There’s a lot not to like about Facebook these days. But when one of its core features, live streaming video, is being used as a tool for terror, simple outrage just isn’t enough. The latest evidence that live video needs to change came Friday when, before entering a mosque and committing one of the deadliest mass murders in New Zealand history, the accused gunman began a stream on Facebook Live. As he prepared to carry out his dastardly act, he quipped, “Remember, lads, subscribe to PewDiePie.” Then his followers watched for nearly six minutes as he shot people dead, streaming video that otherwise looked like it came from Call of Duty, Battlefield or any other realistic war simulation game. It was a shocking reminder that the magical devices tech companies create giving us access to nearly all human knowledge, and easy ways to take photos and connect with friends, have a darker, more grisly side. Technology has always had its pluses and minuses that we take in stride because on the whole, it’s worth it. But now’s time to consider whether live streaming in particular may finally be the first Silicon Valley invention that needs radical reform, or to just go away. “The New Zealand shooter was able to livestream a 17-minute video of his murderous rampage that continues to spread like wildfire online. This is flatly unacceptable,” said Farhana Khera, executive director of civil rights organization Muslim Advocates, in a statement. “Tech companies must take all steps possible to… [Read full story]
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