Amazon Twitch: Some Thinking and Work to Do

October 10, 2019

I assume that this Verge story is accurate: “An Anti-Semitic Shooting in Germany Was Live-Streamed on Twitch.” Twitch allegedly said:

We are shocked and saddened by the tragedy.

Okay, but it is time for:

  • Time delays in Twitch streams
  • More aggressive content takedowns for soft porn, transmission of commercial television shows, and interesting online gambling sessions, among others
  • Elimination of a banned user under one name (SweetSaltyPeach) now streaming as RachelKay.

The Verge reports:

Today’s attack echoed the March mass shooting of Muslims in Christchurch, New Zealand — which was streamed on Facebook Live. In today’s roughly 35-minute video, a man is seen shooting two people and attempting unsuccessfully to break into the synagogue. He also gives a brief speech into the camera, railing against Jews and denying that the Holocaust happened. Two people have been confirmed dead in today’s attack, and German law enforcement has raised the possibility that multiple attackers were involved. Only one perpetrator appears in this video.

Were young kids and young adults watching murder in real time? The Verge dances around the point:

It’s unclear how many people watched the initial stream or how many copies may have been archived at Twitch — which is owned by Amazon — or on other sites. Extremism researcher Megan Squire reported that the video was also spread through the encrypted platform Telegram, with clips being viewed by around 15,600 accounts. The Christchurch shooting was viewed live by only a few people, but reuploaded roughly 1.5 million times after the attack — so dealing with the aftermath will be a real concern. Complicating this is the fact that video of the attack — from people besides the perpetrator — is newsworthy footage. But as all social networks continue to fight hate content, live videos of shootings are a uniquely sensitive issue for live-streaming platforms.

Amazon wants to be a player in the policeware market. Amazon Twitch streaming crime is one thing. I might even believe it if the driver of the Bezos bulldozer opined, “Well, that’s a lot of video to screen.”

I think streaming murder just may be more important because what advertiser wants a pre-roll before a series of killings?

Does a live stream encourage illegal activity?

DarkCyber opines that the answer is, “Yes.”

The good old days are dead just like those who were killed on the Twitch stream.

Responsibility, not arrogance may be useful.

Stephen E Arnold, October 10, 2019

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