Facebook Admits 'We Need to Do Better' After Timeline Revealed Video of Robert Godwin Shooting Stayed Live for Two Hours

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Facebook Admits 'We Need to Do Better' After Timeline Revealed Video of Robert Godwin Shooting Stayed Live for Two Hours

The social media company will review their content reporting system.

Published April 18, 2017

After the horrific Cleveland shooting of 74-year-old Robert Godwin was posted to Facebook, the video remained for nearly two hours before the social media company took it down. 37-year-old Steve Stephens posted a video explaining his intent to kill, a video of the shooting and a Facebook Live stream of him confessing.

In a blog post, Facebook's vice president of global operations, Justin Osofsky, said "we know we need to do better" regarding the efficiency of taking down and disabling dangerous content.

Osofksy included a timeline of events.

Transcript of timeline as reported by Buzzfeed:

11:09 a.m. PT — First video of intent to kill was uploaded and not reported to Facebook.

11:11 a.m. — Second video of shooting is uploaded.

11:22 a.m. — Suspect confesses to killing while using Facebook Live, which is live for 5 minutes.

11:27 a.m. — Live video ends and is first reported shortly after.

12:59 p.m. — Video of shooting is first reported.

1:22 p.m. — Suspect’s account is disabled; all videos no longer visible to public.

Based on the timeline, there was a significant gap between when the video of the shooting was reported and when it was taken down by the company.

"It was a horrific crime — one that has no place on Facebook, and goes against our policies and everything we stand for," Osofsky wrote in the blog. "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."

The company hopes to change the way users report content and how efficiently the company is able to remove and/or block reported posts.

The shooting of Godwin resulted in a national search for Stephens. On Tuesday morning, Stephens killed himself during a pursuit with Pennsylvania State Police. 

Written by Rachel Herron

(Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


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