NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Facebook is vowing to make changes after the murder of an innocent man was posted on its site Sunday.
The post sparked outrage and questions about the responsibility of social media sites.
As CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez reports, there’s growing debate over whether they can censor their users before they go live.
The disturbing video of the murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. was posted on Facebook for two hours before administrators removed it. It’s since been viewed millions of times.
Facebook is now under pressure to step up the filtering of users’ posts, and CEO Mark Zuckerberg admits the social media site needs to be better.
“We have a lot of work, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening,” he said Tuesday.
According to the Wall Street Journal, more than 60 violent attacks, including murders and suicides, have been broadcast on Facebook since the live feature was launched last year, including the January beating of a special needs teen in Chicago.
“The whole democratizing aspect of the Internet is that anybody can talk on Facebook or Twitter,” Paul Levinson, of Fordham University, explains.
The social media expert says Facebook could face legal hurdles if it attempts to censor its users by making rules on what it feels can or cannot be posted.
“They could well be sued by businesses, by advertisers, for creating a repressive online environment,” Levinson says.
Facebook primarily relies on its users to report inappropriate videos. The company has thousands of workers around the world reviewing millions of flagged posts in 40 different languages each week.
A software analyst from PC Magazine, Max Eddy, says even the newest technology will struggle to efficiently filter posts.
“If you have say a video system, something that’s examining live video, it’s very difficult to tell the difference say between a real gun and a Nerf gun. Which one of these is actually dangerous?” he explains.
Facebook says it’s exploring new technologies to help ensure a safe social environment.
Meantime, social media experts say it’s critical for users to report inappropriate videos.