In wake of the huge angst surrounding the Cleveland shooting, Facebook has released  a timeline of the events as they took place. Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations, has also issued a statement regarding the matter.

The social network was left in a state of shock after a Cleveland man recently uploaded a video of himself shooting someone. To make matters worse,  the murderer followed up with a Live video in which he can be seen confessing to the murder and promising to commit even more. The videos were subsequently taken down, but not before quite a lot of people saw the whole thing in gristly detail.

After questions were raised upon how Facebook could allow such a thing to be broadcast, Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations, has released a post discussing the company’s response to the video and why it came almost a couple of hours after the video was first published over the social media network.

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.

Well, if only Facebook’s tools, which include an AI based review system, were working as they should be, the need to report these videos wouldn’t have arisen and they would have been automatically removed from the platform. However, Facebook’s review tool is not quite ready yet and it needs to rely on human reporting as well.

The timeline of the terrible event was as follows:

11:09AM PDT — First video, of intent to murder, uploaded. Not reported to Facebook.
11:11AM PDT — Second video, of shooting, uploaded.
11:22AM PDT — Suspect confesses to murder while using Live, is live for 5 minutes.
11:27AM PDT — Live ends, and Live video is first reported shortly after.
12:59PM PDT — Video of shooting is first reported.
1:22PM PDT — Suspect’s account disabled; all videos no longer visible to public.

The first report also took well over an hour and a half, in which time the video was seen by a whole bunch of the online populace. On the other hand, even the best AI isn’t going to work out on its own, as there are violent videos we would want to preserve in order to raise awareness.

Human interference is going to play a key roll however,  it might be time to delve into why the Facebook audience took this much time to report a murder. Facebook needs to ensure that they are made aware of their responsibilities and can come forward and reports stuff promptly, should something of the nature happen again.

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