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Social media fails another crime victim

Paul Brislen, Editor. 17 July 2019, 8:05 am

Instagram, and its owner Facebook, are back in the news for all the wrong reasons, following a murder and attempted suicide in the US state of New York.

Brandon Clark has been charged with murdering Bianca Devins, aged 17, and then posting photos of her body on Instagram and to the gamer VoIP app Discord. Instagram removed the initial photos but has struggled to keep up with the number of reshares of the image.

The posting comes only months after the Christchurch terror attacks were streamed live on Facebook, prompting calls for Facebook and other social media giants to do more to manage the content their users produce.

In March, Facebook assured its users and the public that it would review how it operates and consider making changes to its business model. Nothing has eventuated, although in May the company announced it would make it more difficult for users who had broken certain rules on the site to publish live video. The announcement came the day before the Paris meeting organised by the New Zealand and French Prime Ministers to discuss how best to proceed with regulating social media outlets that don't police themselves.

Meanwhile reposts of the gruesome images in this latest killing continue to circulate on Instagram and other social media sites. Friends and supporters of Devins has begun posting images of pink clouds, a favourite of Devins', to "help drown out the pics by tagging her and using the hashtags," one highly shared meme said.


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