When I first heard about Facebook Live, I thought it would be a good thing for people who like to play video games and livestream it in a way that made it easy for their Facebook friends to watch. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who have been using Facebook Live to commit acts of violence. Mark Zuckerberg says that Facebook will hire more staff to monitor Facebook live.
In a Facebook post on his verified Facebook page, Mark Zuckerberg makes it clear that he is aware of the bad things that have happened on Facebook Live – and states what Facebook will do about it.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook – either live or in video posted later. It’s heartbreaking, and I’ve been reflecting on how we can do better for our community.
If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly. We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner – whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.
Over the next year, we’ll be adding 3,000 people to our community operations team around the world – on top of the 4,500 we have today – to review the millions of reports we get every week, and improve the process for doing it quickly.
These reviewers will also help us get better at removing things we don’t allow on Facebook like hate speech and child exploitation. And we’ll keep working with local community groups and law enforcement who are in the best position to help someone if they need it – either because they’re about to harm themselves, or because they are in danger from someone else.
In addition to investing in more people, we’re also building better tools to keep our community safe. We’re going to make it simpler to report problems to us, faster for our reviewers to determine which posts violate our standards and easier for them to contact law enforcement if someone needs help. As these become available they should help make our community safer.
Mark Zuckerberg goes on to point out that Facebook got a report that someone on Facebook Live was considering suicide. They were able to reach out to law enforcement, who helped prevent that person from harming himself.
I read some of the comments left on Zuckerberg’s post. Some people are very happy to see these upcoming changes take effect. Others would like Facebook Live shut down so that no one can use it to try and get attention by engaging in violence. Those comments inspired other people to insist that Facebook Live should not be shut down because they are using it to connect with family members who live far away.
In some ways, I feel like we’ve heard this before. A few of the commenters said that they have been reporting hate speech, and that Facebook doesn’t do anything about it. Forbes points out that Facebook has long had a problem with people using the platform for illegal gun sales. Facebook’s Community Standards specifically state that users are prohibited from selling firearms or ammunition on Facebook.