Use of Facebook Live at crime scenes causing debate

Diamond Reynolds using facebook live at the police shooting of her husband, Philando Castile

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Crime scenes are now being streamed live on Facebook and it’s becoming a national conversation.

Wednesday, a woman in Minnesota used Facebook live to stream video of herself, fiance and her 4-year-old daughter in a car moments after an officer shot her fiance in the passenger seat. Late Thursday night, people live streamed a sniper shooting at a Dallas protest.

Fort Wayne Police Department public information officer John Chambers said using Facebook Live to stream a crime can be good, but it depends on the situation.

“If they capture information or evidence, it could possibly assist us with our investigation,” he said. “However it could also be bad, a safety concern when it comes to Facebooking live certain situations that could possibly put our officers in danger that are on the scene.”

Social media expert Anthony Juliano said live streaming is the next step in the evolution of media. The vice president of account service at advertising agency Asher said what people live stream is not all black or white – there’s a lot of gray area.

“It’s very subjective to say what is permissible and what isn’t, what crosses a line and what doesn’t,” he said. “That’s for us as a society to decide.”

Juliano said the crimes themselves are more of a problem than sharing them.

“I think there is more good to bad in these tools and the tools themselves aren’t the problem,” he said. “It’s the ability of these tools to amplify human behaviors that are thousands of years old. The problem is going to be the judgement of the user and that’s very hard to police.”

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a Facebook status in reaction to the Minnesota woman live streaming the police shooting she was involved in.

“The images we’ve seen this week are graphic and heartbreaking, and they shine a light on the fear that millions of members of our community live with every day,” he said. “While I hope we never have to see another video like Diamond’s, it reminds us why coming together to build a more open and connected world is so important — and how far we still have to go.”

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