Tech Law

Periscope death prompts social media regulation and security fears

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By Tony Connelly | Sports Marketing Reporter

May 13, 2016 | 3 min read

The debate over social media regulation and user safety has come to the forefront of global news after a teenage girl live streamed her own suicide on Periscope.

Earlier this week a 19 year-old girl named Oceane used the popular live stream social media app to broadcast herself taking her own life when she reportedly jumped under a train at a station about 25 miles south of Paris.

The Twitter-owned app has since removed the video, and Twitter has issued a statement saying that it does not comment “on individual accounts”.

Periscope has been troubled with unsuitable content being streamed on its platform including assaults, deaths and rapes.

The app has strict guidelines about what content is allowed and also provides a link to allow users to report issues. It monitors the feeds and maintains that it is able to respond within minutes.

The incident has stimulated debate over the regulation of social media and whether Periscope could have contributed to some of the tragic incidents.

Xavier Pommereau, a psychiatrist at Bordeaux hospital, told the BBC that sites such as Periscope may influence someone to commit suicide, because "streaming amplifies the resonance of a phenomenon".

Some have suggested that an emergency button allowing users to send information to the police and emergency services should be incorporated into the app to help prevent incidents in real-time.

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