Living in the era of streaming video

In france, an IS supporter brushed himself off for the murder, and in the U.S., a man who was filming himself live was shot dead on the street; the video is also being circulated more widely by media outlets

When on 13. June, larossi abbali killed a policeman and his wife in their home in magnanvile near paris, he did something that attracted widespread media attention. After the murder, he recorded himself with the camera of his smartphone and spread the video in real time through facebook accounts. He pledged his allegiance to the islamic state, threatened to carry out more attacks, and considered killing the couple’s three-year-old son as well. Shortly after, police stormed the house, shot the murderer and took the child to safety.

Facebook removed the video after becoming aware of it. But the ability for any user to stream or watch live videos via twitter’s periscope and, more recently, via the facebook app, also offers a new opportunity to circulate unfiltered content. Abbali has shown what this can mean. Those who want to spread fear and terror or find followers for the mass-murderous IS sect can now also spread their attacks and atrocities live on the internet as snuff videos in real time – even with the speculation that the videos will continue to be spread despite a blocking that occurs.

While until now the IS or other terrorist organizations have staged executions for the camera and recorded attacks and assaults, but could only broadcast them with a time delay, videos can now be distributed quickly. This could also drive narcissistic spree killers and suicide bombers to new stagings. It has just become known that omar mateen, the mass murderer of orlando, wanted to find out as quickly as possible whether and what immediate resonance his deed would receive on the internet and in the media. Driven by the will for attention, he also called a television station and the emergency number. Here, too, the event was to be broadcast live and in real time, the score was to be determined, and the perpetrator was to be staged.

But with the live videos, recordings of events of all kinds become accessible for the viewers of the global village, but also for the secret services and law enforcement agencies, even those whose dissemination was not planned by the recorders, images of accidents, disasters or crimes, for example. One example is a live video purporting to show a man in chicago on 15. June was shot dead in the street.

Antonio perkins had recorded himself with a smartphone after a young woman had first filmed himself and the surroundings on the quiet street. There doesn’t seem to have been a purpose to the live video. Perkins sets the scene, chats something, drinks lemonade, seems content with himself and the world until he sees and says something: "boy, stop playin’." suddenly we hear shots, perkins collapses, the video goes dark after the smartphone falls into the grass, we can still hear screams, apparently they are trying to cut off the blood flow. Then the police come and ask the bystanders to step down. In the hospital his death is determined.

Life in the time of video streaming

Antonio perkins in the video he streamed live.

Police found the video on his smartphone. Perkins had served a two-year prison sentence for manufacturing drugs and was on a police-run list of people at high risk of becoming victims of gang crime. Already in march, a young man was killed while streaming a live video.

In contrast to the video of the french IS supporter, the videos of the two black men killed during a livestream are still available on the internet. Even media outlets like the chicago tribune or nypost show the videos and write about them only as a warning: "graphic content". Police said they would take the video into account in the investigation, but apparently don’t mind it continuing to circulate. The video can still be found on facebook on an account that the company is also aware of.

In response to an inquiry from quartz, facebook said it was aware that there were particular ies with the content and security of live videos. It appears that the company no longer relies solely on user feedback to report questionable videos, but wants to increase its own control of live videos: "it is a heavy responsibility, we are working to find the right balance between enabling the deception of opinion and providing a safe and respectful experience." quartz itself significantly does not question the attitude of media to continue showing the video. And facebook appears to have kept the video’s distribution within the confines of a "safe and respectful experience" to find.

Between 400 and 500 people are murdered in chicago every year. In just 12 hours from wednesday to thursday last week, 13 people were wounded by firearms, some presumably just walking or driving by.

A man was shot in a park from an SUV early thursday morning. Another man was also shot during the night by a passing vehicle. During a robbery of a cell phone the robbed person was injured by a shot in the back. On wednesday, according to the bloody chronicle, not only perkns was killed, but two young men playing basketball were also shot at and injured by a passerby. Earlier, a man and a woman had again been shot at and injured in a drive-by shooting. Earlier, at 17:30, three young men walking along a street were shot at from a vehicle and injured. Another man was hospitalized with gunshot wounds. In another case, three men seem to be at loggerheads. One apparently pulled out a firearm and fired at the other two.

From saturday to sunday, 3 people died from gunshot wounds, 48 were wounded. A shot was fired every 47 minutes, according to the chicago tribune.

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