Periscope, the livestreaming app for Twitter, is at the center of a controversy in Ohio where a sheriff last week charged an 18-year-old woman with broadcasting the sexual assault of her friend.
According to a report by NPR, prosecutors charged Marina Lonina with kidnapping, rape, sexual battery and distributing child pornography. Those prosecutors claim she used Twitter’s Periscope to livestream the rape of a 17-year-old.
NPR says Lonina’s attorney insists she was livestreaming the rape in attempt to get the alleged rapist to cease.
But prosecutor Ron O’Brien told NPR that was not the case.
“She told police she continued to livestream it,” O’Brien told NPR, “because she got caught up in the likes that were showing up on her screen. And she didn’t call 911. She giggled throughout.
“You can hear the victim screaming ‘Stop,’ ‘Don’t,’ ‘Please,’ crying.”
Raymond Boyd Gates, 29, was charged with the rape.
NPR said it had not received a comment from Twitter about the incident. We’ve also reached out to Twitter for comment will update with any response.
As Twitter and now Facebook have embraced more and more live video, they are faced with the challenge of monitoring disturbing and pornographic content. Their ability to stay on top of that issue could could go along way to determining whether these services gain wider mainstream adoption, or whether they become NSFW niches.