Is Facebook Ready to be the World’s Live News Network?

Bushra Zia

Is Facebook Ready to be the World’s Live News Network?

Published: July 14, 2016

Authors:

 

“Facebook is in a position of power. At some point [it] will be asked to shut down a live feed to make sure something doesn’t go viral.” —Jonathan Zittrain, Harvard University

Article Overview

“Until recently, the big news in the world of news was that Facebook was retreating from journalism. After an unexpected dip in the personal sharing that is its core business, plus a mini-scandal involving allegations of political bias in how it displayed content from conservative websites, Facebook said it was updating its algorithm to prioritize wedding announcements and baby photos over postings by media companies. “Friends and family come first,” the company said in a June 29 blog post.

And when Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg announced the Facebook Live video function, he presented it as a platform for life’s small trials and triumphs. “You can feel like you’re really there with your friends,” he said on April 6, when the service launched.

When a user goes live, Facebook must ensure it can process the footage, regardless of the source, and transmit it instantly. “The infrastructure for live-streaming is hard,” Chief Product Officer Chris Cox said in a 2015 interview. “It’s something we’ve been working on for a long time.”

Live-streaming at such a speed and on such a scale raises legal and ethical questions. At least five people this year have been shot while broadcasting with Facebook Live.”

(Bloomberg Businessweek)

Discussion

Live streaming will encounter major ethical and legal issues globally. Facebook ensures that it can shut down inappropriate content. But, how much damage does it do before Facebook reaches to it? Live murders, adult content are just an example. Facebook has to monitor its 1.65 billion users on a live time basis. And currently Facebook is using humans to filter through the content. Facebook is treading on a delicate line and it will face global recrimination for a small slip.

 

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