Death and Facebook Live

Posted by Christie Szymanowski | Jul 10, 2017 | Anxiety, Fake News, Social Media Anxiety Disorder of the Week | 0 |

These posts generally have a fair amount of satire and sarcasm mixed in, but it’s time to talk about something a little more serious just this once. Usually, when social media causes people anxiety, it’s little things that don’t end up having much of an effect on their lives or well-being.

What we’re going to talk about today, however, isn’t really a laughing matter. Honestly, I tried to come up with an amusing way to spin it, but it just didn’t feel right.

What am I talking about? Facebook Live murders and suicides.

The problem with Facebook live is that there’s no good way to filter out violent content. It’s not like YouTube, where videos of people’s deaths can be reported and removed. With Facebook Live, shit’s going down in real time.

Most content ends up lost in the void of the internet. It’s either dumb, boring, funny but not funny enough to go viral, or cringingly confessional. But occasionally, someone commits a truly upsetting or atrocious act on Facebook Live, and streamers are subjected to witnessing it.

On Saturday, May 13th, Memphis resident Jared McLemore went live on Facebook, doused his body in kerosene, and lit himself on fire before running off-screen to a local bar to also set his ex-girlfriend, Alyssa Moore, on fire. She made it out okay. However, he later died from his injuries.

While it’s not known how many people have watched the video, news of the occurrence traveled quickly. Although Facebook has since removed it, the footage has been uploaded to other sites (but that doesn’t mean you should watch it).

I’m not a therapist, so I can’t make recommendations on the best route to take if you witness a Facebook Live murder or suicide. All I can say is this: do what’s best for your mental health. If you think it will help to talk to someone, do it – especially if you know the person who died on Facebook Live. If you want to make a donation to a victim or their family, go ahead. If you want to volunteer for a suicide prevention program, you should.

Thankfully, people do come together when horrible situations like this happen. Friends of Moore, an independent musician who McLemore had stalked and attempted to murder once before, have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for her damaged equipment and trauma therapy has raised over $27,000.

Back in April, after Cleveland resident Steve Stephens live streamed his murder of Robert Godwin, people from all over the world came together and donated to his funeral fund. McDonald’s employees even bravely stalled Stephens to give the police some time to catch him.

Mark Zuckerberg has also announced that Facebook is hiring 3,000 new employees so that they’d be better prepared to take down disturbing content.

Because of its format, Facebook Live tends to have a negative effect on our anxieties, and Zuckerberg and Co. really need to handle these situations better. Until that happens, make sure you take care of yourself.

This post was created with the help of Grammarly.

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About The Author

Christie Szymanowski

Christie is the least funny person we know when it comes to conversational humor. However, once you put a pen in her hand, her humorous observational skills come to life like never before. She's like the Jekyll & Hyde for our office.In her spare time, she likes to knit and we don't know much else because she keeps to herself for the most part. Many people at the office think she doesn't really like us much, due to the eerily similar looking voodoo dolls of us that she keeps her knitting sticks in.

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