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Authorities Give 8 Important Tips To Do If You Witness A Crime On Facebook Live

Dozens of people watched as 15-year-old girl in Chicago was gang raped on Facebook Live, yet no one called the police.

Officers were only made aware of the attack when the teenager's mother told Superintendent Eddie Johnson that her daughter was missing, before handing him photographs of the alleged assault.
Detectives were immediately ordered to investigate and the department asked Facebook to remove the video.

Superintendent Johnson, he said, was "visibly upset" by the video’s content and the fact there were "40 or so live viewers and no one thought to call authorities."
Facebook spokesperson Andrea Saul said she had no specific comment on the Chicago incident but the company takes its "responsibility to keep people safe on Facebook very seriously."  She added: "Crimes like this are hideous and we do not allow that kind of content on Facebook."

Jeffrey Urdangen, a professor at Northwestern University's law school and the director of the school's Center for Criminal Defense, said it isn't illegal to watch such a video or to not report it to the police.
He also said child pornography charges wouldn't apply unless viewers were downloading the video.
It is the second time in months that the department has investigated an apparent attack that was streamed live on Facebook.

In January, four people were arrested after a mobile phone footage showed them allegedly taunting and beating a mentally disabled man. As Facebook Live grows in popularity, it's possible more criminals might use social media as a platform to exploit their victims.  The Chicago Police Department, offered some tips for what to do if you see something bad happening on social media.

1. Call 911

If someone is in danger or a crime is being committed, call the police immediately. If you can tell where the video is taking place, it's even more crucial that you reach out to police so they can respond.

2. Look for descriptive details

Even if you don't know where it is happening, providing key details about what you see can help save law enforcement time in tracking down the crime.

3. Report the post to Facebook

Users can flag videos for Facebook in order to bring harmful behavior to the company's attention. The company says it has a system in place to review questionable content around the clock. Facebook can then try to get in contact with police accordingly.

4. Record the video with your phone

The person who is going live has the ability to end the stream and delete the video at any point. Capturing your own video of the crime can help police if the person removes the stream. Taking a screenshot on your computer or phone of the live video and the person's profile can also help, Chicago Police said.

5. Don't share the video

6. Don't contact the person if they're committing a crime

7. What if someone is not committing a crime, but is doing something else that's concerning?

The behavior you see on Live may not warrant a response from police but should still be addressed. You can help a person being cyberbullied or expressing suicidal thoughts by acting quickly.

8. Report it to Facebook

Facebook has strict guidelines around cyber bullying and it removes "content that appears to purposefully target private individuals with the intention of degrading or shaming them," according to its Community Standards webpage.

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