Off the Air: Witnessing Murder Without Warning on Social Media

It all seemed to happen at once. I was just waking up Wednesday morning scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a video posted by the Huffington Post of Alison Parker and Adam Ward getting shot on live TV. The autoplay feature for my app was enabled and I didn’t even know what was happening until it finished playing through.

No one expects to open their Facebook newsfeed and be confronted with violence and murder without warning or consent. Out of pure disgust I reported the video, as I did to all the other videos later that day I saw being posted...And I wasn’t the only one. Twitter and Facebook quickly took down Vester Flanagan profiles - Deleting his social media manifesto, but the content already began riding the wave of virility.

Within minutes hundreds of clones quickly were posted online - On social media, websites, forums, and torrents. For every one taken down, another was posted live. This virtual battle lasted well throughout the day.

The beast has settled now. While it still lives, you have to seek it rather than fall into it unexpectedly.

One sparkle of hope through this tragedy was the amount of support, care, and tears shed for those who were directly affected by the incident. While it may be human curiosity to see something so violent, the connection and community that arises from tragedy is stronger. Tragedy violently broke on social media and for a split second the entire world’s heart skipped a beat. And there were no loss for words…


The one thing we are all holding back from saying is we know it will happen again…

What you should do:

You may have fallen victim to viewing this awful video, and not known what to do. Often people respond by replying in the comment section with disgust. While intentions are good, what this does is add to the engagement and causing more users see it on their feed.

The proper thing to do when confronted with such a video is to report it appropriately.

How to report a video on Facebook:

Step 1

How to Turn Off Autoplay?

If you want to disable autoplay on your device, just follow these steps from CNET.


While the damage is done with this recent incident, these solutions will ensure you will not witness violence or other unspeakable acts without warning or your consent again. In addition, but learning to report inappropriate content it will also help your friends and family not have the same terrible experience as yourself.