Facebook and Twitter suspend Virginia TV station shooter’s accounts
NEW YORK — Facebook and Twitter suspended the accounts of the shooter suspected in Wednesday’s deaths of two Virginia television journalists.
A user by the name of Bryce Williams filmed himself shooting reporter Allison Parker and photographer Adam Ward in Moneta, Virginia.
He posted two videos on Twitter and one video on Facebook.
The video on Twitter showed someone walking up to Parker and Ward and pointing a gun at them. Another video showed the gun firing. A follow-up tweet said, “I filmed the shooting.”
Both Twitter and Facebook suspended the user’s profile pages within minutes. But not before the videos autoplayed on the social media sites for anyone who viewed his accounts.
A Quinnipiac journalism professor spoke to Fox CT about the social media aspects of this case, and the ethics of how to report such tragedies:
Williams, whose given name was Vester L. Flanagan, had been a reporter for WDBJ, a CNN affiliate that Ward and Parker worked for.
He was fired from the station, a former WDBJ employee said, although the reason was not made public.
A manhunt followed the shooting. Flanagan shot himself when confronted by officers. He was taken to the hospital where he later died.
Facebook and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.