Facebook Failed To Remove X-Rated Video That May Have Resulted In Someone’s Murder

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Kyle Perisic Contributor
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Facebook reportedly failed to remove an X-rated video in time that may have resulted in a gang mistaking someone they believed was in the video and killing him.

The video, a 17-second clip of a couple having sex, featured one individual who bares a strikingly similar resemblance to the deceased Lesandro Guzman-Feliz, 15, who was murdered in a knife attack on the night of June 20.

The gang allegedly attacked and killed Guzman-Feliz because they believed he was the male in the video who had sex with the sister of one of the gang members in the video that made its way on Facebook, which someone first posted on Snapchat, the New York Post reported.

Guzman-Feliz was a student at the Dr. Richard Izquierdo Health and Science Charter School in The Bronx. He was able to run to the hospital after he was attacked, but he was stabbed several times including in the throat. He died later that night at the hospital.

Facebook unveiled new “Community Standards” that “restrict the display of nudity or sexual activity because some people in our community may be sensitive to this type of content” in April.

Facebook took down 21 million pieces of nudity and sexual activity in the first three months of 2018 and claims 95 percent “was found and flagged by our technology before it was reported,” according to its first quarter report.

In an effort to stop the spread of revenge porn — when an individual’s nude images are posted on the internet without his or her consent — Facebook is developing a program that would automatically block nude photos better.

In order to develop such a program, Facebook is feeding the program individuals’ images using machine learning — the more it feeds it, by essentially telling the computer which images contain nudity and which don’t, the better it gets at recognizing nudity.

The trade-off is if an individual doesn’t want a nude photo of themselves spread on Facebook or its subsidiaries Messenger and Instagram, he or she might have to submit one to Facebook.

Some digital rights groups have criticized collecting people’s nude images, but there doesn’t seem to be another way to create what’s called a “digital fingerprint” that allows a program to automatically recognize individuals’ sensitive image.

“Facebook: We didn’t protect your data and we are sorry. We will do better. Also Facebook: Yo, send us your nudes,” advocacy group Fight for the Future tweeted on May 24. (RELATED: Facebook Suspends User For Mocking Terrorists Two Years Later)

Facebook security chief Alex Stamos defended the program and hit back with a rebuttal later that day, saying the group doesn’t understand the issue.

“I’m sad to see a civil rights advocacy organization approach an issue of such impact with shallow snark,” Stamos wrote. “They clearly did not read the original post by my incredible colleague […] nor comprehend the hard tradeoffs in dealing with revenge porn.”

Follow Kyle on Twitter @KylePerisic

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