Facebook Streams a Murder in Cleveland, and Must Now Face Itself 

Pubblicato: 18 aprile 2017 in la giusta distanza

Facebook has responded to various news reports, claiming that while Steve Stephens did post a Facebook Live at some point during the day, the shooting in question was not broadcast via Facebook Live. Rather, it was recorded and then uploaded. We’ve clarified the story throughout to reflect the new information.]

The video is shaky, like so many other handheld Facebook videos. A steering wheel fills the foreground, and a bright sunny day bobs by outside the car’s windows. The man filming drives slowly, narrating as he goes. He isn’t talking to just anyone, though anyone could be watching; he is talking to one woman, whom he blames for what’s about to happen next. He stops the car. “I found somebody I’m ’bout to kill,” he says, opening the door. “I’m ’bout to kill this guy right here, the old dude.” A chime sounds, reminding him that he’s left the keys in the ignition. He ignores it, and heads across the street to confront the man. Within seconds, one of the most horrific acts ever to appear on Facebook will be broadcast. A random murder, on Easter Sunday.The entire video is 57 seconds long. Less than a minute: That’s all it takes to broadcast a cold-blooded homicide to thousands of people around the world. And all it takes to raise questions about the limits and responsibilities of a platform that has pledged to reflect humanity in its purest form.When Facebook launched Facebook Live just under a year ago, Mark Zuckerberg told Buzzfeed that “we built this big technology platform so we can go and support whatever the most personal and emotional and raw and visceral ways people want to communicate are as time goes on.” Well, Facebook Live has certainly succeeded in that effort, though some of that communication may be rawer and more visceral than the company had anticipated. Since its launch, Live has provided an unedited look at police shootings, rape, torture, and enough suicides that Facebook will be integrating real-time suicide prevention tools into the platform. And though murders have been captured by witnesses on Facebook Live—and people have even been killed as they were streaming to the service—this appears to be the first time a killer has streamed themselves preparing to commit a homicide, and then uploading the act itself, as happened earlier today.In the video, a man that Cleveland police have identified as 37-year-old Steve Stephens gets out of his car and approaches an elderly shopper carrying a grocery bag. Stephens demands his target repeat a woman’s name—the woman who he is apparently making this video for. By this point the barrel of the gun is visible in the frame, and the victim senses that something is very wrong. As Stephens fires a single shot, the camera jostles away, so it actually misses the one moment he was seemingly so intent on capturing—but when it pans back, his victim is lying in a pool of blood. “That motherfucker dead ’cause of you,” Stephens concludes, addressing his intended audience.Homicide suspect Steve Stephens.CLEVELAND POLICE/APIn a brief press conference held at 6 pm CT—broadcast on Facebook Live—Cleveland police chief Calvin Williams claimed that, while Stephens had asserted that he had killed 13 people today, law enforcement officials had found no evidence of any other murders; Robert Godwin, 74, seems to be the only victim. Then again, when this article was published, Stephens was still at large, the subject of a massive manhunt by federal and state authorities. “We have brought everything to bear on this,” Williams said. “Everybody is out there looking for Steve.” Presumably, when authorities do find Stephens, it will be in part because of clues embedded in the video he so freely shared: the make and model of his car; details of his physical appearance; what he’s wearing.And when the manhunt is over, and the grieving begins, so too will Facebook’s soul-searching.Facebook is not the first media company to struggle with the prospect of unwittingly broadcasting violence shortly after being uploaded. When news anchor Christine Chubbuck killed herself on live TV in 1974, the station was unable to stop the event from airing, but never showed the footage again. The number of viewers who actually saw the event was minimal. Facebook has taken similar steps, pulling Stephens’ video shortly after it was posted. “This is a horrific crime and we do not allow this kind of content on Facebook,” the company said in a statement. “We work hard to keep a safe environment on Facebook, and are in touch with law enforcement in emergencies when there are direct threats to physical safety.”MORE STORIES ISSIE LAPOWSKYFor Philando Castile, Social Media Was the Only 911 DAVEY ALBAShould Facebook Block Offensive Videos Before They Post? EMILY DREYFUSSAs Standing Rock Protesters Face Down Armored Trucks, the World Watches on FacebookBut Facebook, of course, is a decentralized system, with millions of freelance “reporters” with unfettered access to the public. By the time the company removed… read more on

Sorgente: Facebook Streams a Murder in Cleveland, and Must Now Face Itself | WIRED

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