The Paw Print

Facebook wrongly allows us to watch self-harm live streaming

Mark Zuckerberg has already said Facebook will need to hire at least 3000 more people to monitor Facebook Live streaming video.

Wikimedia Commons

Mark Zuckerberg has already said Facebook will need to hire at least 3000 more people to monitor Facebook Live streaming video.

Pavitra Reddy, Guest Writer

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Many of you reading this probably use Facebook on a daily basis, either to make sure your high-school ex isn’t married yet, or to stalk a long-lost relative.

Imagine logging on one day to find someone that you haven’t spoken to in ages, live-streaming their death. In the progressive age of the internet, this almost feels as if it is a step backwards.

According to Nick Hopkins of The Guardian, the updated policy that Facebook created has explained the shift in thinking: “We’re now seeing more video content- including suicides- shared on Facebook. We don’t want to censor or punish people in distress who are attempting suicide. Experts have told us what’s best for these people’s safety is to let them livestream as long as they are engaging with viewers.”

Hopkins explains Facebook’s policy further, “The images may be removed from the site ‘once there’s no longer an opportunity to help the person,’ unless the incident has news value, according to the documents.”  

Stephen Musil of CNet reacted to the news similarly to The Guardian. Musil said, “One document reviewed by the newspaper revealed 4.531 reports of self-harm in a two-week period last summer; a similar time frame this year showed 5,431 reports.”

Many political leaders and celebrities are concerned about Facebook’s decisions. Christopher Hope of The Telegraph said, “Theresa May, the Prime Minister, said last week she would bring in new powers to force companies like Facebook to explain why they have failed to remove harmful content.”

With the growing age of technology, big companies like Facebook should be careful to regulate what they are putting out in the world. While they are stating that they do not want to cause distress to the victim, they also shouldn’t cause distress to the people who love and care for them either.

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Facebook wrongly allows us to watch self-harm live streaming