With another violent live video on Facebook, in which Diamond Reynolds streamed the moment after her African American boyfriend was fatally shot by police in a car, Facebook gets confronted with some serious policy challenges.
It’s not the first tragedy which gets streamed on the platform. A terrorism suspect in France used Facebook Live to make threats of violence. Facebook shut down the account and removed the video from its platform. And then there was the live video in which a 28-year-old Chicago man captured his own shooting death. In this case Facebook did not remove the video, which has been viewed nearly 1 million times on the site.
Having over 1.65 billion users clearly involves a huge responsibility on allowing or blocking controversial content. But can Facebook manage this responsibility?
Facebook’s mission is “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected…” and within the community guidelines Facebook mentions it wants to facilitate a platform which “reflects the diversity of a community of more than one billion people.” Sounds great. But when you look at a seemingly harmless topic like nudity, Facebook states: “We restrict the display of nudity because some audiences within our global community may be sensitive to this type of content”. Can they seriously draw a line here?
Second, while text, photos and video file uploads can be monitored quite easily by (human) monitoring teams, user reporting tools and machine learning solutions. Live video is a total different story. How can you predict that a live stream moves from harmless oral statements to a live streamed shooting?
The third question is how Facebook can represent a true reflection of the world when their users and most important, their advertisers, pursue a positive (brand)experience on the platform?
Good luck Facebook.