Facebook Live is an important tool

Amber Matha, Opinion editor

On Easter Sunday, Steve Stephens of Cleveland, Ohio posted a Facebook video of him shooting and killing a 74-year-old man while he was walking home from his Easter meal. This was followed by a Live stream of him talking about the murder.

The supposed reason for the crime was due to Stephens’ monetary troubles and gambling issues.

The Erie community was concerned after this crime took place because of Stephens’ ties to the city. There were unfounded claims that he was spotted at a Wal-Mart near Erie.

As of 11 a.m. April 18, Stephens was found 2.5 miles away from campus at the old Burton Elementary School. He committed suicide in his vehicle outside of the school, police said.

Now, people are calling for Facebook to take down the Live feature, in fear that others may choose to act in similar ways.

I do not think that Facebook should take down the Live streaming. I think it is important, especially when major events are happening, that people are able to see what is going on. Facebook Live allows people to witness events as they are going on in other parts of the world just by clicking on a social media video.

Facebook Live allows for 24/7 streaming of events that news stations would not be able to cover in a three minute news segment.

For example, on April 15, I witnessed April the giraffe finally have her baby. April is enclosed at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, New York.

I, while I laid in bed and watched the live stream, would not have been able to see the birth in person.
Facebook gave me the next best option. Although I felt mildly ill and had no appetite for a couple hours afterward, I was so happy that after waiting over a month for that giraffe to pop out her baby, I finally got to see it.

I think the Live feature has also been used to broadcast social ills, like police brutality. It keeps people honest and can be used to document crimes from the victim’s point of view, not just the perpetrators.

Lastly, it’s fun. I have watched numerous Live broadcasts of Facebook and YouTube personalities that answer embarrassing questions to their viewers, host competitions between themselves and other personalities and campaign for programs that they feel passionately about.

These broadcasts bring the celebrity and the fans together in a way that, although not face-to-face, is meaningful to both parties.
I think it would be a shame to get rid of this feature because one person decided to misuse it.