Shooter warning signs disappear into the sea of ​​social media posts.

WASHINGTON – The 18-year-old gunman entered a Texas elementary school and killed 19 children and two teachers the day before..

There was an Instagram photo of a handgun magazine, a Tick Talk profile, warning “Children be afraid,” and two AR-type semi-automatic rifles were displayed on the carpet, pinned to the top of the killer Instagram. Profile.

Long before shooters pull the trigger, it leaves digital paths that indicate what is coming.

Retired FBA agent Katherine Schweit, who led the agency’s active shooter program, said: “It is a cry for help. Are you kidding me? ”

Find potential shooter posts by filtering through Quicksand

Previous posts, however, are missing from the never-ending Instagram photo grid, which includes semi-automatic rifles, handguns and ammunition. There is a popular hashtag designed to encourage Instagram users to upload more than 2 million photos of their guns every day.

For law enforcement and social media companies, Schweed said, “A sign from a bullet-proof gun is like a filter in the sand.” That’s why you tell people not to ignore those types of mail, especially those from children or teenagers. She also reports to a school counselor, the police or the FBI Advice Line.

Guns, Young Men and Instagram

Days or weeks before the massacre, young men took pictures of their own weapons and took to Instagram to give a hint of what would happen, a thriving gun community.

A.D. At the 2018 Marjorie Stomman Douglas High School, Nicholas Cruz posted on YouTube that he wanted to be a “professional school shooter” before killing 17 students and colleagues and shared gun-like facial expressions. The FBI has commented on Cruz’s YouTube comments, but Cruz has never followed up.

In November, 15-year-old Ethan Crumbley shared a photo of his father’s semi-automatic rifle, killing four students and injuring seven others, with the caption “I have found my new beauty today.” He completed his high school education in Oxford, Michigan.

A woman who says, ‘It’s scary’ about a Texas shooter post

And just days before he entered a school on Tuesday and killed 19 children and two teachers, Salvador Ramos left similar comments on Instagram.

On May 20, a day after law enforcement officials said Ramos had bought a second rifle, a picture of two AR semi-automatic rifles appeared on Instagram. He tagged another Instagram user with more than 10,000 followers in the photo. In a dynamic exchange, she later asked the user why she tagged her in the photo.

An Instagram user wrote: “I know you very well and you can see me with some guns.”

The school district of Uvalde has invested in geophysical technology to control local hazards.

Ramos, however, did not pose a direct threat to the posts. Recently, at the age of 18, he was legally allowed to own a firearm in Texas.

A few restrictions on weapon posts

His photos Semi-automatic rifles are one of the most popular platforms on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube, and it is common to post rifle images or videos and shooter training videos. Prevents YouTube users from posting instructions on how to convert a gun automatically. But Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, does not limit the photos or hashtags around the gun.

This makes it difficult to identify people who post pictures of weapons as part of their hobbies, ”said Sarah Aniyano, a social media and fake researcher at the University of Monmouth.

“In an absolute world, there is a magical algorithm on Instagram that recognizes gun-toting photos,” Anino said. “For many reasons, this is a slippery slope and it is impossible to do it when there are people who do not plan to use their equipment for bad purposes, such as gun collectors and gun detectors.”

Meta said Wednesday it was working with law enforcement to investigate Ramos’ identities. The company declined to comment on reports of possible access to Ramos’ account.

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