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We Need To Talk About The Dangers Of Facebook Live

Steve Stephens offered a live murder account to unsuspecting Facebook viewers, achieving viral (and horrific) fame. And he’s not the first.

Few seem to be worried about the way social media gives us unbridled access to an ever-burgeoning audience. But after 37-year-old Steve Stephens offered a step-by-step account of his murder of 74-year-old Robert Godwin Jr. on Facebook, including a live confessional after the fact, it’s time we consider the consequences of this platform more carefully.

Stephens uploaded his first video at 11:09 p.m. on Sunday evening, declaring his intent to murder. Two minutes later, he uploaded a video that showed him gunning down his victim, Godwin. Finally, 11 minutes following, Stephens posted a Facebook Live video confessing to the crime. “In a timeline of the events,” reports NPR, “Facebook says the video of the shooting was visible to the public for more than two hours and was taken down 23 minutes after it was first reported.” Two days later, a manhunt led Stephens to commit suicide before police could apprehend him.

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