MENLO PARK (CBS SF) — As the manhunt for a killer who shot a man to death and posted it on Facebook continues, the social network is facing tough questions over why it took three hours to remove the gruesome video.
The horrific post showed 37-year-old Steven Stephens shoot an elderly man in the head. He dubbed it an “Easter Day slaughter.”
Under fire, Facebook has responded in its own defense with a blog post in the form of a timeline:
On Sunday at 11:09 a.m., Stephens allegedly posted a video claiming he was about to commit murder;
Two minutes later at 11:11, he posted a video showing him calmly walking up to Robert Godwin, Sr., and after a brief conversation, pulling out a gun and firing;
After that, the suspect appears on Facebook Live at 11:22 a.m., confessing to the murder;
At 12:59 p.m. Facebook gets its first report about the fatal shooting video;
Finally, at 1:22 pm, the Stephen’s account is disabled and all videos are removed.
Facebook said, “We disabled the suspect’s account within 23 minutes of receiving the first report about the murder video, and two hours after receiving a report of any kind. But we know we need to do better.”
The Menlo Park-based company is gearing up for its largest ever F8 Developer Conference in San Jose this weekend. Some 4,000 people from around the world are expected to attend.
Participants will likely be talking about the horrific crime and how technology like artificial intelligence can be used to help the thousands of screeners around the world help detect and block reported content.
Meanwhile, police in Cleveland have no idea where the suspect is. The feds have put up a $50,000 reward for his capture.
“I think we can say without a doubt, he’s armed,” Police Chief Calvin Williams told reporters.
A sense of fear has gripped Cleveland and the surrounding area ever since Stephens shot the 74-year-old Godwin as he was picking up aluminum cans.
Someone called 911 and to report a possible sighting of the gunman Monday afternoon. Police closed several blocks and put schools on lockdown.
After interviewing many of the suspect’s friends and family, the motive for the killing is still unclear.
“I don’t think there’s any rhyme or reason for it happening,” said Williams. “I don’t think there’s anything we can point to specifically to say that this is what sparked this.