New Zealand shooting video underscores Facebook’s problems – The Boston Globe

New Zealand shooting video underscores Facebook’s problems – The Boston Globe

Up until Friday morning, it looked like Facebook’s recent travails couldn’t get any worse. Two days earlier, the world’s biggest social network was knocked offline nearly all day, infuriating tens of millions of users and costing Facebook a fortune in lost advertising revenues. The next day, two of the company’s most prominent executives quit, in an apparent dispute over a major shift in strategy proposed by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. The company this week also managed to censor presidential candidate and Senator Elizabeth Warren’s ad that called for an antitrust breakup of Facebook. Advertisement Oh, and news reports said Facebook is under criminal investigation for illegally sharing user data with other technology companies. Get Today's Headlines in your inbox: The day's top stories delivered every morning. Then from New Zealand came 17 minutes of horror. That’s how long it took Facebook to stop transmitting live video shot by a maniac during the terrorist attack in the city of Christchurch. It was a bloody climax to a series of catastrophes, making what came before seem trivial — and in a sense, it was. But the events of the week should make it far tougher for ....

This one might take a while to shake out, but the consequences could be ugly; already, the FTC is considering fines that could reach into the billions of dollars. And then there’s the Christchurch massacre and that terrible 17 minutes of video. Perhaps Facebook couldn’t have completely blocked access to its live video service, given that viewers watch many more than 1 billion live videos per day. But why did this one run on so long? This is far from the first time Facebook Live has transmitted an act of violence. How is it that a company as smart and as rich as Facebook wasn’t ready for the next one? Roger McNamee thinks it’s because Facebook doesn’t have to be ready. Advertisement “Society hasn’t exacted a price, ” said McNamee, an early Facebook investor and the author of “Zucked, ” a sharp critique of the company’s business practices. There have been so many Facebook foul-ups. And after each fresh catastrophe, company founder Zuckerberg adopts the manner of a shamefaced schoolboy and vows to do better. .

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