Social media platforms are always coming under fire for the content they allow – and disallow.
In this case, the live stream of a dying man was deemed inappropriate material by Facebook and the user was blocked by the company from streaming on its platform.
The story has gained attention because it highlights the somewhat complex nature of the decision-making calculus that probably goes on when social media companies regulate what their users post.
In a response to blocking user Alain Cocq, Facebook said, “Our hearts go out to Alain Cocq and those who are affected by this sad situation. While we respect his decision to draw attention to this complex and difficult issue, based on the guidance of experts, we have taken steps to keep Alain from broadcasting live, as we do not allow the depiction of suicide attempts.”
Suffering from a genetic condition that has causes his artery walls to stick together, FStoppers reports that Cocq has been in the terminal stage of his illness for the last 34 years. He is drawing attention to his inability to get voluntary euthanasia in his home country of France by starving himself.
In a letter to the President of France obtained by CNN, Cocq asks for the “right to die with dignity,” writing:
“I would like to make it clear to you that on this day I find myself in a situation of having on sound mind, confined in a dysfunctional body, crippled by suffering…I simply ask to leave with dignity, with active medical assistance, because my dysfunctional body prevents me from doing so surrounded by my family and my friends. Some use the term ‘active euthanasia' or ‘assisted suicide,' but for me the term most suitable is ‘end of life with dignity with active medical assistance.”
What do you think of Facebook’s decision in this case? Somewhat cold or makes sense given the platform? Let us know your thoughts on this story in the comments section below if you like.
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