Never before has it been so easy to put pictures and video on the internet. But content showing violent crimes is once again raising questions about monitoring and enforcement.
On Monday, a man in Thailand broadcast himself killing his 11-month-old daughter in a live video on Facebook. Two videos were available for several hours before they were taken down.
It was Facebook’s second high profile case in two weeks, after the posting of a fatal shooting in Cleveland in the US.
Following Cleveland, Facebook said it was reviewing how it monitored violent footage and other objectionable material.
Boss Mark Zuckerberg said everything was being done to avoid this kind of tragedy.
But social media experts say Facebook is not legally responsible for what’s posted on its platform – so there’s a moral responsibility when it comes to content.
“Legally speaking and in terms of business practices, they (Facebook) are immune from being responsible, or held responsible for content because they do not put up the content, they provide a broadcast network for us to put up our content,” said Karen North, a social media professor.
“In the case of violent crime, how do you know whether the violent crime is a real violent crime or a movie that somebody posted, you don’t know. So it’s very hard for the robots to make human decisions.”
Facebook’s previously been accused of censorship.
Norway’s prime minister challenged its restrictions on nude photos by posting an iconic image from 1972 of a naked, screaming girl running from a napalm attack in Vietnam. Facebook deleted it.
“People under 30 today, almost 90 percent of them have social media as their primary source for information and news,” commented Erna Solberg, the prime minister, in September 2016.
“If we have anybody who edits out historically important photographs, who edits our own history, we lose something important both in the upbringing of how to understand society, and for the community. “
WIth almost two billion users, Facebook is particularly vulnerable. Some are even wondering whether the Facebook Live application, a big development for the platform, should be taken down.