FACEBOOK Live has proved as a way of keeping friends and family in touch during the pandemic but a disturbing pattern of live video has emerged.
Here, we take a look at the horror cases and how CEO Mark Zuckerberg has responded to the deeply disturbing trend.
What is Facebook Live and how can you report inappropriate content?
The live video streaming feature became publicly available in January 2016, around four months after it was first set up for "VIP" users.
Anyone with a Facebook account can access the function at the top of their news feed, simply by selecting "Live Video" from the dropdown menu.
A three-second countdown begins before the Facebook user can begin filming live, and anyone can watch if they have selected the audience as public and not just for connected friends.
Facebook Live broadcasts can last up to four hours.
To report a Facebook Live video as inappropriate, click the scroll down menu in the top right of the post and then click " Find Support or Report Post", then give feedback as to why the post goes against the 'Community Standards', click next and then submit your report.
What tragic cases involved Facebook Live?
- Jared McLemore, 33, died from severe burns after torching himself outside a packed bar in Memphis, Tennessee, while live on Facebook
- James M. Jeffrey from Robertsdale, Alabama was in the middle of broadcasting when he pulled out a gun and shot himself in the head
- Turkish man Erdogan Ceren posted footage of his death in October last year, writing: "No one believed when I said I will kill myself – so watch this."
- Wuttisan Wongtalay, 20, accused partner Jiranuch Trirat, 21, of cheating before hanging their 11-month-old child Beta in Phuket, Thailand – with the horrific video remaining on his page for nearly 24 hours
- Another Thai father recorded trying to hang his daughter, with police deciding not to press charges
- Dad from hell Ralph Hishaw was jailed for child abuse and neglect after police say he “tortured” his six-year-old and broadcast the abuse on Facebook Live.
- Katelyn Nicole Davis filmed her suicide after alleging she was abused by a relative
- Mother Gina Caze is said to have written messages on her estranged 14-year old daughter’s social media post accusing her of seeking attention – and did nothing to stop desperate Nakia Venant from committing suicide
- A pair of teen schoolgirls have been accused of brutally beating another girl to death, with the alleged murder reportedly broadcast on Facebook
- In 2018, Prentis Robinson was celebrating his birthday when he filmed his own murder on Facebook Live
- Jared McLemore, 33, died after he set himself on fire in a Facebook Live stream before allegedly trying to burn his estranged girlfriend
Other tragedies have been caught on the live streaming platform, including:
- A mother-of-two who collapsed and died from heart problems while she was broadcast singing on Facebook Live
- A dinner party took a horrific turn when it captured a banker's assistant accidentally shooting his friend
- A schoolgirl aged 15 was reportedly gang-raped by six men on Facebook Live – but none of the 40 viewers called police
- Robbery suspect Jamel Chandler, 21, fell seven floors to his death when streaming a Facebook Live video
- Aspiring YouTube star Pedro Ruiz was killed by his girlfriend Monalisa Perez after she shot a book he was holding against his chest in what she says was a stunt gone wrong. Local police are investigating
- In 2019 white supremacist Brenton Tarrant live-streamed his massacre at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand where 51 people lost their lives. The footage of the massacre was uploaded to Facebook where it was viewed 4,000 times before being taken off the platform
- On May 27, 2021, Mexican mayoral candidate Alma Barragán was shot dead after she reportedly shared her location on Facebook Live
What happened in the Steve Stephens case?
The maniac filmed himself murdering innocent Robert Godwin, 74, on Easter Sunday in Cleveland, Ohio, and uploaded the sick clip to the social network
The children’s mental health worker is believed to have “snapped” after the breakdown of his three-year relationship with his girlfriend, Joy Lane.
Stephens, 37, shot himself dead while on the run as police closed in on him at a McDonald's in Pennsylvania around 100 miles from the murder scene.
How has Facebook responded to the worrying trend?
In 2018 Facebook has announced that it would be hiring 3,000 more staff to police content being shared on the online platform.
Mark Zuckerberg took to his own Facebook page, writing that he wanted to respond quickly to reports.
The reviewers will specifically be looking at content including hate speech and child exploitation.
After the Christchurch mosque shootings in 2019 Facebook introduced a new "one strike" policy for live-streaming.
Traditionally, Facebook has given users multiple chances to reform their behaviour before banning them.
But the firm has now pledged to immediately ban users from its Facebook Live feature if they break the rules.
"We will now apply a 'one strike' policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offences," said Guy Rosen, VP of Integrity at Facebook.
Rosen continued: "From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time – for example 30 days – starting on their first offence.
"For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time."
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