Should social media be held responsible for tragedies like mass shootings?


Following the horrific tragedy in El Paso, there are some people wondering about the role social media plays in mass shootings, and whether or not the websites themselves should be held responsible.

The shooter's manifesto was posted on an platform called '8chan.' Internet attorney Travis Crabtree tells KTRH it's hard to hold the platforms responsible.

"There's a specific federal law that says websites that allow other people to post are not responsible for that content," Crabtree explained, adding that the law has been on the books since 1996.

But, some state legislatures are questioning whether that law still makes sense. Kami Huyse with Zoetica Media says El Paso might be the tipping point.

"I think that they are going to have to take action. They are starting to take action. And even that is problematic," Huyse told KTRH News.

Because, as John Lott at the Crime Prevention Center told us, monitoring every post is not feasible.

"The notion that everyone is going to be able to monitor all of those posts is impossible," Lott explained. "You'd have to know the location of the individual and get police to them before something happened."

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick agrees that social media is a problem.

"The violence of just bullying people on social media every day, and we turn our head and we allow it," he said.

Patrick also told Fox News there's another issue we aren't talking about.

"I see a video game industry that teachers young people to kill," Patrick said. "How long are we going to ignore this at the federal level, where they can do something about the video game industry?"

Late last night, Cloudfare, a web site security company, said it's ending its relationship with 8chan, effectively killing for forum.


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