In wake of the horrific New Zealand shooting, citizens across the globe are questioning the role social media plays in the aftermath of such travesties. Specifically, in this circumstance, the shooter live steamed the massacre on Facebook amongst other social media platforms. As expected, Facebook scrubbed its platform and removed nearly 1.5M copies of the video as late as 24 hours later. However, people believe that this is not enough. Several law makers, even the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern remarked that Facebook would be held accountable and questioned personally. Many feel the video being up for 24 hours helps glamorize the shooter and give undue attention or justification to his message. Other tech giants, such as YouTube, even deactivated certain search words and speed up review processes to bury the videos to no avail, as repackaged and recut videos were published simultaneously.
This is conflicted with the people who believe that we should see the video for its horrors to prevent people from forgetting the past and letting it happen again. Those who want to see the video also question where the censorship will end. Also, they feel that the unfiltered hate of the world should be visible to encourage anger and therefore proactive action. Of course, through other platforms, the video is available but actively being taken down across the web.
Since the video is still available through some platforms, lawmakers in the US are aiming to hold the sites accountable for furthering hate speech. Also, some are investigating the possibility of making technology to entirely wipe videos like this in extreme circumstances. However, in that case, the possibility of the technology being stolen and used for malicious purposes is always present.
- What is the proper response from Facebook, especially after the recent data breach?
- Should the video be visible at all or entirely removed?