Facebook Live is an interesting medium which will now be a “thing” very soon. Basically, you can live stream a video or yourself on Facebook to all your friends – essentially like Skype but integrated into Facebook and with the ability to allow complete strangers as well as limit audiences of your work. The best part is that viewers aren’t shown to the uploader and can anonymously view content as well if you’ve allowed strangers to view your streaming session. The Live feature has been out on Beta testing for a while now, and many users, especially YouTube celebrities have been using the feature to showcase their life or cover event launches for new product launches for a while now. Clearly, judging by the popularity and usefulness of the feature, it offers a lot of potential for taking off successfully among the 1.5 billion users of Facebook.
Now Facebook wants to portray itself as a goody-good PG 13 safe space minus any sexual predators, but reality has demonstrated otherwise. From selling guns and ammunitions without any checks in the Middle East, to drugs, to solicitation – practically all content is relied to be reported by users and not checked by Facebook itself since the volume of traffic shared is immense daily. To maintain this kind of virtual space where everyone feels safe, Facebook setup “Community Guidelines” which officially prohibit nudity, hate speech, and graphic violence.
The same rules apply for live video streaming as well. As soon as someone reports a live feed to be violating the terms and conditions laid down in the Community Guidelines by Facebook, the stream will be blocked and user account terminated.
Using Technology to Tackle Menace
This is rather odd since Facebook has recently demonstrated an AI program smart enough to automatically come up with tags and captions for photographs and videos for visually impaired users. So it’s safe to say a technology that can automatically tag photographs and videos already exists which can detect potential unwanted data –can be used to automatically stop potentially unwanted content. Why is the same technology not exploited in live videos?
Ultimately, this means that Facebook may just be brushing the dirt under the rug instead of cleaning the whole room properly. For you as an average user, it’s your moral duty to report unwarranted content and help keep the community safe. Or don’t – it’s not obligatory. Either way, it’s a good idea to remember that the law enforcement and government/international spying and monitoring programs are way smarter and more serious in their approach to curb illegal activities online than Facebook is. The law doesn’t wait for some user to report your malicious activity – like Facebook unfortunately does at the time being.
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