When did it become a human right to broadcast yourself around the world in real time? If it’s not a right, then let’s admit that humanity is not capable of using this technology responsibly.
You may love the feeling of being a superstar when you go on Facebook Live to talk about your pet peeves or your make-up tips, but the value of that doesn’t come close to the harm generated by live-streamed suicide, torture and murder.
The murder in Cleveland on Sunday was blown up into a huge news story because it was posted on Facebook, whereas brutal, senseless murders take place across America every single day. The most notable thing about the event is that it remained on Facebook for several hours.
I don’ t want to see live murders on Facebook, and I don’t want you to see them either. I don’t want to see torture or rape on Facebook, and I don’t want you to see them either. It is not your right to see these activities. These events are traumatic. It is possible to be traumatized over and over, not just once. Trauma doesn’t work that way.
The fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhhol predicted did not refer to live-streaming your stupid life to your cyber-friends. No one could have predicted that it would come to this, that people would mediate every experience and thought through their cellphone. Life is OUT THERE, not in your phone or on Facebook.
But young people who have grown up with the internet are increasingly unable to conduct their lives offline. Everything that matters to them involves their wi-fi connection. And when they are overwhelmed and suicidal, they turn to Facebook Live.
Facebook acknowledges that live-streamed suicide is a problem, but they aren’t willing to give out numbers. There are at least 7 known cases since Facebook went live last year. Mark Zuckerberg pledged to find new ways to tackle this in a recent letter to Facebook users:
“There have been terribly tragic events — like suicides, some live streamed — that perhaps could have been prevented if someone had realized what was happening and reported them sooner.”
Suicide has surged to the highest levels in nearly 30 years. Suicide is devastating for the people who witness it, and could encourage others who are struggling to attempt it, too, says Dan Romer, research director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.
But Facebook has its own suicide ‘researcher’, who insists that
“…cutting off the stream too early removes the chance of someone being able to reach out and provide help. In this way, Live becomes a lifeline. It opens up the opportunity for people to reach out for support and for people to give support at this time that’s critically important.”
God, what self-serving fuckers. They will never give an inch, because their stated mission is that everyone will do everything via their platform: chat, shop, argue, order pizza, make friends, kill yourself and maybe each other.
There are reasons why people want to carry out momentous acts in front of a public audience, and none of those reasons are healthy. The urge to watch these acts might be attributed to “human nature” but human nature is changing. Kids didn’t use to make videos of gang rapes for the amusement of their friends. Kids used to feel horrified by things that are horrifying. Desensitization is a real thing.
Facebook is criminal in its practices, as we all know. Selling data, promoting fake news, discouraging face to face contact, and broadcasting rape, torture and violent death…it is the fucking devil.
The less you participate, the less power it will have to drag humanity down to zero.