The unthinkable happened recently. A reporter, a cameraman and an on-air guest were gunned down in Roanoke, Virginia by a disgruntled employee. Unfortunately, the killing of two people and wounding of another in and of itself is not that remarkable. What made this incident so shocking was the fact it was the news media that was targeted and it happened on live television.
In what can only be described as very disturbing, the suspect used a camera, recorded the shooting and uploaded it along with various comments to Twitter and Facebook. The suspect not only had a desire to kill people, he also wanted to make sure the world would see what he had done. Fortunately, both Facebook and Twitter closed his account quickly but not before the video was viewed and shared by many.
See the story and videos below.
It is not unusual to see video posted on various social media platforms showing shootings, assaults and just about any other type of crime you can imagine. People seem to have an insatiable appetite to view these caught in the act videos. In most cases, the incidents are filmed by others and then posted online. However, I am really not talking about incidents that are caught on camera by bystanders, witnesses or surveillance video. Instead, I am talking about incidents or crimes recorded on purpose and then posted online.
I am sure you have seen many of these videos. The beat down of some poor kid by a group of bullies, the sexual assault filmed by friends or the robbery or other crime filmed by one of the accomplices to name a few. This is the dark side of social media. The side we don’t want to talk about or acknowledge. Unfortunately, this particular crime and video has taken this need for public attention to the next level; the level where the suspect films his or her crime and then posts it online for everyone to see.
Hopefully, this is not the beginning of a trend. I can only imagine how a mentally unstable person might view the circumstances in this case and decide to do something similar.
Unfortunately, as long as there are people willing to watch these videos and the news media provides such extensive coverage, this trend will likely continue.