First rape case live-streamed on Facebook on trial in Sweden

ANDREW GOMBERT

The Facebook and WhatsApp app icons are displayed on an iPhone in New York, New York 20 February 2014. Facebook announced that it acquired the globally popular messaging system WhatsApp for 19 billion dollars. Facebook paid 12 billion dollars in shares and 4 billion dollars in cash, it was explained in a conference call. The deal includes an additional 3 billion dollars in Facebook stock for WhatsApp founders and employees. The deal should close later in 2014 and is still subject to regulatory approval, according to Facebook founder and Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, who said in the conference call that he did not expect any issues. Additionally, WhatsApp co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Jan Koum will join the Facebook Board of Directors.

Social media platforms are offering a live streaming service with no effective editorial responsibility


Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
+

The first case of gang rape broadcasted live on Facebook started in Sweden on Wednesday.

Rape case in Sweden

Prosecutor Pontus Melander says there are eight witnesses to the live broadcast, but he was unable to secure the video itself from Facebook.

Speaking to Sverige Radio, the evidence was described by the prosecutor as “substantial and unusual,” given that he had “so many witnesses to a suspected rape inside an apartment.” However, the prosecution says they did not have Facebook’s full cooperation.

The three male suspects are 18, 21, 24 years old. The first two face rape charges. The eldest is accused of accessory to rape.

The incident took place in Uppsala in January 2017. The next day the apartment was raided by the police, which was following up on reports of rape by people who witnessed the live transmission. The police raid itself was also transmitted. The men were immediately arrested. They all plead “not guilty.”

The only known precedent of this kind is in France. In April 2016, an 18-year old live-streamed on Twitter’s Periscope her friend’s rape.In May 2016, a woman in France used the same application to record her suicide.

Terrorism in France

Beyond rape, there are different kinds of crime that has been live streamed.

In June 2016, the terrorist Larossi Abballa live-streamed the murder of the 42-year old policev officer Jean-Baptiste Salvaing.

Aballa first killed the police captain on the spot, then went inside his home and took his wife and son as hostages. From inside the officers home, Aballa apparently posted on Facebook the murder of the police captain, as well as threats towards his 36-year partner and police secretary, Jessica, challenging the police to raid.

No Social Media responsibility

Facebook’s live streaming feature is relatively new. Twitter and YouTube are following the trend. While uploaded content is monitored within 24 hours,

While Facebook content is monitored within 24 hours from the moment it is posted, livestreaming cannot be monitored for violence or other offending material in real time. And although Facebook has recognized “the unique challenges” of live streaming, the service continues to be used online in a manner that calls into question whether the platform can provide an ethically responsible service.

For the moment the company strives to keep the 24-hour limit for the millions of reports it receives while paying particular attention to trending stories.

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Share on LinkedIn
+