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Deactivating social media accounts at law enforcement’s request




One of the protesters streams live video as they face off with Baton Rouge police July 8, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Alton Sterling was shot by a police officer in front of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge on July 5th, leading the Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation.
One of the protesters streams live video as they face off with Baton Rouge police July 8, 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Alton Sterling was shot by a police officer in front of the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge on July 5th, leading the Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation.
Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

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Citizen journalism, including live tweeting and even more recently, live streaming, has given the public the option to document events from their perspective.

But live streaming wasn’t an option for Korryn Gaines on Monday, when she was shot dead Monday by Baltimore County police. What began as a live stream quickly ended after law enforcement requested that her Facebook and Instagram accounts be deactivated.

Law enforcement can request that accounts be suspended via the Law Enforcement Online Request System, but is it legal or ethical to do so? Activists claim this is another way to silence the public’s narrative. When should Facebook or other live streaming services be deactivated?

Guests:

Baynard Woods, Covers Baltimore, Maryland for The Guardian, and has written about Facebook deactivating Korryn Gaines’ account per the request of the Baltimore Police Department; he tweets from @baynardwoods

Charlie Warzel, senior writer for BuzzFeed News who writes about the intersection of tech and culture. He’s been reporting on Facebook and its livestreaming service after a couple instances of police-involved shootings were livestreamed on the social media site