The Risk of Livestreams

Widely used live streaming features are being criticized for their lack of moderation.


With a growing audience, and a growing number of content creators, live streaming has become a worldwide industry. Many streaming sites, such as Twitch and Chinese site Xiandanjia, pay their streamers using ad revenue or their subscriber base who pay a monthly fee to have perks. Websites such as Facebook and Instagram updated their sites in order to format a live streaming feature in order to connect more of their users together.

   With live streaming becoming as easily accessible as it is, the question on censorship throughout live streams arises. There have been multiple instances in which an event passed through restrictions on sites via live streams due to a lack of moderation on the stream. Although people can report the stream, the video is still streamed and saved on the website, making these videos available to many people.

   After a man uploaded footage of him murdering Robert Godwin Sr. on Facebook and then live streaming his discussion on the events which led up to the moment, many were angered over the amount of freedom and lack of security people have as they are live streaming. A similar incident occurred not long after where a man commuted murder suicide, again using Facebook’s live streaming feature. Commonly used streaming sites do require certain rules and regulations to be followed, or else they will be banned from streaming, but loosely regulated sites remain open to abuse by the streamer.

   People who usually view live streams to enjoy unedited versions of celebrities or well-known internet personas since they are allowed greater real-time interaction with the streamer would feel cautious about an increase in surveillance over these streams. Although the amount of people who use live streams as an opportunity to showcase violence is very low, the debate as to how one should moderate live streams across the world continues.

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