A manhunt is underway for a gunman who shot and killed a 74 year old and used Facebook to brag about killing up to 13 people. US resident Steve Stephens shot dead 74 year old grandfather Robert Goodwin Sr at random as he walked home from celebrating Easter with his family. Stephens then went and posted the footage online before later using Facebook’s Live function to confess to the murder.
The shocking footage, which we won’t share, caused further controversy due to Facebook taking over two hours to take it down. Facebook have previously come under fire for refusing to take down footage which shows a young girl broadcasting her suicide via its live function.
Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s Vice President of Global Operations, issued a statement saying the following:
“On Sunday morning, a man in Cleveland posted a video of himself announcing his intent to commit murder, then two minutes later posted another video of himself shooting and killing an elderly man A few minutes after that, he went live, confessing to the murder. It was a horrific crime – one that has no place on Facebook and goes against our policies and everything we stand for. As a result of this terrible series of events, we are reviewing our reporting flows to be sure people can report videos and other material that violates our standards as easily and quickly as possible. In this case, we did not receive a report about the first video, and we only received a report about the second video – containing the shooting – more than an hour and 45 minutes after it was posted. We received reports about the third video, containing the man’s live confession, only after it had ended. We disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video – and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better.”
It begs the question as to whether Facebook need to put better measures in place to allow members of the public to report crime and/or someone in distress. After their initial response on Monday, we’re yet to see Facebook release any more information or a statement regarding the future of Facebook Live.
UPDATE: After a short police chance, Steve Stephens killed himself.