How the Buffalo shooting livestream went viral

Published May 25, 2022


In a story on how the mass shooting in Buffalo went viral via livestream, The Verge quotes Maria Y. Rodriguez, assistant professor of social work, who studies social media and its effects on communities of color. The original clip’s widespread reach means it will likely never go away. Acknowledging this reality and figuring out how to move forward will be essential, says Rodriguez. Certain practices on the part of platforms could minimize harm to the public, like sensitive content filters that give users the option to view potentially upsetting material or to simply scroll past, Rodriguez says. But hate crimes aren’t new and similar attacks are likely to happen again. Moderation, if done effectively, could limit how violent material travels — but what to do with the perpetrator is what has kept Rodriguez awake at night. “What do we do about him and other people like him?” she says. “What do we do about the content creators?”

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