UK Parliament Calls For Social Media Video Autoplay Rethink After WDBJ7 Shooting

UK Parliament Calls For Social Media Video Autoplay Rethink After WDBJ7 Shooting

MPs have called for social media reform after footage of the WDBJ7 shooting was automatically playing on users’ Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds.

ERIN MARY Doyle
Posted by ERIN MARY Doyle

Yesterday, an on-air reporter and cameraman from US network WDBJ7 were shot during a live broadcast by who reports are describing was a “disgruntled employee”. The video footage was then uploaded to social networks by the gunman Vester Lee Flanagan before he shot himself.

The footage of the shooting was being retweeted and posted onto Facebook and Twitter, both these sites have set video content to play automatically by default, many users saw the video without a graphic content warning and without choosing to watch the footage.

The chair of the cross-party Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (PICTFOR) Matt Warman told the BBC that sites should automatically lock such content.

“Facebook, Google, Microsoft and others have already worked together with government and regulators to prevent people being exposed to illegal, extremist content, using both automatic and manual techniques to identify footage.

“Social media, just like traditional media, should consider how shocking other content can be, and make sure consumers are warned appropriately.”

Twitter users reacted angrily to social media sites auto-playing of the footage.

In other WDBJ7 news, UK’s The Sun has been slammed for their graphic front page of the on-camera murder.