Library of congress

Library of congress

Library of Congress bomb suspect was livestreamed on Facebook for hours before being blocked

The man accused of making a bomb threat in front of Congress Library posted lengthy broadcasts on Facebook several times in the morning.

library of congress Library of congress

A bakkie truck was parked on the side of the road in front of the Thomas Jefferson Building Library, as seen from a U.S. Capitol window, on Thursday. | Alex Brandon / AP Photo

The man accused of making a bomb threat near the Library of Congress spread his anti-government words several hours before Facebook posted his account on Thursday afternoon.

The man spread on social media as he sat in his car surrounded by state agents in Washington, D.C. He said his car would “explode” if security shot through his window.

A few hours after his threats began, Facebook spokesman Andy Stone said the company had removed the suspect’s profile from Facebook and Instagram. “We are in contact with law enforcement,” Stone said. “Our teams work to find, remove, and block any other instances of the suspect’s videos that we do not criticize, discuss neutrally about the incident or provide neutral news on the matter.” At least one of the videos was slightly reduced before 1 p.m., more than five hours after the suspect began texting at 7.30am during a visit to Washington, DC He arrived at the Library of Congress at 9 p.m. that his account has been downgraded.

The incident will certainly spark a new test of Facebook’s ability to detect and download dangerous and hot content – especially live streaming videos from people involved in criminal activities. Since the shooter broadcast live his assassination of 51 Muslim worshipers in Christchurch, New Zealand, Facebook has insisted it is working to ensure its products are not used to prevent or escalate violence. Two years ago, Facebook announced that it would impose new restrictions on its live broadcast tool in response to the Christchurch shooting.

On Thursday, video clips of the suspect were widely circulated on social media this morning, even after the actual closure of the stream itself. The man repeatedly said he wanted to speak to President Joe Biden by telephone and said he was making a threat on behalf of the people of Afghanistan. He turned his shotgun on himself when apprehended by a police officer on the porch of the house where the shootings took place. (Facebook maintains a policy against “criminal reporting” that prohibits “individuals from facilitating, planning, promoting or condoning certain criminal or harmful acts against persons, businesses, property or animals.”)

The man continued to spread as Capitol police and other law enforcement officers investigated his alleged possession of explosives on his truck, which he drove off the side of the road outside the Library of Congress. His threats led to the demolition of several conference buildings, raising concerns among those in the building during the Capitol Hill riots on January 6.

While Facebook has built up its ability to measure content that violates its policies, live streaming and live audio has long been invisible to the company as it is very difficult to use artificial intelligence and touch content managers to view recordings in real time. Facebook said it was currently removing content that praised or supported the suspect.

Critics have accused Facebook of failing to take action as people have used the platform to organize and intensify its visits to the Capitol Hill riots – and a recent spate of incidents may have fueled the flames.


Submitted by the Taliban

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