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Facebook imposes new restrictions on live streaming

15 May 2019  |  Michaela Jefferson 
Facebook imposes new restrictions on live streaming

Two months on from the Christchurch terrorist attacks, Facebook has announced that it will be enforcing new restrictions on its live streaming feature to "limit the abuse" of bad actors using the platform to "cause harm or spread hate".

Both Facebook and Google-owned YouTube were publicly lambasted in March for failing to move quickly enough to halt video uploads of the attack. Facebook later said that it had removed 1.5 million videos from around the world.

Previously, repeat offenders of Facebook's community standards were blocked from the platform for a period, with only "rare" extreme violations warranting an immediate and permanent ban.

However, in a blog post published this week, Facebook announced that any user who violates its "most serious" policies for live streaming will now be restricted from using the service for an unspecified period of time on a 'one strike' basis.

Facebook said it also plans to extend these restrictions over the coming weeks, beginning with preventing those users from creating ads.

"We recognize the tension between people who would prefer unfettered access to our services and the restrictions needed to keep people safe on Facebook," said Guy Rosen, VP of integrity and product management.

"Our goal is to minimize risk of abuse on Live while enabling people to use Live in a positive way every day."

The social media platform is also to invest $7.5 million in research partnerships with academics at leading US universities to improve its image and video analysis technology.

"Tackling these threats also requires technical innovation to stay ahead of the type of adversarial media manipulation we saw after Christchurch when some people modified the video to avoid detection in order to repost it after it had been taken down," Rosen added.

"These are complex issues and our adversaries continue to change tactics. We know that it is only by remaining vigilant and working with experts, other companies, governments and civil society around the world that we will be able to keep people safe.

"We look forward to continuing our work together."

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22 May 2020 

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