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Facebook Reviewing Content Policy After Murder

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Facebook Inc. (FB) said it will review how it handles objectionable and violent content on the social networking site after a Cleveland man posted a video over the weekend of his shooting and killing an elderly man.

The video remained on Facebook for more than two hours on Sunday, sparking outrage over the social network giant's inability to closely monitor violent content being uploaded to its platform. The company has been criticized for relying on users to report violent or objectionable content on its site.

"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," Justin Osofsky, Vice President of Facebook's Global Operations, said in a blog post.

On Easter Sunday, Steve Stephens posted two videos on Facebook - first of his intent to murder and the second of his shooting a 74-year-old man, Robert Godwin Sr, in Cleveland. About ten minutes later, he used Facebook Live to confess to the murder and threaten more killings.

The first video was posted by Stephens at 11:09AM PDT, while the second video was uploaded to Facebook just two minutes later. Ten minutes later, at 11:22AM PDT, Stephens confessed to the murder using Facebook Live.

According to Facebook, the Live video was first reported to the company at 11:27AM PDT, while the video of the shooting was first reported to it at 12:59PM PDT. The company disabled the suspect's account and removed the videos at 1:22PM PDT, more than two hours after the first video was uploaded by Stephens.

Osofsky said that in addition to improving its reporting flows, Facebook is exploring the use of new technologies to make sure its social networking site is a safe environment. He noted that artificial intelligence plays an important role by preventing the videos from being shared in its entirety.

"We prioritize reports with serious safety implications for our community, and are working on making that review process go even faster," Osofsky added.

by RTT Staff Writer

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