Social media's easy accessibility makes it susceptible to being used irresponsibly. It has taken over the lives of many just as fast as social networking services thinking of newer ways for people to share their lives and experiences. Even business establishments and organizations have a place in social media to reach their customers and followers better.
One of the more recent developments in Facebook comes in the form of Facebook Live where anyone can post live videos for their peers or patrons can see. However, just like other forms of social media, it is also vulnerable to abuse by using the service for a purpose that it wasn't meant for.
"Live" Videos That Aren't Live
As pointed out by John Constine of TechCrunch, there are a number of videos on Facebook Live that aren't really live. A specific example he gave was UNILAD's Facebook Live video of a spacewalk on the International Space Station in October, garnering over 19 million views. So what was the problem with the said video? It wasn't a live video, as it was apparently old footage from Russian cosmonauts in 2013. The page still has not taken down the video despite confirmation that it was, indeed, fake but their following continues to grow.
Another form of taking advantage that took over Facebook Live were countdowns and polls. Many of these cropped up before Christmas and New Year, and most of these "live" videos were just clocks counting down to a particular event. They were not live, but pre-recorded and posted for hours, again, for viewership, followers and likes.
"These fake videos are clearly designed to dupe the public and rack up views," says Constine. Above are just examples of false social media publishing for the sake of viewership and following. Further, these are not monitored nor reprimanded in any way.
Is There Real Danger In Posting Fake Live Videos?
The dissemination of fake information has been a problem on Facebook long before Facebook Live came along. One can see how easily wrong information can spread through social media since all it entails is one simple click to share the wrong information. Particularly problematic for Facebook was the spread of fake health articles that spread misleading information to people all over the globe.
From President Obama signing an order to ban the Pledge of Allegiance in Schools to Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump, fake news is scattered all over the social media site. This hurts Facebook's reputation so much so that they have announced plans to tackle the issue despite their claims that 99 percent of their content is genuine.
So what is the connection? Facebook Live has only been around for a while and yet it has already been used to send misleading information for the sake of likes and followers. There is no telling how else it can be used in the future for other purposes.
In his article, Constine listed a number of suggestions that he thinks can potentially give Facebook a chance to control the abuse of Facebook Live. In the list are a number of recommendations for stricter guidelines such as requiring anyone posting pre-recorded videos on Facebook Live to place a disclaimer of the actual time the video was shot. Further, should they adopt the stricter guidelines, his other suggestions focus more on giving Facebook an opportunity to punish publishers who will disregard them, such as decreased visibility or the revocation of their ability to use the service.