Courtney Allan

Facebook restricts “Facebook Live” feature following Christchurch attacks

Facebook restricts “Facebook Live” feature following Christchurch attacks

After the horrific Christchurch attacks that saw a lone gunman kill 51 people in two mosques whilst streaming it via Facebook Live, the social media giant has decided to take action.

Facebook has said in a statement that it’s introducing a “one-strike” policy for use of Facebook Live. The policy will temporarily restrict access for people who have faced disciplinary action for breaking the company’s rules anywhere on the site.

First time offenders will be suspended from using Facebook Live for a set period of time and Facebook is also broadening the range of offences that will qualify for one-strike suspensions.

However, Facebook did not specify what offences were eligible for the one-strike policy or how long suspensions will last.

“Today we are tightening the rules that apply specifically to Live,” the statement read.

“We will now apply a ‘one strike’ policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offenses. From now on, anyone who violates our most serious policies will be restricted from using Live for set periods of time – for example 30 days – starting on their first offense. For instance, someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time.”

A spokeswoman for Facebook pointed out that “it would have not been possible for the shooter to use Live on his account under the new rules”.

The company plans to extend the new restrictions to other areas of the site over the coming weeks and it plans to start with preventing the same people from creating ads on Facebook.

There are also plans for Facebook to fund research at three universities on techniques to detect manipulated media, which Facebook’s systems still struggle with. This was proven after the attacks as manipulated media was everywhere on the platform.

Facebook has said it removed 1.5 million videos globally that contained footage of the attack in the first 24 hours after it occurred. It said in a blog post in late March that it had identified more than 900 different versions of the video.