Skip to Content
Silicon Valley

Facebook is cracking down on live-streaming with bans for rule breakers

A woman looking at her smartphone beneath Facebook's logo
A woman looking at her smartphone beneath Facebook's logoAssociated Press

The aim is to minimize the risk of people using it to spread harm or hate.

The news: In a blog post, Facebook said that anyone who breaks its rules will be restricted from using its “Live” feature. There will be a 30-day ban for first offenses. Previously, Facebook usually did not bar users until they had repeatedly violated its rules.

The context: The move is a response to anger over the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, which was broadcast live on Facebook. It also comes ahead of an online-extremism summit in Paris cochaired by New Zealand’s prime minister, Jacinda Arden, and France’s president, Emmanuel Macron. Arden called it a “good first step.” However, some critics say it doesn’t go far enough and want Facebook Live to be shut down.

An arms race: A major challenge after the Christchurch attack was that people shared edited versions of the video, thus making it harder for Facebook’s systems to detect. To try and tackle the problem, Facebook is spending $7.5 million to find new techniques that can detect media that has been manipulated.

World police: Facebook must be hoping that by acting first, it might avoid more punitive action by governments further down the line (see the UK, or Australia). But it’s also a reminder of the hugely powerful, and ultimately unaccountable, role it plays in policing and moderating well over 2 billion people on the internet.

Sign up here to our daily newsletter The Download to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build

“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”

Meet the people who use Notion to plan their whole lives

The workplace tool’s appeal extends far beyond organizing work projects. Many users find it’s just as useful for managing their free time.

Learning to code isn’t enough

Historically, learn-to-code efforts have provided opportunities for the few, but new efforts are aiming to be inclusive.

Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google

Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.