.

Sure, some grandstanding member of Congress can call for a hearing, or a state attorney general looking to boost his profile can announce a lawsuit, but neither is really necessary. Social media behemoths like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube currently have every incentive to protect their services from the freaks, sociopaths and others intent on spreading violent or disturbing images. “Facebook Murderer” or “YouTube Shooter” pasted in CNN bulletins and newspaper headlines is the kind of publicity that companies work to minimize without any prompting.

With nearly two billion users, Facebook wants to be not only the place where you connect with family and friends but also your main source of news and information...

And still more at the Independent U.K., below, "Facebook under fire for failing to remove footage of Thai man killing baby daughter for almost 24 hours: Man's wife says she does not blame 'outraged' viewers for sharing disturbing footage."

Let's hope this rash of atrocious Facebook death causes real damage --- even death --- to the social media platform.