Facebook Releases Timeline, Statement About Cleveland Shooting Video

April 17, 2017: This is the complete news conference held by Cleveland police this morning in their continues manhunt for Steve Stephens.

One day after Steve Stephens shot a video announcing his intent to commit murder, followed by the posting of video of the fatal shooting of Robert Godwin, Facebook has responded with a full statement and timeline. 

From Justin Osofsky, VP of Global Operations for Facebook:

On Sunday morning, a man in Cleveland posted a video of himself announcing his intent to commit murder, then two minutes later posted another video of himself shooting and killing an elderly man. A few minutes after that, he went live, confessing to the murder. It was a horrific crime — one that has no place on Facebook, and goes against our policies and everything we stand for.

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.

We disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better.

This is Facebook's 'Timeline of Events':

2:09 PM EDT — First video, of intent to murder, uploaded. Not reported to Facebook.
2:11 PM EDT — Second video, of shooting, uploaded.
2:22 PM EDT — Suspect confesses to murder while using Live, is live for 5 minutes.
2:27 PM EDT — Live ends, and Live video is first reported shortly after.
3:59 PM EDT — Video of shooting is first reported.
4:22 PM EDT — Suspect’s account disabled; all videos no longer visible to public.

Facebook ended its statement with the following: Keeping our global community safe is an important part of our mission. We are grateful to everyone who reported these videos and other offensive content to us, and to those who are helping us keep Facebook safe every day.

Facebook echoed the same message to USA TODAY:

Facebook said Monday it took too long to identify and take down videos of the fatal shooting Sunday of an elderly man and his alleged killer's plan and live confession — a series of disturbing incidents that have again raised questions about the giant social network's ability to address objectionable material on its platform.

The video of Robert Godwin, 74, in Cleveland was posted for nearly two hours before Facebook took it down. The suspect in the killing, Steve Stephens, 37, posted a video first announcing his intent to commit the crime and later talked about his exploits on Facebook Live, according to a timeline supplied by Facebook.

"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," Justin Osofsky, vice president of global operations at Facebook, said in a blog post Monday. "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."

Osofsky said Facebook disabled Stephens' account "within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better."

 

Copyright 2017 WFMY


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