YouTube won’t remove controversial video documenting Monday’s mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, who left 10 dead, the company said on Tuesday. “Following yesterday’s tragic shooting, video of a viewer from the incident was detected by our teams. Although violent content intended to shock or disgust viewers is not permitted on YouTube, we do allow videos with enough information or documentary context, “said a YouTube spokesperson Vice News, The edge and other publications. And while the video is still live, YouTube added a content warning to it.
Dean Schiller, the man who captured the video, televised the scene live outside the King Scoopers supermarket in Boulder on Monday afternoon. He started streaming soon after the first shots were taken and continued recording until his phone died three hours later. At its peak, around 30,000 people logged in simultaneously to watch the live broadcast, and at the time of writing, the video had over 605,000 views in total.
Video: Locals pay tribute to victims of Boulder King Soopers shooting
Beyond the topic, Schiller’s on-screen conduct also made the clip controversial. In parts of the video, Schiller briefly shows some of the victims. He also speculated on the identity and motive of the shooter and spoke about the tactics used by the police to put them into practice. He even continued to record the scene despite multiple requests from the police to stop it. “I’m a journalist, don’t yell at me, I’m looking at you, I’ll do whatever I want,” Schiller told police at one point. In 2019 he was stopped for filming in and around Boulder Country Jail.
Videos like the one Schiller filmed on Monday are a complicated issue for YouTube and other video platforms. In the aftermath of the 2019 filming in Christchurch, New Zealand, social media companies struggled to remove the images of the abuser downloaded from their GoPro camera. Where this recent video differs is that it was captured by a bystander and someone who was not in the building for most of the incident. And yet, there is the fear that it will still help the Boulder shooter gain notoriety and publicity.