Enough is enough! This week another United States school was tragically attacked by a lone gunman in the safe, shallow crime area of Parkland, Florida. Now, 17 families in Florida, including husbands, wives, and parents, are experiencing the unnecessary pain of losing 17 amazing souls, all without one lone school shooter. I realize you may be thinking, “how does this relate to social media?” As you read through this post, you’ll see the shooter’s disturbing social media pages and learn how you, a typical citizen can help police via a few clicks on social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, or Youtube.
For a while now, I have been thinking about the mass shootings in our country and even those abroad. When I think about the warnings, alerts, and cries for help the individuals often signal on social media prior to following through with their acts of terror, it’s unreal how we as typical citizens go on about our own business and ignore them. Folks, these people are not someone else’s problem. They could easily be at your back door tomorrow.
What did the Florida school shooter post on social media prior to entering the school to begin shooting?
First of all, let’s talk about what happened and the warning signs that the Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz gave on social media and what he said to his peers, the actions that school officials and his local social worker could have taken prior to the tragic school shooting that accounted for 17 lives.
1. Nikolas Cruz’s Instagram page was open to the public meaning anyone could have seen the images below.
Not even trying to hide his name, Nikolas Cruz flaunted his guns on his Instagram page. I don’t think it’s too hard to see that this Instagram page is disturbing with his face covered.
I remember writing cuss words on a sheet of paper, cutting them up and putting them in the desks of people that I didn’t particularly care for in the fourth grade. All of those unfriendly people sure told me! I had to spend a week of recesses with no kickball, tetherball, monkey bars, and write I will not cuss a million times on a piece of paper! What happened to the tattletales of the world? Honestly, there is value in a tattletale. I learned not to write down curse words quickly. My parents also gave my teacher Mr. Minor permission to punish me.
2. The shooter left numerous disturbing comments on multiple social media channels.
According to CNN Nikolas Cruz left comments all over social media to the effect of “I whana shoot people with my AR-15”, “I wanna die Fighting killing s**t ton of people”, “I am going to kill law enforcement one day they go after the good people.”
3. On Youtube, the Parkland, Florida school shooter once left a comment on Ben Bennight, a Mississippi bail bondsman’s Youtube channel.
The Mississippi bail bondsman, Mr, Ben Bennight acted responsibly and reported the comment with a screenshot to the FBI via tips@FBI.gov. According to his latest Youtube video
, he was NOT even contacted by the FBI until the day after the shooting occurred. His email was sent almost 4 months prior to the shooting, on September 24, 2017.
In the recent Parkland, Florida school shooting, the thought of ignorance on social media makes me sick. Then, as a social media speaker + educator and talking to people about how the internet and social media works, I realized that not everybody understands how to report what they see. Just among asking a few friends, I realized that only 10% of the people I asked understood our digital footprint or reported a post or social media profile. Even listening to news conversations, I don’t think the journalists and networks completely understand how easy it is to locate someone based on a digital footprint.
As ordinary citizens, we can help our government and hold them accountable versus blaming them for not following through after the fact.
Click here to learn how to easily report accounts such as Nikolas Cruz to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and other social media sites.