Social media helped spread killer's graphic video

Video posted to Twitter and Facebook of the moment two journalists were shot

By Design, Social Media Helped Spread Shooter's Graphic Vid

Social media sites Facebook and Twitter became a tool on Wednesday to help spread a killer's graphic video of the murders he'd just committed.

A video appearing to show the shooting of two journalists - who worked for news channel WDBJ - during a live TV broadcast was posted to online social media accounts, seemingly by the shooter himself.

Police later confirmed the gunman, named as 41-year-old Vester Lee Flanagan, had died after shooting himself.

The video, that appears to have been taken by the killer and was more graphic than the TV footage, appeared on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The graphic video showed the deaths of reporters Alison Parker and Adam Ward. The Facebook and Twitter accounts the killer used were later suspended.

The footage by then, however, had been retweeted and shared. Also, in many cases the video would have auto-played on user's live feeds. The spreading of videos online is largely automated based on interaction.

Chilling message

The Twitter account used to post the video also included the comments: "I filmed the shooting see Facebook", "Adam went to [human resources] on me after working with me one time!!!" and "Alison made racist comments. EEOC report filed. They hired her after that???"

The shooting occurred at about 6.45am EDT (10.45am GMT) during an interview being broadcast live from Bridgewater Plaza, a Virginia shopping plaza, reports The Independent.

ABC News said it had received a 23-page fax from someone who identified himself by the name Bryce Williams, reported to be an alias used by Flanagan at WDBJ.

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