People spend hours on social media websites every day searching for videos. That took a different turn on Wednesday when a former Virginia TV employee opened fire and killed two former colleagues while wearing a body camera. Vester Flanagan then apparently took the time to post that video online. Jeremy Lipschultz is a University of Nebraska – Omaha Social Media Program professor and says others may follow suit.
Lipschultz says, “I think that is always a concern. In this case you have a guy who is angry. He purchased a weapon and he knows tactics. As a former broadcaster he knows the vulnerability of his targets. There is always concern especially when video such as his personal video of the attack spreads on the internet.”
Lipschultz says the good news is that social media is starting to mature. He says not only the general public but media sources are also questioning whether they should be replaying the video and audio. Flanagan’s video was taken down minutes after it was posted on many social media sites.
Lipschultz says journalism schools are also asking these questions as we train the next generation of journalists.