As the holiday weekend comes to a close, I settle down with a full belly and sleepy eyes to watch the news with my mother. Since I am a college student who does not pay for cable and does not get the newspaper, I rely on social media, emails, and friends to keep me up to date on what is happening in the world. The weather and sports segments go by, when breaking news of a shooting pops up on the television. Now living near Chicago, there are always updates on the numbers of shootings/deaths of this holiday weekend compared to past holiday weekends, but this was different. Some individual used the new Facebook Live feature to broadcast his criminal act.
My ears perked up when I heard about the newly added feature on Facebook, Facebook Live, hoping to hear some story about an senior citizen trying to understand the function. Instead I watched the visual feed of a man who casually says "That is the man I am going to kill", as he steps out of his car and approaches the victim. And why does this man feel subject to kill this stranger? A girl. We live in a world where an argument over a social media platform leads to someone killing another while broadcasting that act on a social media platform.
Where is the common sense? Where is the empathy? Where is the urgency to shut down this repulsive behavior that seems to be more common than it should be?
Who is to blame? Facebook could not have considered this type of use from their new Facebook Live feature, prompting users to use this function to display the cool, fun things they may be doing with their friends and family. The family may not have noticed signs of this man's agenda (although he is possibly responsible for fifteen other murders) and could not act to get him the help he needed. The friends may not have noticed the signs either, but there was obvious issues with the victim broadcasted on social media. The police should of had some tips that this man is dangerous, but without proof (except for this Facebook Live video) I can see where it's hard for them to follow "potential" threats. Anyone who viewed the Live feed that did nothing, and allowed this man to shoot another man point blank.
Where do we draw the line of sharing our personal lives on social media. If someone feels so empowered to share one of the most barbaric actions of killing another person, what will the next person do to "one up" this action? What are people willing to do to reach a million views or be the breaking news segment of the Evening News? Is this an issue of social media platforms and how open we are to sharing some of the most intimate events, or is this an issue of not detecting potential threats over social media and acting appropriately? It just makes me so scared to be reminded of what is really out on the internet to be viewed by anyone. No matter how hard we try to avoid the hard reality of the world we live in, at some point we need to try and put a stop to this senseless violence.