Live stream of fatal car crash raises safety, security concerns

- It’s a video that's gone viral for all the wrong reasons. An 18-year-old woman suspected of driving under the influence was arrested after a car crash that killed her 14-year-old sister near Los Banos. Most of the incident live streamed on Instagram.

A tech expert who spoke to KTVU Fox 2 said the video raises security and ethical questions. The video is drawing concerns from one mother who now limits her family's use of social media given all the violence.

Obdulia Sanchez from the Central Valley is the driver. In the video, Sanchez is seen smiling and throwing up signs focused on her phone and live Instagram video. Moments later, the car has crashed and she's standing next to her 14-year-old sister's body.
               
Madellyn Hill-Harper saw the Instagram video in its entirety.

“It’s the saddest thing ever,” said Hill-Harper. “My concern is there needs to be some type of restrictions in regards to snapping and the live shows. I think that was very disrespectful towards her family and it should have never aired.”

The video is the latest in a troubling trend where tragedies are captured and at times live. Last week, five teens in Florida recorded a drowning man but didn’t try to help. Back in April, a Cleveland man broadcasted a killing of an elderly man on Facebook Live.

“Nobody thinks about the negative consequences when they create these tools,” said Bob O’Donnell of Techanalysis Research. “They are thinking about all the fun, positive things but increasingly as these tools are being brought out in the world, I think people have to think through what are the worst case scenarios.”

O’Donnell said moving forward tech companies will likely address this growing problem with real-time monitoring using artificial intelligence based tools that will look for dangerous situations, cutting off feeds in advance.

“Companies are spending a lot of time, a lot of money,” said O’Donnell. “They are putting a lot of people on it and of course they are trying to apply some technologies to these issues but they aren't easy things to solve.”
               
Alisa Tawil also saw the Instagram video. She doesn't blame the technology.

“I don't think it’s Instagram,” said Tawil. “I think it has to do more education. Parents have to be more involved in their kids’s lives. I don't think we should blame the media.”

Instagram provided a statement to KTVU Fox 2 that said in part, “We're deeply saddened by this tragedy. We urge people to use our reporting tools if they see any content or behavior that puts anyone's safety at risk. We want to interrupt these streams as quickly as possible when they're reported to us."

Instagram went on to say live video is a new and growing format and the company will continue to make improvements. It also said the original video was removed because of its graphic nature and it will remove any additional uploads.

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