YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio - For the first time, a federal lawmaker is speaking out about the Cleveland murder posted on Facebook and saying he is exploring a new law to restrict violence on social media sites.
Congressman Tim Ryan represents people from Akron to Youngstown. The Facebook killing horrified him just as it did so many other people nationwide.
Last month, a man drove up to Robert Godwin, Sr. randomly, shot him to death, then posted the video on Facebook.
Ryan says he’s looking at a new law to ”protect our citizens from this kind of violence that we’re getting really tired of.” He added, "The law on these topics is still evolving. So we need to be very thorough, very methodical, but recognize we don't want to increase violence. And we don't want to impede the first amendment. How do we thread the needle on that?”
This push is encouraging to Joy Lane. Her boyfriend did the killing and blamed her for his violence in his postings. That left her in the spotlight. She referred to the laws regarding social media saying, "I think they need to be revised to address the emerging concerns that we all have." She added, "I think if we come together as a people to try to put in some kind of parameters and laws and guidelines, that's really where this discussion begins.”
The Godwin family has called for some kind of Godwin’s Law, but the family had no comment for this story.
A Facebook spokesperson released a statement about the new developments saying, “Keeping people on Facebook safe is the most important thing we do. We work hard to make Facebook as safe as possible while enabling free speech. This requires a lot of thought into detailed and often difficult questions, and getting it right is something we take very seriously.”
Facebook is also hiring 3000 people to help review content.
Meantime, Congressman Ryan says his next step will be to reach out to other lawmakers and the social media companies to get input before crafting a specific bill.