Social Media Advances Can Bring Online Horrors

(CBS) — Advances in social media gave the suspects the tools to share their crime instantly.

CBS 2’s Vince Gerasole takes a look at the dangerous ripple effects.

In a nation drawn to laptops and smartphones, the Facebook torture video has been unavoidable.

“What scares me most is they just didn’t care they were doing this to another person,” Bo Vaughn of the South Loop says.

Says Tamara Younkins of West Town: “The fact that people are posting crimes live is kind of terrifying, but social media is encouraging us to do that.”

It may be the unintended byproduct of Facebook’s push for users to share their stories live.

As the troubling video reached thousands, real-time comments included “Ya’ll can’t be this stupid” and “Going to jail and one day to hell.”

“I think it’s a sickness,” says Christopher Mallette of Chicago Violence Reduction Strategy.

His non-profit studies the intersection of social media, gangs and violence.

“We need to weigh the benefits that come, but also the challenges and detriments that come with advanced technology,” Mallette says.

When made aware of the post, Facebooks 24/7 Standards Team pulled it, saying, “We do not allow people to celebrate or glorify crimes on Facebook and have removed the original video.”

A similar video showing the victim’s head dunked in a toilet surfaced on Twitter and was also removed. Disgusted viewers reported it to a standards team, but could they do much more?

“If you’re just a viewer and I don’t know where it’s taking place, I wouldn’t know what to do,” Vaughn says.

Thoughts to ponder on the violent side of the cyber age.

 

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