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Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Facebook To Review Content Reporting System in Wake of Facebook Live Killing

A day after the murder of a 74 year old Cleveland man was broadcast on Facebook Live, Facebook has announced it is reviewing the system by which members can report offensive content to ensure it is removed as quickly as possible.

In the statement, written by Vice President of Global Operations Justin Osofsky, Facebook also reassured members that crimes such as murder are in opposition to Facebook policies.

On Sunday afternoon, a man Cleveland Police identified as 37 year old Steve Stephens posted a Facebook Live video in which he shot and killed 74 year old Robert Goodwin, Sr. Stephens later posted other videos in which he appeared to confess to several other murders. Cleveland police confirmed that the video was not a hoax, but that no further victims had been found. A nationwide manhunt is currently under way for Stephens.

Facebook has received criticism in the wake of the disturbing events because the video of Goodwin’s death reportedly remained accessible to users for nearly three hours before it was taken down. Facebook sought to reassure members that it is taking steps to ensure speedier resolution to future crises, and defended its response to this one, clarifying that the speed at which the video was reported played a large role.

“As a result of this terrible series of events, we are reviewing our reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible,” the statement says. “In this case, we did not receive a report about the first video, and we only received a report about the second video — containing the shooting — more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted. We received reports about the third video, containing the man’s live confession, only after it had ended.”

“We disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better.”

About the murder itself, Facebook called it “a horrific crime — one that has no place on Facebook, and goes against our policies and everything we stand for.”

Read the full statement below:

On Sunday morning, a man in Cleveland posted a video of himself announcing his intent to commit murder, then two minutes later posted another video of himself shooting and killing an elderly man. A few minutes after that, he went live, confessing to the murder. It was a horrific crime — one that has no place on Facebook, and goes against our policies and everything we stand for.

As a result of this terrible series of events, we are reviewing our reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible. In this case, we did not receive a report about the first video, and we only received a report about the second video — containing the shooting — more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted. We received reports about the third video, containing the man’s live confession, only after it had ended.

We disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better.

In addition to improving our reporting flows, we are constantly exploring ways that new technologies can help us make sure Facebook is a safe environment. Artificial intelligence, for example, plays an important part in this work, helping us prevent the videos from being reshared in their entirety. (People are still able to share portions of the videos in order to condemn them or for public awareness, as many news outlets are doing in reporting the story online and on television). We are also working on improving our review processes. Currently, thousands of people around the world review the millions of items that are reported to us every week in more than 40 languages. We prioritize reports with serious safety implications for our community, and are working on making that review process go even faster.

Keeping our global community safe is an important part of our mission. We are grateful to everyone who reported these videos and other offensive content to us, and to those who are helping us keep Facebook safe every day.

Timeline of Events
11:09AM PDT — First video, of intent to murder, uploaded. Not reported to Facebook.
11:11AM PDT — Second video, of shooting, uploaded.
11:22AM PDT — Suspect confesses to murder while using Live, is live for 5 minutes.
11:27AM PDT — Live ends, and Live video is first reported shortly after.
12:59PM PDT — Video of shooting is first reported.
1:22PM PDT — Suspect’s account disabled; all videos no longer visible to public.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Half of Americans Get Their News From Facebook, But Few Trust the Source

‘SNL’ Dedicates Sarcastic Music Video To Facebook Activists for Saving the World Without Doing Any Work (Video)

Facebook Unveils New Anti-Revenge Porn Tools

Source: the wrap feed

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