Facebook Live: More Harm than Good?

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A new addition to Facebook’s list of ways that people can connect on the social network is Facebook Live. According to Facebook, Facebook Live is a way to have “engaging conversations with your followers… it is the best way to interact with viewers in real time, field their burning questions… and checkout their live reactions…”.

I have been using this as a tool to connect with followers at work recently, and I can attest that it has does what it is intended to do. In an organization with thousands of members located internationally, we were able to engage with them during a recent event, making them feel like they were actually in the room.

For companies and organizations hoping to connect with their constituents and build their followers, Facebook Live is a very useful tool. However, Facebook Live is not only available for groups, but also for individual users. Recently this has created a huge problem for Facebook because users are not always using this tool as it was intended.

Users have filmed themselves attacking others, being attacked by others, and even hurting themselves. These occurrences have been violent, graphic, and even resulted in death in some instances.

Facebook does have rules about what you can and cannot post, but it has been reported that they rushed the release of Facebook Live without properly anticipating these consequences and preparing for them.

While a good idea in theory, Facebook Live seems to have place Facebook in over its head. It will, when monitored correctly, allow for people to engage and connect with others more than ever before. FaceTime, a video calling platform for iPhone users, has connected people young and old, close by and far away, through the intimacy of face-to-face interactions even when through a screen. The difference between FaceTime and Facebook Live, is that Facebook Live allows a single person or entity to broadcast to hundreds of thousands of friends and followers, interact with them in real time, and answer their questions. I am excited to see how Facebook can enhance this experience to make it a safe and effective means of communicating online.

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One Response to Facebook Live: More Harm than Good?

  1. sydhavely says:

    Great post about Facebook Live, Molly. As to its downsides, that may fit in to one of Zuckerberg’s famous quotes: “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.” If there’s something broken, then he goes back and fixes it. That’s the Facebook way and I’m sure FB will do some sort of fix or workaround for the issue of inappropriate posts.

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