With any new mode of communication, it takes a bit of time before we all agree on the appropriate etiquette—remember when people used to think it was cool to answer their phone in the movie theater? Sometimes what's not appropriate is not obvious to everyone. For evidence of this, look no further than some of these completely insane recent livestreamed events:
Even before the internet, birth was something we humans were inclined to share—we mailed birth announcements and baby photos, treating the birth of a child asna community event. Fakamalo Kihe Eiki of California took this one step further: on Saturday he used Facebook to livestream the birth of his child, so that friends and family could follow along in real time. No word on how mom felt about having a chorus of internet onlookers encouraging her to stay strong and push.
Two Ohio men were hit with felony charges after using Periscope to broadcast their desire to go on a shooting rampage in their neighborhood. At one point in the video, a toddler walks into the frame and is handed a loaded AR-15. The men promised to make good on the threat to shoot up the neighborhood if their stream got more than 100 views—instead, though, they just got caught.
When 18-year-old Marina Lonina watched as a guy tried to rape her friend, her first instinct wasn't to dial 911—it was to whip out her phone, launch Periscope and begin to livestream the whole ordeal. Eventually another friend saw the stream and called the police. Her attorney says that Lonina was trying to preserve evidence of the event but the Ohio prosecutor in the case alleges that she instead “got caught up in the likes.” She faces up to four decades in prison for her role in the assault. "For the most part," the prosecutor said in court, "[Lonina] is just streaming it on the Periscope app and giggling and laughing.”
It's hard to be stealth about skipping school when you livestream what you did while ditching. In Milwaukee earlier this year, three teens got busted after they skipped out on class for some at-home sex education. They used Facebook Live to broadcast the activity to their classmates. The students who watched the stream and who happened to be in health class at the time, reported that "the videos [included] a 14-year-old girl, a 15-year-old girl, and 15-year-old boy engaging in sex and sex acts." We imagine their parents were not happy.
Some helpful advice: don't livestream yourself committing a crime. When a Florida woman announced she was lost and driving drunk on Periscope, it didn't take long for cops to pinpoint her location. "Let's see if I can do it all the way home without a ticket," she told her audience. Guess not!
In what must be the saddest use of livestreaming, this month a young French woman used Periscope to record herself as she jumped in front of a train just south of Paris. The footage (available on YouTube with her death blacked out, if you're so inclined) is haunting. When one Periscope user asks if she is about to commit suicide, she answers, “No, I am not going to kill myself,” but added, “I have reached the point where nothing pleases me."
To reiterate, in case you missed it earlier, if you're going to do something illegal, don't broadcast it to the world. Some South Carolina revelers helped the cops do their job when they posted a live feed of a party where people were doing coke and smoking weed. After the cops received a tip about the video, they arrested 20 people, charging them with possession of drugs (and firearms—which weren't in the livestream but were in the house when the cops arrived).