Facebooks new Problem
Posted by Kevin Gesterling
Let me preface this by saying the following video we are going to mention has illegal content to it and I have not seen it. I am basing what I know of the video off of a Fox News report and I am using that as the basis of the story. I write this so that I can get a message across to the readers on how to handle a situation like this should it or other pictures/videos appear again on Facebook or other Social Media outlets.
This story also goes against our typical good natured stories you see on here. This is a serious story and I do apologize if you feel uncomfortable at the end of reading this blog. Let it be known that it was also no fun to make, so I can only imagine how it is to read.
If you want to feel free to reblog, or share this post, this could save you or a family member from being in legal trouble for unknowingly breaking the law.
Last night I was sitting in front of the TV watching the top stories on a local newscast and a news alert came up and it brought attention to a story that needs to be discussed, not because the story has anything to do with technology, entertainment, or sports but there is a major issue that people need to be aware of.
Let me quickly break down was the video was without going into details of the content, I do this for two reasons, firstly this is a clean website meant to entertain but also inform of potential internet threats out there. So the less details I give out here better off the website is, and secondly, the contents of the video according to reports are deeply disturbing to hear or read so I don’t want to disturb the reader.
So what was going around Facebook? Well according to a report report from Fox News there was a video that contained pornographic material featuring a minor. But that is all I will disclose, if you want to know more Fox News has some details on it on there site but I refuse to go into details of what the report says for the sake of keeping this as clean as possible.
So why does that belong here on a technology page? Well typically it doesn’t however I do have a couple of reasons in this instance. First of all, people were sharing the video under the hopes of trying to identify the man or child in the video. But according to the FBI the video has been around since 2005, so obviously in this case both parties no longer look the same as they did back in the timeframe this was made.
And this is not only the wrong way of doing this. But this kind of thing can get you in major trouble with the law because sharing, having possession or viewing such material is illegal in the United States and I assume most if not all other countries. If you are one of the people who accidentally ran into the video you should be okay since there was no intent.
With that said however Facebook has removed all known instances of this video from the website, and according to the Fox News article Facebook has a zero tolerance policy on such material as they should. No legitimate website should tolerate this kind of material on there websites. Not only for a liability reason, but also a moral reason.
I do want to bring up a few points though while this is being discussed and I feel may be helpful pointers moving forward. While this video was removed there is still a possibility that other videos like it can end up on Facebook again, I sure hope not, but there is always a chance for anything to happen on Facebook, I mean think of it Facebook has been involved in private legal battles between feuding spouses, kids, neighbors, etc., so Facebook isn’t a place where everyone is a Christian and there is no such thing as offensive material.
So with that said here are pointers on how to keep yourself safe:
- Do not open anything that looks off, for example if something is posted on your wall and you are not sure if it is legitimate or not. Or if it has a title that gives you a bad vibe then do yourself and others a favor and report the material.
- With that said, if it is a picture sharing page and it has a picture that you find offensive, there is no need to report the page, just move on to the next picture, or leave the page if it is full of filth. Certainly with that plea there are certain exceptions for example clear violations of Facebook rules such as nudity, and excessive violence depicted in the picture(s).
- If it is a picture or video violates state or federal law such as the one I spoke of earlier in the blog, DO NOT SHARE, contact police and let them know about it so that the original poster can be tracked. Sharing it opens up the possibility for legal problems. There is no good reason to share, not even in an attempt to identify the person(s) in the video/picture. The FBI has a website with cut outs of these people that you can share instead if you feel inclined to help which is also listed in the Fox News report.
- According to the local news report the line used with the video link was “Open if you are curious”. The video is now gone according to the report, but I share this in case you see something similar on Facebook
In all honesty, the best way to keep yourself safe is to follow basic Facebook viewing strategies. Some ideas here to help you know them:
- Don’t friend people you do not know in any way. If you are recommended a friend by someone then message both parties first to make sure this person is someone you want to talk to or associate with.
- No not give out personal information such as address, phone numbers, Your Social Security Number
- Never use the check in function, this may seem harmless, but there may be people you don’t know that see it and realize that you are not home. This opens you up to being robbed if not worse.
In short, you need to use common sense when you use Facebook, not just common sense but use your brain when you post. Like I mentioned in the past Facebook is a good site to connect with but there are still ways that you can be harmed if you are not smart.
Anything you do on Facebook can be looked into by:
- Law Enforcement if they have a warrant for it
- Potential employers, or current employers
- The Court System has and will continue to use Facebook posts as evidence in both legal and minor cases
So let me close this out by saying this, there is no reason the video I briefly spoke of earlier should have been shared by anyone never mind hundreds, if not thousands of people, that was a grave mistake on these posters part. Surely they did it for a good reason, but when you’re dealing with such material you cannot afford to share the video which so much riding on potential legal problems.
The graphic video got over 4,000 likes on facebook according to the Fox report, and I thought that was sickening. But I realize now why it did, it wasn’t the video that got the likes, it was mostly if not exclusively the meaning behind sharing it that got the video likes on Facebook. But even with that said, be careful with what you share because the choices you make may have severe consequences.