Facebook leads French police to live-streamed violent attack

Police were able to use the images and the livestreamer's Facebook account to track the incident to a house in a rural area of the Britanny region.
Police were able to use the images and the livestreamer's Facebook account to track the incident to a house in a rural area of the Britanny region.PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (DPA) - French gendarmes were able to arrest the perpetrator of a violent attack and rescue his victim after Facebook alerted them to a livestream of the attack, they said on Wednesday (Aug 7).

Facebook alerted authorities to the livestream, which showed a man holding a handgun beating another man violently and threatening to kill him, just after 5am (11am Singapore time) on Saturday (Aug 3).

Police were able to use the images and the livestreamer's Facebook account to track the incident to a house in a rural area of the Britanny region.

They entered the house at 7.20am and arrested the attacker without him having time to react, according to a statement. The victim was found in a state of shock and with a swollen face.

The attacker was sentenced to five years in prison, with one year suspended, after admitting to carrying out the attack and broadcasting images of it on social media.

Facebook alerted authorities through the French government's Pharos platform, which is also open to members of the public who come across illicit material of any kind online.