Twitter and Facebook both rolled out auto-play video features that automatically play video ads, Vines, and GIFs. But the danger of this feature was witnessed today, as thousands unwittingly witnessed a video of a journalist and cameraman being shot to death in Virginia. Also Read - Explained: Can Twitter get banned in India?
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WDBJ7 (@WDBJ7) August 26, 2015
Earlier today, WDBJ7 TV reporter Alison Parker, and her cameraman Adam Ward were shot to death while conducting an interview in Moneta, Virginia. The shooter is believed to be a former employee of the media house, named Vester Lee Flanagan.
That however isn t the end of the story, and Flanagan also known professionally as Bryce Williams uploaded the video of him killing Parker and Ward on Facebook and Twitter. He then shot himself, and according to BBC was moments ago confirmed dead. The graphic video posted on the two social media networks was unwittingly watched by thousands because of the auto play feature on Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter and Facebook autoplay videos made me witness the murder of someone from multiple angles today. Good job technology
Tom Warren (@tomwarren) August 26, 2015
In the same tweet, Warren says that he didn t go to William s account, but someone on his timeline RT d the video and it automatically played for him. This incident raises questions about whether Facebook and Twitter should stop playing videos automatically. Apart from hogging bandwidth and being a nuisance, it could also expose users to content that might be inappropriate for them, considering individuals have no control on the content that appears on their timeline.
According to CNNMoney, Facebook and Twitter quickly deactivated Bryce Williams account, and flagged the video as well. It says that Twitter removed Williams account in eight minutes, while Facebook removed his account for violating its Community Standards policy.
Despite Twitter and Facebook s efforts, the video has been uploaded on YouTube by some users. The Google-owned company however says that it has flagged these videos and is removing them