Facebook Live shooting video raises concern about social media responsibility

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COLUMBIA - Local members of the Columbia community are concerned that the trend of sharing graphic videos is becoming too normal. The concerns stem from video of a Houston man, Devyn Holmes, who was shot in the head on Facebook Live. Since the shooting on Sunday, the video footage has since gone viral on Twitter and Facebook.

According to KPRC in Houston, Holmes is on life support.

Dommini Guein, who thinks these videos are becoming all too normal, said people are becoming numb to serious issues because of social media.

"Us being desensitized is like a trend now. I use 'trend' because it's so common. I feel like there's a lot of videos, myself included, that you just don't want to watch. Don't want to acknowledge, and I feel like it's because there's so many of them," Guein said. "So many events, so many shootings or killings in various forms that it's almost to the point that we feel like we're used to it."

There have been several shootings and even murders captured on Facebook Live in the past. 

Earlier this year, 55-year-old Prentis Robinson was murdered during his Facebook Live stream on his way home. Philando Castille’s girlfriend captured his death on a live stream as well.

In some situations, the outrage isn’t stemming from the video being posted, but the number of times it is shared. A local social media company, Caledon Virtual, said people need to be more aware of the things they are sharing.

Digital strategist Abbey Donahue said social media responsibility is becoming increasingly important. 

“We as users have a responsibility to make sure that we're looking out for each other. That we're monitoring what we post and what other people post," Donahue said. "As well as Facebook, Instagram, those big platforms monitoring what's going out on their platform."

Currently Facebook doesn't restrict graphic or violent content unless it's shared for "sadistic pleasure" or celebrates or glorifies the violence. 

Here's what we found on Facebook's community standards page:


Violence and Graphic Content

Facebook has long been a place where people share their experiences and raise awareness about important issues. Sometimes, those experiences and issues involve violence and graphic images that are of public interest or concern, such as human rights abuses or acts of terrorism. In many instances, when people share this type of content, they are condemning it or raising awareness about it. We remove graphic images when they are shared for sadistic pleasure or to celebrate or glorify violence. We also remove extremely graphic videos, such as those depicting a beheading. 

When people share anything on Facebook, we expect that they will share it responsibly, including carefully choosing who will see that content. We also ask that people warn their audience about what they are about to see if it includes graphic violence. With that said, there is also certain extreme graphic content that we recognize may be disturbing and we add a warning screen to it so that people are aware before they see it.

Unlike Facebook, Microsoft is implementing tougher restrictions for its users.

Last week Fortune Magazine reported Microsoft will soon begin prohibiting all users from using its services like Skype and XBOX Live to “publicly display or share inappropriate content or material” including offensive comments and nudity.

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