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Livestreaming Could be a Vital Tool for Social Justice, But Will Facebook Let It?

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So far, Facebook Live has mostly done well on the strange and silly content out there and that seems like something that will carry on. But due to a recent incident, we can now see how it can be used more seriously, and how helpful that can be.

This week an unarmed black man named Philandro Castile was shot to death in his car. His girlfriend and daughter were in the car with him as they were stopped and he was shot as he was trying to pull out his driver's license. It was a horrific event and one that when his girlfriend wasn't allowed to move her hands, wound up being live streamed on Facebook.

The stream was only ten minutes long but it showed the end of the man's life. Since the stream was aired, links to the video have been spread all across social media and many people are appalled at the police and that was exactly why Castile's girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, wanted the video to go viral.

When you look at the video there is a warning for disturbing content before you can even watch the video. It does mean that if you're squeamish or you can't watch it, you won't be forced to. Even if you don't, you're definitely going to see people talking about it. This is a really powerful thing, as it means that everyone will know that this happened and not just through the view of the media. The video wound up deleted at one point, but Facebook claimed that this was a glitch and it wasn't done on purpose.

A video of someone dying was totally against what usually does well on Facebook Live and it's also something that you'd expect to be removed. There's nothing in it that's explicitly against the rules, but Facebook isn't exactly known for letting people get away with posting anything that could be risky.

Mark Zuckerburg has made a statement about what happened saying that this goes to show what some members of the community have to experience and how he hopes we never have to see such a video again. The sad thing is that we might but the sharing of such videos on social media can at least highlight the injustice.

The worrying thing is how many people can actually handle seeing this? I've seen people saying they're going to disappear for a bit as they need a mental health break because they can't handle seeing things like this video. They want to protect people and stand up for what is wrong, but they can't handle seeing this anymore. We need to know this is going on but can we handle seeing it in this way? Only time will tell.



Rosina is a Songbird writer with a degree in Creative Writing. She's trying to focus on her novel on the side but is glad to be playing around with apps and writing about them in the mean time! Follow her @Songbird_Rosina


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Livestreaming Could be a Vital Tool for Social Justice, But Will Facebook Let It? Reviewed by Rosina Brooker on Monday, July 11, 2016 Rating: 5

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