Warning: Video contains graphic images and expletives which may be upsetting to some viewers. Viewer discretion is advised.
Antonio Perkins, a 28-year-old man from Chicago, inadvertently broadcasted his own death live on Facebook.
Perkins was out for an evening stroll with his friends in a quiet suburb in Chicago, simultaneously live streaming his conversations on Facebook, when suddenly gunshots were fired. Before one could even begin to realize what actually transpired, Perkins, who can be seen in the first few frames of the video, falls to the ground abruptly while his friends can be heard screaming in the background.
“Oh my god,” his friends shout, before the tragic realization dawns on one of them. “Tony is dead!”
Perkins, or Tony, as he was called by his friends and close relatives, was taken to the hospital where he was soon pronounced dead, confirmed The New York Times.
Chicago Police said the shooting of Antonio Perkins is under investigation.
The disturbing video has gone on to be shared widely on Facebook and other social networking sites, and while several people have complained that Facebook should take it down because of its upsetting content, the social media giant has, not unlike in some previous cases, decided to keep the video online with the following disclaimer.
“Videos that contain graphic content can shock, offend and upset. Are you sure you want to see this?”
If you wish to view the entire video, you can do so by clicking here.
One of the thrills of live broadcasting is its unpredictable nature, but while previously channels and broadcasters usually had time to live edit a video to avoid grisly content from becoming available to the general public, the advent of live broadcasting on social media sites like Facebook and Periscope has meant that there are no moderators to filter the content anymore.
As a result, even in its brief history, social media has unwittingly contributed to a frenetic dissemination of disturbing visual content, including images and videos, without any sort of regulation. Moreover, the relatively new, and still flimsy, legal framework surrounding the distribution of such content has meant that neither social media sites, nor the people uploading such content, are liable for any distress it may cause.
This is another reason that violence in the public sphere has become so normalized in the world of internet, even as we attempt to devise new ways to get rid of it.
Just last month, another Chicago man inadvertently recorded his death on camera on a city street in broad daylight and broadcasted it live to viewers. In April, in an even more disturbing case, an 18-year-old teenager was accused of live streaming her friend’s rape live on Periscope. She faces a litany of charges, but the teenager later told the police that she was “filming in order to preserve, not to embarrass or to shame or to titillate anybody.”
Even so, the rampant growth of such unregulated and disturbing content online must be a cause of concern not only for the authorities but for the social media giants themselves. The visual evidence of the death of Antonio Perkins, as much as it may be helpful to the investigators, is certainly not meant to be seen by unsuspecting friends of the victim who might forever be haunted by the manner of his death.
[Image via Joyce Mosley/Facebook]