Facebook army to fight live video killings

Wednesday

Live Facebook videos can bring joy to our newsfeeds, but they can also bring horror.

Facebook will hire an army of 3000 people to monitor content of streaming live video. Picture: AP / Paul Sakuma.

FACEBOOK is hiring a army of 3000 people to fight the outbreak of violent assaults, killings and suicide that are being broadcast live to the world on social media.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg today announced that Facebook will add a team of 3000 people around the world who will be given the mission of monitoring Facebook posts and streaming videos for cases committing violent acts.

And, like the science fiction movie Minority Report, Zuckerberg hopes that in some cases the monitors will be able to reach authorities in time for them to stop the act in time.

In a post on Facebook, Zuckerberg said it seeing “people hurting themselves and others on Facebook — either live or in video posted later — it’s heartbreaking”.

“If we’re going to build a safe community, we need to respond quickly,” he said.

“We’re working to make these videos easier to report so we can take the right action sooner — whether that’s responding quickly when someone needs help or taking a post down.”

To put the announcement in context, the 3000 extra people joining Facebook to monitor content is about one sixth of the current staff size of 18,770.

PRESSURE ON: Zuckerberg urged to do more on suspect content

The announcement cames a week after the latest horrific killing streamed on Facebook, in which 21-year-old Thai man Wuttisan Wongtalay killed his 11-month-old daughter Natalee.

What made the incident even more sickening was that other people took the video and posted it on to YouTube, owned by Google.

In that case, it took Google just 15 minutes to delete the video but it took Facebook 24 hours to remove them from its service.

Jiranuch Trirat, 22, is comforted by friends as she looks at a photograph of her 11-month-old daughter Natalie who murdered by her father in a harrowing video he broadcast live on Facebook. / Picture: AFP PHOTO / Lillian SUWANRUMPHA

Jiranuch Trirat, 22, is comforted by friends as she looks at a photograph of her 11-month-old daughter Natalie who murdered by her father in a harrowing video he broadcast live on Facebook. / Picture: AFP PHOTO / Lillian SUWANRUMPHASource:AFP

Facebook issued a statement about the tragedy, saying “This is an appalling incident and our hearts go out to the family of the victim. There is absolutely no place for content of this kind on Facebook and it has now been removed”.

The incident in Thailand followed a string of suicides, rapes, assaults and killings that had been carried out on live streaming social media, including the incident in which Steve Stephens brutally murdered Robert Godwin Sr on the street and streamed the killing on Facebook Live.

Zuckerberg said that Facebook was “building better tools to keep your community safe:

Steve Stevens who killed Robert Godwin live on Facebook. Picture: Supplied.

Steve Stevens who killed Robert Godwin live on Facebook. Picture: Supplied.Source:Supplied

Robert Godwin in Cleveland moments before being fatally shot. Picture: Facebook via AP.

Robert Godwin in Cleveland moments before being fatally shot. Picture: Facebook via AP.Source:AP

“Just last week, we got a report that someone on Live was considering suicide. We immediately reached out to law enforcement, and they were able to prevent him from hurting himself. In other cases, we weren’t so fortunate,” he said.

“No one should be in this situation in the first place, but if they are, then we should build a safe community that gets them the help they need.”

In other news today form Facebook, the social media giant posted its first quarter earnings of $10.8 billion in revenue, up 49 per cent on the same quarter last year, which gave it a profit of $4 billion for the first quarter of the year.

If you or someone you know needs help, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or visit the website at beyondblue.org.au. If it’s an emergency, dial 000.

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