Facebook could be exploring livestreaming restrictions following Christchurch tragedy

Facebook could be exploring livestreaming restrictions following Christchurch tragedy

Following the tragedy of the ChristChurch terrorist attack, Facebook appears to be considering restrictions for livestreaming on the platform.

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg sent out an open letter that was published in the New Zealand Herald, which detailed steps Facebook is taking to change certain policies. The stand out part of the letter was new rules related to who can livestream over Facebook.

These changes are being explored after a New Zealand terrorist attack was broadcast to the world via Facebook Live. The stream lasted for 17 minutes and was watched over 4000 times before Facebook could respond.

“We are exploring restrictions on who can go Live depending on factors such as prior community standard violations," Sandberg wrote.

Not many details were given on how exactly these changes would take effect, or how it will be decided on who is able to stream over Facebook. It’s implied that those who have broken Facebook guidelines in the past may be affected, but details on anything more are vague.

Other changes to come were also elaborated on. She noted Facebook intends to ban white nationalism and white separatism on the platform. This will be done by using AI technology to help enforce the ban on posts that appear.

This will apply to several New Zealand-specific groups including the Lads Society, United Patriots Front, Antipodean Resistance, and National Front New Zealand. Sandberg ended her letter by adding that Facebook will also be giving support to local mental health organisations in New Zealand.

Staff Writer