Social media is arguably one of the most essential aspects of day-to-day life in the modern world.
But now it is being questioned whether social media played a part in a horrendous tragedy where one delusional criminal took the life of an innocent man.
In this case, the question arises whether Facebook is responsible for some of the violence that ensued with the murder of Robert Godwin, Sr.
Since Facebook launched its live video feature, Internet violence has increased significantly.
An increase of suicides, murders, and other violent attacks have occurred live on the Facebook — and they have done nothing to prevent it other than apologizing.
CBS News reported:
The disturbing video of the murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. was posted on Facebook for two hours before administrators removed it. It’s since been viewed millions of times.
Facebook is now under pressure to step up the filtering of users’ posts, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits the social media site needs to be better.
“We have a lot of work, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” he said Tuesday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 60 violent attacks, including murders and suicides, have been broadcast on Facebook since the live feature was launched last year, including the January beating of a special needs teen in Chicago.
Facebook itself is taking heat for not removing the video sooner.
Social media sites like Facebook rely on users to report inappropriate videos, but did not take quick enough action once the video was flagged.
The biggest downfall in “live” social media is that anyone can post whatever they want — providing it follows general guidelines.
If Facebook were to prevent exactly what could be posted online, it would be crossing a line involving censorship and potentially violating First Amendment freedoms.
CBS News reported:
“The whole democratizing aspect of the Internet is that anybody can talk on Facebook or Twitter,” Paul Levinson, of Fordham University, explains.
The social media expert says Facebook could face legal hurdles if it attempts to censor its users by making rules on what it feels can or cannot be posted.
“They could well be sued by businesses, by advertisers, for creating a repressive online environment,” Levinson says.
Facebook primarily relies on its users to report inappropriate videos. The company has thousands of workers around the world reviewing millions of flagged posts in 40 different languages each week.
What are your thoughts?
Do you think Facebook should have taken swifter action to take down the video?
Do you think social media regulations may cross into censorship territory?
Leave us your thoughts in the comments section below.