Mark Zuckerberg has shared a Facebook post in which he discusses the video of Philando Castile’s fatal shooting at the hands of a police officer that was shared live on the social network.
Castile, who was shot several times during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and later died from his wounds, was filmed by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, in the aftermath of the incident.
Facebook initially took down Reynolds’ alarming video only to restore it later. At the time, the initial removal of the clip was blamed on a “technical glitch,” but saw some users accuse the site of censorship. The broadcast has now been viewed over 4.5 million times since it was first posted on Wednesday.
The video has once again brought Facebook’s burgeoning live-streaming tool into the spotlight in connection with the posting of sensitive material to a massive, public platform. For his part, Zuckerberg attempted to address the issues that have surfaced from the incident, and offered his condolences to Castile’s loved ones.
“My heart goes out to the Castile family and all the other families who have experienced this kind of tragedy. My thoughts are also with all members of the Facebook community who are deeply troubled by these events,” writes the Facebook CEO.
“The images we’ve seen this week are graphic and heartbreaking, and they shine a light on the fear that millions of members of our community live with every day,” adds Zuckerberg. “While I hope we never have to see another video like Diamond’s, it reminds us why coming together to build a more open and connected world is so important — and how far we still have to go.”
The Facebook founder does not directly discuss censorship in the post, but his statement highlights Facebook Live as a tool for change. Whether this means that Facebook will be more lenient in in permitting the posting material of public interest, no matter its graphic nature, remains to be seen.
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