A social media expert said Tuesday it will be up to Facebook’s nearly two billion users to hold the social media giant accountable, after a video of a man being shot to death went unnoticed for close to two hours.
Cleveland State Social Media professor Dr. Kathleen Stansberry also said calls for stricter policing of graphic content is easier said than done.
“It’s a huge challenge,” Stansberry said. “Facebook relies primarily on users to regulate and monitor other users.”
A Facebook spokesperson said the site has “thousands” of people monitoring for offensive content, but they haven’t gone into further detail.
And what’s offensive to one person may not be offensive to another. While a Facebook spokesperson has said they’re working to remove copies of Steve Stephen’s infamous shooting video that were uploaded directly to the site, one user told News 5 she reported a link to that video, but Facebook refused to take it down because it didn’t violate their “community standards.”
Stansberry believes the tragedy is forcing Facebook to do some rethinking, whether that means adding more content monitors or, her suggestion, offering better education to their users about what’s appropriate to post.
“You’ve got to balance personal safety and personal comfort with support for open communication,” she said.
In the absence of more regulation, it’s up to users to decide how to react.
"The only reason Facebook is successful is because of all the many, many people who use it,” Stansberry said. "They make Facebook what it is.”