Ethics of Live Broadcasting: What You Should Know

Just like most forms of media, live broadcasting has faced its fair share of controversy. As it grows in popularity, the recording and sharing of live videosbrings its own set of unique challenges, especially for the social media platforms and apps utilizing the technology. Facebook Live, for example, has faced scrutiny regarding the live streaming of violent videos. Recently, the fallout from an Uber driver who was broadcasting his riders without their permission brought up concerns about filming without consent. No matter the type of controversy, however, the question remains: What are the Ethics of Live Broadcasting?

While individuals must be mindful of how and what they broadcast live, companies and brands are held to even higher standards. Live broadcasting is an incredible tool for marketing, sharing company updates, and connecting with customers, but there are a few steps businesses across all industries should take before pressing record.

Establishing Guidelines

While platforms like Facebook Live have guidelines for posting content, they are not necessarily in line with the values of all companies. Also, because thousands or even millions of live videos are posted at once, monitoring and flagging all inappropriate content in a timely manner is virtually impossible. Some videos can remain available to view for minutes, hours, or days before they’re flagged and taken down.

When businesses implement their own live broadcasting technology, they have complete autonomy when it comes to monitoring their content. Any behavior deemed not in line with the business’s values can be immediately removed by the company itself, without permission or approval from a provider or platform. Because they have implemented their own technology, they don’t have to adhere to a third party’s community standards and retain complete control over the content featured.

To create transparency with viewers during a live broadcast and ensure the safety of everyone involved in live broadcasts, create your own guidelines for participation, share and refer to them often, and act swiftly when they are violated. If necessary, a team of people should be assigned to monitor all content, including comments or group chat, during live broadcasts.

Curating Content Carefully

While companies should be conscious of how their viewers participate in live broadcasts, their most important consideration should be what they post themselves.

People look to live broadcasts for engaging, authentic experiences. While posting extreme or dangerous content might seem like an easy way to get views, posting controversial content can also be a deterrent to your customers. Instead, focus on creating content that is true to your brand’s mission and goals. Show your audience how your products are made or talk to your company’s best and brightest for an exclusive interview geared toward those interested in your industry. If want to do something especially creative, consider putting your own twist on the latest video trends, like a live version of the #InMyFeelings dance challenge.

Posting with Permission

It may seem like an obvious task, but asking all parties involved in a live broadcast for their permission to be recorded live is vital to the safety and privacy of all participants. This is especially important any time you stream outside of your company’s offices, as some venues and events don’t allow video recording of any type. Broadcasting intellectual property or copyrighted material is not just wrong; it can lead to expensive fines.

If you plan on involving your users in the live broadcasting experience similar to the way live game show app Gravy lets players participate via video, let them know beforehand. Again, refer your audience to your guidelines for participation.

While ethics in live broadcasting may remain a hot-button topic for some time, both individuals and businesses can avoid any ethical grey areas in live broadcasting by taking advantage of their own channels, establishing clear content guidelines, and posting content that not only elevates their brand but contributes positively to the live broadcasting community.