It is now becoming common for crimes to be live-streamed, especially with the recent launch of Facebook’s new live-streaming feature: Facebook Live.
Recent events involving graphic videos going viral are causing some people to question whether content like this should be allowed to be posted.
One recent event involving a group of people recording as they bound and tortured a mentally disabled man was seen by thousands across the world live as it was happening, and Facebook did not remove the video for several hours after the incident.
A Facebook spokesperson said of the video, “We do not allow people to celebrate or glorify crimes on Facebook and have removed the original video for this reason.”
Terrorist groups, like ISIS, are also taking advantage of social media in order to share their messages, which sometimes include violent videos of torture and murder.
Over the past decade, the way people share media has evolved.
In the 90s, all posts had to be approved by a moderator before others could see them, but because websites like Twitter and Facebook have billions of users, this method is no longer viable.
Social media now relies on other users to report inappropriate content instead.
The controversy surrounding this issue is whether or not this kind of content should be available for the public to see, or if it is too graphic and should not be allowed online.
Some believe that social media sites should be more responsible in censoring what their users are allowed to see, especially considering that the required age to make a Facebook account is 13, so teens are able to watch these videos as well.
Others argue that the public has a right to see what is happening, despite how graphic the content can be.
“In many instances… when people share this type of content, they are doing so to condemn violence or raise awareness about it,” Facebook answered The Washington Post in a recent email interview. “In that case, the video would be allowed.”
The evolution of the way people share posts and media online calls for social media sites to review their policies to make sure they remain ethical, while also avoiding the censorship of important news.
I believe that the public should have access to this kind of content and media, no matter how graphic it is.
The public has a right to see what is happening because it can affect everyday lives and bring awareness to global and national issues that otherwise may not have even made the news.
However, social media and news sites should be changing their policies to require a person to be at least 18 years old before being able to view certain content.