Making Facebook Videos Safer

There have been numerous reports of crimes being recorded on Facebook Live or being recorded and then posted to Facebook after the crime has been committed. Some of these crimes have included sexual assault and murder. In addition, there have been a number of reports of teenagers livestreaming their own suicides on social media. Facebook has been making strides to put an end to these incidents and make Facebook a safer social network.

On Wednesday May 3rd, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will be adding 3,000 people to its community operations team. Facebook already has 4,500 reviewers on staff, but this increase in manpower will assure that reports are reviewed faster. Zuckerberg noted, “Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen people hurting themselves and others on Facebook – either live or in videos 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.” Facebook is not only adding more people to their staff to review reports and videos, but they are also working toward making these types of videos easier to report. When these videos are easier to report, then Facebook can remove them more quickly or get emergency help for anyone who appears to be in danger.

Facebook added suicide prevention tools into Facebook Live, so that users can report a video and get someone help if they express suicidal thoughts in a video. The goal is to improve the speed at which Facebook can remove disturbing content and get help for those being victimized or at risk of suicide. Recently, when Steve Stephens shot and killed Robert Godwin Sr. in Cleveland and then posted a video of the murder on Facebook, employees at Facebook said they received a report about the video over an hour and 45 minutes after it had been posted. Facebook then disabled Stephens’ account within 23 minutes after receiving that first report. However, Facebook acknowledges that their actions were not good enough and that is why they are making efforts to make Facebook a safer community for everyone.