Last month, a man was senselessly murdered for the whole world to see. A man broadcasting to Facebook Live approached another man and shot him, all while claiming he’d been pushed to that point by a romantic partner.
Now, Facebook has to decide how to stop something like that from happening again. Mark Zuckerberg addressed the issue in a lengthy post on the site today.
In it, he reflected on times his team was lucky enough to intervene before someone could hurt themselves, like a case where a tip from a viewer of a live video prevented a suicide. He also noted, “In other cases, we weren’t so fortunate.”
“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,” he wrote.
He also said, “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.”
All of this sounds great, of course, but becomes more muddled when specific violent videos are thrown into the mix. One woman’s quick thinking to live stream her boyfriend’s shooting at the hands of police led to a manslaughter charge that might never have come about if there hadn’t been evidence made immediately available to her Facebook friends.
In that case, making it “easier for them to contact law enforcement” would have helped, but the addition of 3,000 people whose job will be to review each video is ultimately good because they can be more subjective and understanding than a computer tasked with the same thing.
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org