Tech Focus: Facebook New Technology Undercuts Old School Media

The recent event in Chicago, which many are calling a historic hate crime, sheds light onto Facebook new live broadcast feature that allows users to stream live over the internet directly to the social media’s users.

For those who might be unaware of the event in question, late this week four African American young adults kidnapped and tortured a mentally disabled white man while yelling obscenities about white people and president-elect Donald Trump.  The video was disturbing.  And it was broadcast live on Facebook.  

What is extremely disturbing was the initial reactions by national and local news media, local Chicago leaders, and police officials seemed passive in projecting a “nothing to see here, folks; just move along” feeling.  

There was one misjudgment, however, during the time Chicago officials were attempting to downplay the situation – and both Facebook and Google were removing the video from their services – literally millions of Americans had already seen the awful videos and were already stewing in both anger and sadness and were awaiting swift and firm justice.  

The judge and jury of public opinion had swiftly made up its mind: this was an obvious case of a malicious hate crime and harsh punitive action was called for from he Chicago, Illinois criminal justice system.  Within less than twenty-four hours, a dramatic change in message from both the media and government officials could be observed: the media was openly calling the kidnapping a hate crime and the Chicago district attorney and police chief agreed and leveled  charges as such.

From a media and communications perspective, the Facebook Live feature appears to be “changing the game.”  No longer can editors in newsrooms control the narrative of breaking news without worry of being instantly fact-checked.  What Facebook most likely considered primarily a cute way their users could broadcast children’s birthday parties and little league games to parents away on business trips now has the power to change the art, science, politics and ethics of breaking news.

Rob Giuffre is a Network+ and A+ certified computer/network technician and sole owner of RatCat Computers. Call 347-538-6231 for a free quote and to schedule a service appointment for any computer or network issue.  We appreciate, respect and value all of our clients