Mark Zuckerberg Talks Facebook Killer: New AI Will Detect Violent Content In Your Newsfeed

Steve Stephens uploaded a horrifying 57-second video to Facebook of himself shooting and killing a 74-year-old man on Sunday. The video lingered on Steve Stephens’ Facebook page for more two hours before it was removed by the website. Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, told USA Today that the killing of Robert Godwin, a grandfather from Cleveland, Ohio, has no place on Facebook.

“We have a lot of work, and we will keep doing all we can to prevent tragedies like this from happening.”

The Facebook CEO told USA Today that within a few years, Facebook will be able to reduce the amount of violent content with the help of artificial intelligence that can detect what’s happening in a video. Therefore, content like the Facebook killer’s chilling murder video will be detected in a timely manner.

Zuckerberg revealed this last week during an interview at the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters — before Steve Stephens, 37, uploaded a video to Facebook with the title, “Easter day slaughter.”

steve stephens
Mark Zuckerberg reveals Facebook’s plans to prevent violent content on the network like Facebook Killers,’
Steve Stephens. [Image by Noah Berger/AP Images]

“We have a responsibility to continue to get better at making sure we are not a tool for spreading”

The only known victim of the Facebook killer is Robert Godwin, Sr., who was shot at close range, in cold blood by Steve Stephens as he was walking home after sharing Easter dinner with his family.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Robert Godwin Sr.”

Facebook AI Will Evolve To Detect Facebook Killer Content

Justin Osofsky, Facebook’s vice president of global operations, released a statement and timeline of the shooting videos. The timeline below demonstrates the current weakness of Facebook’s moderation system. The system currently relies on user reports to flag controversial or violent content.

11:09 a.m. PDT — First video, of intent to murder, uploaded. Not reported to Facebook.
11:11 a.m. PDT — Second video, of shooting, uploaded.
11:22 a.m. PDT — Suspect confesses to murder while using Live, is live for 5 minutes.
11:27 a.m. PDT — Live ends, and Live video is first reported shortly after.
12:59 p.m. PDT — Video of shooting is first reported.
1:22 p.m. PDT — Suspect’s account disabled; all videos no longer visible to public.

While the live video of Steve Stephens’ confession was quickly reported by another user, the video of Steve Stephens killing Robert Godwin went unreported and therefore remained online for two hours, according to Tech Crunch.

The footage from Facebook has been removed shows Stephens approaching Robert Godwin Sr. and asking his victim to say a woman’s name. “She’s the reason that this is about to happen to you,” Stephens tells Godwin before shooting him in the head, according to Time magazine. According to CNN, the video remained on his page for two hours before being taken down by the social media site’s administrators.

There have been several incidents in which people commit violent crimes and post them on the giant social network and, with growing frequency, who stream them live on Facebook Live, according to USA Today.

“Those are all against our community standards. They don’t belong there.”

On Monday, the Cleveland police department confirmed that there is a warrant for aggravated murder out for his arrest on Monday. Once authorities detected Stephen’s cell phone ping about 100 miles east of Cleveland in Erie, Pennsylvania, law enforcement in the area told CNN. On Sunday, police said Stephens “may be out of state at this time,” and authorities called on residents of Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Michigan “to be on alert.”

Within several hours, the search for Steve Stephens became a nationwide manhunt.

There have been several incidents in which people commit violent crimes and post them on the giant social network and, with growing frequency, who stream them live on Facebook Live, according to USA Today.

“Those are all against our community standards. They don’t belong there.”

The video footage of the “Facebook Killer” has once again raised questions about Facebook’s effectiveness at moderating disturbing content. The website highly prohibits content that glorifies or promotes violence. Facebook only permits content that is considered to be in the public interest.

Osofsky added that the company could do better in moderation of the content being shared. He says artificial intelligence and new policies governing how videos are shared could present solutions to the issue and that Facebook will try to speed up its current review process.

[Featured Image by Eric Risberg/AP Images]

Comments