Jesse Jackson calls for Facebook Live moratorium

Angela Bronner Helm, The Root | 4/22/2017, 12:15 p.m.
The Rev. Jesse Jackson is echoing the thoughts and feelings of many by calling for an end to Facebook Live—at ...
Bilgin Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is echoing the thoughts and feelings of many by calling for an end to Facebook Live—at least temporarily.

Jackson and other Chicago officials want the company to drop its Live function for 30 days, in the wake of the death of 74-year-old Robert Godwin, who was shot and killed by Steve Stephens on the social media platform last week.

USA Today reports that Jackson, Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin and Chicago activist Father Michael Pfleger stood in front of Facebook’s Chicago offices on Friday to seek a meeting on the issue.

The men say that the 30-day period would allow Facebook a chance to create a mechanism that would allow for instant removal of disturbing and offensive content.

The video of the Easter Sunday murder of was allegedly reported to Facebook but it took almost two hours for Facebook staff to disable Stephens’ account. In the meantime, the video was shared with untold numbers of viewers who watched and shared the horrific content.

The moratorium would serve as “a time out” to help Facebook figure out how to prevent people from using it “as a platform to release their anger, their fears and their foolishness,” Jackson told USA Today.

“We have asked him to put an emergency button, a 911-type button to get videos to the front of the line to make sure they don’t stay up for several hours,” said Boykin.