Research Blog #6

The Desire to Live-Stream Violence

Which raises the question: Why would someone live-stream a crime? Superintendent at Chicago PD asked this question after four African Americans decided to kidnap and torture a white male. The article says they kidnapped him and put tape over his face. The suspects also yelled “F*ck Donald Trump” and “f*ck white people”. And to top all of this off, the whole thing was recorded live on Facebook Live.

“It speaks to a kind of scary place in the culture where people are willing to expose their misled ideas, their sadism, their sexual perversion, their felonious behavior, for the accolades they’ll receive through social media,” Berrill said.

The article mentions the desire for young adults to want attention, the victims were between the ages of 18-24 fit that scenario perfectly.

Why are people live-streaming their suicides?

Live streaming suicides have gotten more popular over the years. In 2008, Abraham Biggs planned to kill himself on a body building website- a lot of viewers encouraged Biggs to take the pills he had shown on the video, thinking it wasn’t real.

The big misconception in live streaming videos are that people believe that it is a prank or that people are doing it for attention. Although live streaming videos do have some attention seeking aspects, a lot of people that talk about suicides on live stream are looking for “encouragement”.

“Naika Venant, a 14-year-old in foster care in Miami, broadcasted her suicide on Facebook Live overnight Sunday. Thousands watched as she prepared to hang herself in a video that lasted about two hours, and due to a series of tragic mistakes, emergency responders did not arrive in time to save her.” (Irby)

A 12-year-old killed herself on live video. Facebook removes it — 2 weeks later

Live video has become increasingly controversial as social media sites have encouraged use of the tool but have struggled to monitor it. This article mentions my earlier summary of the four kidnappers in Chicago. The video was eventually taken down but not before other websites had time to embed it and shared.

On December 30th, 2016, a 12-year-old named Katelyn Nicole Davis killed herself on a 40-minute live video. She said that she had been physically and sexually abused by a family member. Although the video had been taken down from Facebook, there is no way to guarantee other websites would take the video down and there was no way to force them.


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