A week ago, on Easter Sunday (April 16), news broke that a man, later identified as Steve Stephens, fatally shot 74-year-old Robert Godwin Sr. in Cleveland, broadcasting the horrific event live on Facebook. While Stephens later committed suicide, following a 2-mile car chase with police, the aftermath of the shooting continues to stun the nation.
In the wake of this tragedy, Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling for a 30-day halt of the feature, Facebook Live, both in memory of Goodwin and as a call-to-action to prevent such heinous footage from spreading online in the future.
As reported, the reverend met with officials in the Chicago area to discuss the matter, calling for Facebook to put the service into moratorium and asking the social media service to create a method that would allow for the instant removal of content that is disturbing, traumatizing and offensive.
Considering the live feature on Facebook has captured several deaths since it was first integrated into the website, such a discussion is a necessary one for community members and the social networking site to have together.
As reported, it took Facebook staff two hours for them to receive the notification that Stephens' had posted footage of the shooting, with the shockingly graphic video going viral and being shared on third-party sites before the site could remove it and disable Stephens' account.
Jackson stated that the temporary hold would act as "a time out" to give Facebook time to figure out a way that possibly could prevent others from using the feature "as a platform to release their anger, their fears and their foolishness."
"The moratorium is ... an opportunity for tech companies, elected officials, law enforcement, community based organizations and civil rights advocates and others," Jackson added.
Additionally, during the meeting, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin offered his support for the call-to action, adding, "We have asked him to put an emergency button, a 911-type button to get videos to the front of the line to make sure they don't stay up for several hours."
Rev. Jesse Jackson also has called for a meeting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to discuss the future of Facebook Live and see what can be done to prevent the unfortunate viral circulation of graphic content originating on the live feature.
(Photo: Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Africa-America Institute)