Social Media Under Fire After Teen’s Corpse Posted Online

Sky News:– Social media platforms are facing fresh calls to deal with violent content posted on their sites following the death of a US teenager.

Bianca Devins, from Utica, New York, was killed by a man who then posted a photo of her corpse on Instagram, according to police.

She had met Brandon Andrew Clark, 21, on Instagram about two months ago but their relationship had progressed into a “personally intimate one”, police said.

They had met each other’s families and spent a lot of time together before attending a concert on Saturday night.

Afterwards, the pair had argued and it is alleged that, in the early hours of Sunday, Clark had used a large knife to kill the 17-year-old.

Clark’s social media followers contacted police after he posted saying he had killed a person and a photo of Ms Devins’ body appeared along with the message: “I’m sorry Bianca.”

She had met Brandon Andrew Clark, 21, on Instagram about two months ago but their relationship had progressed into a “personally intimate one”, police said.

They had met each other’s families and spent a lot of time together before attending a concert on Saturday night.

Afterwards, the pair had argued and it is alleged that, in the early hours of Sunday, Clark had used a large knife to kill the 17-year-old.

The photo remained on Instagram for nearly 24 hours, according to Buzzfeed.

Posted early on Sunday morning, by Sunday evening it had been blurred and given a “sensitive content filter” screen, meaning someone had reported it as offensive.

But users could still see the photo by tapping the screen.

It was not until Monday morning that Clark’s Instagram account was disabled.

Conservative MP Damian Collins, the chair of the House of Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, told Sky News: “It is clearly irresponsible if distressing images are still available online despite tech companies being made aware of them.

“We have called for social media companies to be held to account for harmful content.

“While we’re expecting legal powers to enforce regulation here in the UK, it’s clearly in the interests of Facebook to demonstrate its intention and ability to comply with future laws by taking urgent action in removing these images.

“Social networks must take violence seriously.”

Facebook, which owns Instagram, was removing content on their platforms relating to Ms Devins’ death, as well as taking down accounts impersonating Clark, but admitted “there is always room for improvement”.

They are also blocking hashtags that attempted to share the image of Ms Devins’ body and are in touch with law enforcement officials.

The company said they acted once they were informed of the teenager’s death on Monday.

A spokesperson said: “Our thoughts go out to those affected by this tragic event. We are taking every measure to remove this content from our platforms.

“Our goal is to take action as soon as possible – there is always room for improvement. We don’t want people seeing content that violates our policies.”

Police found Clark with his vehicle and Ms Devins’ body early on Sunday.

He had called to say what he had done and had taken a selfie with Ms Devins’ body and started stabbing himself.

Clark was taken to hospital for surgery but is expected to recover, police said, adding that he has been charged with second-degree murder.

Ms Devins’ family described her as a “talented artist” and “a wonderful young girl, taken from us all too soon”.

She had finished school last month and was preparing to go to community college later this year.

“Bianca’s smile brightened our lives,” the family said. “She will always be remembered as our princess.”

Ms Devins, who had reportedly been an “egirl” on the TikTok app, had about 6,000 followers on Instagram when she was killed.

By Tuesday, this number had reached more than 82,000.

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