Facebook promotes violence?

Zuckerberg taken to task over murder video

www.ipa.org.au

Is Facebook making our kids violent? | Institute of Public Affairs Australia

Is Facebook making our kids violent?

IPA REVIEW ARTICLE

Moral panic is never too far away from the Australian media.

The widespread claims that the internet is corrupting youth and encouraging violent behaviour completely misunderstands technology, the people who use it and the nature of crime itself.

In July The Australian reported that Australia was facing a 'Facebook and YouTube . . . crimewave'. According to a Griffith University academic, police statistics show that violent crimes amongst young people are on the rise.

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The Facebook murder

Steve Stephens killed a man in Cleveland, posted it on Facebook and then fatally shot himself after a brief pursuit by police.

Pennsylvania state police said Stephens - a 37-year-old job counselor for teens and young adults - was spotted on Tuesday morning in Erie County, in the state’s north-west corner. Authorities say police tried to pull him over and, after a brief pursuit, he shot and killed himself as his car spun out of control.

Stephens shot a Cleveland retiree collecting aluminum cans on Sunday and then posted video of the apparently random killing to the social networking site. In it, he said: “I snapped, I just snapped.”

Investigators said the can collector, Robert Godwin, 74, was the only victim so far linked to Stephens, despite the suspect’s claim in a separate video on Facebook that he had killed more than a dozen people.

Zuckerberg spoke publicly on Tuesday for the first time about the chilling video, which stayed up on Facebook for almost two hours before it was removed.

An hour after Stephens shot himself to avoid capture, Zuckerberg told a crowd at the Facebook for Developers, or F8, conference in San Jose, Calif., that the site would rededicate itself to make its 1.86 billion-member community safer.

The killer posted two videos Sunday afternoon – one announcing his intention to commit murder and the other of him killing Godwin. He later went on Facebook Live to talk about the murder and other alleged crimes.

Facebook said it received its first report about the shooting video about 4 p.m., about two hours after Stephens started to upload his footage. His page was removed and his account disabled at 4:22 p.m.

Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations, acknowledged in a blog post Monday that the site’s review process is flawed.

“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,” Osofsky said.

People have used Facebook Live to broadcast more than 60 sensitive videos, including murders, suicides and a beating of a mentally disabled teen in Chicago, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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