Should Social Media companies be forced to collaborate with law enforcement, in EU?

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    Hi all,

    I have recently learned that Facebook doesn’t share videos of child abuse with the law enforcement, but what they do instead, is simply deleting them. To me, this looks unacceptable on so many levels as Social Media has become a major factor in our lives — even the backwards communities use Social Media and through it, we can get a glimpse of what is happening in these communities.

    I have seen videos of children being beaten, of animals being beaten, even not too long ago a video in which a child was armed by his father with a stick to hit their own mother. These videos are being deleted and that’s about it. There is no channel to properly pass this forward, to the authorities.

    I know and I understand that there is a continuous debate about privacy and the role of the government in our private lives but where do you actually draw the line. It is alright for me to look an old guy being beaten one meter away from me and do literally nothing? Not even yell “Hey, this guy here…”? If I intervene, sure, I could get myself abused, but there is no danger for a tech giant. If you film yourself hitting your helpless child, the police should get the video, end of story — in my opinion.

    It is absolutely ridiculous how we allow these companies to dodge a simple but essential civic duty. The moment you break the law and post it online, being proud of it, should be the moment when you give up certain rights, inside that network.

    I am looking into writing and working on a ECI (European Citizen’s Initiative) to submit to the European Commission but before that, I wanted to see if there’s any other points of view or if I am looking at this from a wrong direction.

    PS: I am not saying that there should be a law in place according to which Google or Facebook has to pass all your personal information to the police the moment you film yourself littering. But there should be an enforced mechanism that would move these videos and these images to the authorities so they’d have a starting point for any possible investigations.


    Please let me know what you think.


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    I think morally it would be a good idea but logistically and legally for Facebook it would be a complete nightmare. They’d need staff to go through each video and review it then know where to send it.

    Also if they have no idea who’s actually in that video or the location it creates a lot of false leads and headaches for law enforcement who also doesn’t have the time nor staff to deal with every little thing sent to them.

    It’s not as simple as sending a video to “the authorities” because authorities have different jurisdictions and there’s way too many in the world to know which one to send it to.

    The current model (I believe) is law enforcement can request video from FB as needed and is likely the best model for the problem.


    Actually listened to a very good episode of the podcast “Simply Podlogical” where they said how you enforce the law depends on whether you view social media as a utility or a luxury. It was on internet censorship, you should listen if you are at all interested in this topic about what social media should be responsible for.

    In other words have we reached the point where social media is so ingrained in some cultures that it should be treated as a public service more like water and electric and therefore heavily regulated by the government or should it remain a luxury owned by private services that noone has an inherent right to.

    Although morally it’s obvious that Facebook and other platforms share potential evidence of horrendous crimes… Legal logistics wise it does open a can of worms. If they have to cooperate with law enforcement they are no longer treated like any other private legal entity.


    I’m going to have to agree that logistically this would be a nightmare, and that’s *if* we could guarantee that whatever law puts this into practice also doesn’t have a chance to infringe on regular users’ privacy.

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