Facebook has been in the news for a wide variety of reasons during the past week. Mark Zuckerberg wrote an article that appeared in several newspapers where he said that he would be willing to embrace the government regulation of Facebook. There was also a lawsuit filed against the social media giant by the Department of Housing and Urban Development because of Facebook advertising practices that it believes to be discriminatory. There was also very big news revealed by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. She said that Facebook is looking into ways to place restrictions on the people who are able to stream video on the site’s Facebook Live service.
The news that Facebook is looking to retool the way they handle live streams should not be a surprise to anyone. The massacre of 50 people in a New Zealand mosque was streamed live on Facebook by the shooter. The company took a massive public relations hit as a result of this. There was also a famous incident where a man committed a murder in the city of Cleveland and streamed it live on Facebook. He later killed himself when he was cornered by police. These graphic videos remained on the site for several hours before they were finally removed.
Sheryl Sandberg said that Facebook has not made any final decisions about what the specific criteria would be to ban a person from going live. However, she did mention that people who repeatedly violate the community standards laid down by Facebook could potentially lose their ability to stream live. She said that they are still reviewing many different pieces of info in order to come to a decision at some point in the near future. She said they do not want to rush into anything. They want to be sure that only troublemakers are banned from streaming live.
Another serious issue that Sandberg addressed is the way that Facebook will deal with any videos containing violent content that people attempt to post in the future. She said that the company has changed their procedures regarding the way they can detect and quickly remove any videos that have objectionable content. The goal is to prevent offensive videos from staying on the site as long as the mosque shooting video was available for Facebook users to watch. She did not elaborate about what specifically Facebook is doing now that will make it harder for violent videos to stay on the site.