Facebook’s new live-streaming service can broadcast events as they are unfolding
Facebook’s new live-streaming service and similar apps like Twitter’s Periscope are squarely in the spotlight after the killing of five police officers in Dallas Thursday night during a Black Lives Matter rally.
The unprecedented sniper attacks on the Dallas police came just days after the killing of two black men in separate police-involved shootings in Baton Rouge, La., and Falcon Heights, Minn.
In Falcon Heights, a police officer shot and killed Philando Castile during a traffic stop for a broken tail light. His girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, streamed the aftermath of the shooting — as it happened — on Facebook Live.
In Baton Rouge, a bystander filmed a police officer shooting to death 37-year-old Alton Sterling, who was selling CDs outside a convenience store.
Some news commentators are speculating that widely-distributed video of the deaths of Castile and Sterling led to the police killings in Dallas.
Reynolds said she broadcast her boyfriend’s death on Facebook in an attempt to hold the police responsible.
“I wanted to put it on Facebook and go viral so that people could see,” she said. “I want the people to determine who was right and who was wrong.”
Reynolds’ use of Facebook shows how live video tools can draw attention to important social issues. However, some argue that the video of the police shootings may have contributed to the police shootings in Dallas.
Before the event in Dallas Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg responded to the tragedy in Falcon Heights.
“My thoughts are also with all members of the Facebook community who are deeply troubled by these events,” Zuckerberg said in an online post. “The images we’ve seen this week are graphic and heartbreaking, and they shine a light on the fear that millions of members of our community live with every day. While I hope we never have to see another video like Diamond’s, it reminds us why coming together to build a more open and connected world is so important — and how far we still have to go.”
Reaction to the shooting tragedies has been swift across the internet.
wasn't that long ago people whined about violence in movies/music. Now a kid can see a real life murder on Facebook live ✌🏿️✌🏿
— Kirshnik Khari Ball (@JHatesSports) July 8, 2016
These Dallas shootings are horrific. Killing these officers is morally reprehensible and completely counterproductive to keeping us safe.
— John Legend (@johnlegend) July 8, 2016
I hate police brutality. I don't hate police. This violence is wrong on every level. It is as American as apple pie, but wrong nonetheless.
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) July 8, 2016
I don't want black men shot at traffic stops. I don't want cops shot by snipers. I don't want kids shot at school. I don't want any of this.
— EM Simpson (@charlie_simpson) July 8, 2016