A Sydney man has pleaded guilty to assaulting his pregnant partner whilst the audio of the assault was live-streamed via Fortnite’s streaming platform, Twitch. Video of the incident wasn’t broadcast, but the shocking audio of the assault was reportedly witnessed by a number of Fortnite players who soon reported the video to police.
The accused man is 26 year old Luke James Munday, who appeared in Picton Local Court facing an assault charge following his arrest over the incident in December 2018. According to New South Wales law, if Munday is found guilty, he could face up to two years prison.
Munday pleaded guilty to the assault and sources say he did show remorse. An agreed statement of facts revealed the assault occurred after Munday’s partner repeatedly told him to stop playing. The couple’s children were in the home at the time the violence broke out.
Whilst Munday was immediately banned from Twitch following the incident and arrest last year, there’s no denying that live-streaming services bear a hefty risk to the safety of both users and the wider society. A number of tragic incidences have occurred on gaming platforms, with their details broadcast online for others to witness.
News of these incidences prompts us to question the safety of live-streaming platforms. It only takes one look at the tragic Christchurch incident to understand how such platforms can be gravely misused. If we are to have such hugely-reaching platforms at our fingertips, many believe the onus is on regulators to ensure society is safe from any misuse. Others worry this increased regulation, and arguably censorship, impedes on our freedoms in the online space.
Munday will be sentenced toward the end of August.