Bloody images of dead teen circulating on social media


San Francisco, Jul 16 (IANS): While social networking sites are still figuring out ways to combat the spread of violence on their platforms, a sociopath murderer killed a teenager in New York and posted the photo of her bloody body on Instagram, Snapchat as well as on Discord -- a chat service used by gamers.

Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram said it pulled down a photo in which the body of 17-year-old Bianca Devins could be seen, from an account called @yesjuliet that belongs to suspect Brandon Andrew Clark who has been charged with second-degree murder, CNET reported on Monday.

To prevent the image from being reposted, Instagram also "hashed" the image. A hash is a digital fingerprint that social networks use to prevent copies of offensive content from being re-uploaded.

According to Facebook, Clark's account from both the platforms -- Facebook and Instagram -- have been removed. But, the company declined to reveal the number of views or comments the photo got before it was pulled down.

"We are taking every measure to remove this content from our platforms," the report quoted a Facebook spokesperson as saying.

Despite Instagram taking measures, the photo that first appeared as a Story, is still available on some fringe messaging boards, the report said.

Instagram said it was pulling down accounts that impersonated the suspect and also blocked the hashtag #yesjuliet because users attempted to post the photo, the report added.

According to law authorities, Clark and Devins had met through Instagram two months ago before their relationship "progressed into a personally intimate one".

This is not the first time that Facebook is facing flak for live streaming of terror attacks and suicides on its platform from different parts of the world, including India.

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