November 12, 2019

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide video streamed live, still available on social media platforms

Munir Ahmad Kalwar, a 25 year old from Ghotki, Sindh committed suicide in a Facebook live video almost two days ago. The video, which was streamed from his own Facebook account, showed a visibly emotional Munir, repeatedly saying he wants the courage to commit suicide but doesn’t seem to have it.

The video aired around 4pm on October 21 and was available on the platform for over 5 hours, when more people became aware of its existence. At some point, the video was removed from his Facebook account but is still available on other links on the platform. The same video was also uploaded to YouTube and was available on the platform for much longer. YouTube still has a portion of the original video, which does not show the suicide itself. The video was also uploaded to Twitter and is available on the platform.

“The fact that Munir is speaking in Sindhi might have been the reason for the ineffective response from platforms. However, the images within the video remain violent in nature, and it is important that it is removed,” says Sadaf Khan, Co-Founder and Director Programs at Media Matters for Democracy.

Facebook introduced its live stream feature in 2016 and since then the feature has been used in multiple ways, two that stood out was the living streaming of a police shooting in the US. Last year in March though Facebook came under severe criticism a shooter in Christchurch, New Zealand live streamed his shooting of a 50 Muslims who had gathered at a Mosque for Friday prayers.

Written by

Zafar Nizamani is a Project lead at Media Matters for Democracy

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