Question of the Day: Does Social Media Increase the Likelihood of Shootings? [VIDEO]


“Police in Sacramento are calling a video that depicts a man firing a gun from a moving car disturbing,” reports. I’d say “helpful.” To wit: “Those in the video were ultimately identified by police as Damon Batson, 28, and Carlos Gonzalez, 25. In the video, a person can be seen firing a gun in public while a second person is in the front seat of a moving vehicle . . .With Gonzalez narrating the entire time, the two men claim they’re on their way to take care of a man who may be with one of their girlfriends.” The SF cops’ reckon social media – like the live video sharing app Periscope – increases the likelihood of people committing firearms-related crime. Here’s another example . . .

“Police Chief Edward Flynn said a video shown in a courtroom last week of young men on a Milwaukee street flashing guns, cash and drugs and threatening to shoot police is evidence of sophisticated criminals making propaganda to recruit new members while spreading intimidation over social media,” reports. So, given this and the widespread dissemination of the Roanoke camera phone footage, is social media making “gun violence” worse?


  1. avatar asdf says:

    Nope, its making the idiots more easy to track down.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      Good point, asdf.

      (TTAG, can you kill the autoplay on the first vid?)

    2. avatar AdamTA1 says:

      Ban Social Media!!

      … It’s for the children…

      While we’re at it let’s also Ban Idiots!

      … Also for the children…

  2. avatar Vitsaus says:

    Social media mainly enables all the worst characteristics of humanity to be greatly amplified. It is the worst thing to happen to western civilization since Marx.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “It is the worst thing to happen to western civilization since Marx.”

      (Waiting for Ralph to make a Groucho Marx crack..)

      1. avatar Cdotson says:

        That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.

        1. avatar HotandEmpty says:

          @Cdotson- Well said, that was an idiotic statement by v.
          ” It is the worst thing to happen to western civilization since Marx.”
          -Exactly the opposite of Marx, because the information was not solely in the hands of the government and their propaganda ministries, who prosper off of creating the “iron wall” of ignorance.

          My generation is the first generation of Americans to have the internet. 3rd grade for me was when personal computing became a class and we used the “Oregon Trail” program to teach us, which the Oregon Trail would be considered racist now.

          The Anarchist cookbook was immediately censored, along with anything else that was unfavorable to the oligarchs of our country.

        2. avatar Geoff PR says:

          @HotandEmpty –

          “The Anarchist cookbook was immediately censored, along with anything else that was unfavorable to the oligarchs of our country.”


          2600 was available in any decent-sized bookstore or head shop.

        3. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:


          Governments can and have manipulated the Internet for their own purposes. Goebles would have lived the Internet. Think of how many false stories get planted every day. The Internet can and had been used to easily disseminate disinformation. It can abd has been been used to destroy an opponents credibility. Like any piece of technology it can be used for good or Ill.

        4. avatar Indiana Tom says:

          You cannot believe everything you see on the Internet, that is how World War One started.

        5. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

          They should have listened to Thomas Jefferson but being under the influence of #blacklivesmatter they ignored old Tom because he was a racist slave holder.

      2. avatar Ralph says:

        Waiting for Ralph to make a Groucho Marx crack.

        Personally, I’m a Zeppo man.

        1. avatar Timmy! says:

          You and Dr. Lilith Sternin Crane.

    2. avatar Dustin says:

      It is not the worst thing to ever happen. It’s one of the best. Remember Bill Engvall’s “Here’s your sign!” gag about wishing stupid people were easy to spot by having a warning sign around their necks?

      “I’ve got a Facebook, an iPhone and Glocks are the best guns ever!” <– There's 3 signs.

      Learn to read them and you won't hate them so much…

  3. avatar styrgwillidar says:

    Given that the rate of violent crime has been decreasing– no. Just shows the folks willing to do these things are are often narcissist who like to document their actions.

  4. avatar Chip Bennett says:

    Social media use is increasing, while “gun violence” continues to decline. The two aren’t even correlated.

    Any other questions?

  5. avatar IdahoPete says:

    The solution to these copycat murders is to hold the media (of all kinds) collectively responsible, the same way the media.eagerly assigns collective responsibility for these murders to America’s 100 million law-abiding gun owners. To stop this media glorification of mass murderers, I propose that Congress make it a Federal felony for any news media outlet, Facebook, Twitter, or any other news source to publish the names and photos of any mass murderer, thus holding the media collectively responsible as accessories to such murders. Hey, this may be tough on the media’s First Amendment rights, but if we can save just one life, it will be worth it.

    1. avatar Colt Magnum says:


    2. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Um, you have heard of the First Amendment, right IdahoPete? A law that makes it a felony for the Press to report on a high-profile or spree killer would be doomed — the U.S. Supreme Court would strike down such a law so fast it would make your head spin. Rather, Congress should simply require the Press to pay a $200 tax every time they mention a high-profile or spree killer. The U.S. Supreme Court would uphold that in a heartbeat. /end_sarcasm

    3. avatar HotandEmpty says:

      @Idaho Pete
      That is sarcasm, right? Otherwise it sounds like you are saying Sieg Hiel, you moron.

      “I propose that Congress make it a Federal felony for any news media outlet, Facebook, Twitter, or any other news source to publish the names and photos of any mass murderer, thus holding the media collectively responsible as accessories to such murders”

      -Statist Beliefs like that are exactly like the anti gunners, and are exactly what the Second Amendment is supposed to be invoked to defeat. The statist belief like yours over personal responsibility is the exact reason WE younger generations are having to fight the state to get American Rights back.

      1. avatar HotandEmpty says:

        @colt magnum

        You are +1ing censorship. You have obviously never heard the phrase the Second Amendment protects the First.

    4. avatar Dustin says:

      The inability to pick up on the invisible /sarc tags is getting pretty bad around here… Maybe gun owners really are stupid?

      Come on man, read the while thing before you reply… The sarcasm is obvious…

    5. avatar Indiana Tom says:

      Let’s destroy the First Amendment. Pass more laws and call it liberty.

  6. avatar Will says:

    Good fun, dueling auto play videos.

    Do y’all even READ the site? Can we task the editors to view the site with a normal browser that doesn’t have everything blocked so that they can have an idea of what their site looks like to the rest of the world?

  7. avatar kevin says:

    We lawyers like to call this sort of thing “evidence” of a “crime.”

  8. avatar scooter says:

    I wish all the future convicts recorded their misdeeds. Gives the CJ system a leg up on a conviction if you supply a vid of the crime… much appreciated!

  9. avatar Lagunitas says:

    Social decay

  10. avatar Gunr says:

    I can’t help but think many media newscasts activate evil thoughts!

  11. avatar GRW says:

    Nope, just before all the scaremongering you’d find a road sign full of holes and go just but it down to dumb ass teens being dumb ass teens. Now the kids are recording themselves its suddenly a huge deal (cops should count this as a blessing).

    Teenage boys don’t need social media to do stupid things and act tough, they just need one friend or a teenage girl around, or oxygen, or… you know what they just will.

  12. avatar BDub says:

    I think the Controlled Substances Act is doing more to enable this than any social media is.

    …just sayin’!

  13. avatar Galtha58 says:

    Is that the judge talking in the video ? Her voice is really irritating. In part of the video she seems to be talking over the original audio. I think I agree with her points but hard to tell from the audio as I can’t understand most of it.

  14. avatar Galtha58 says:

    What this video really shows is why law abiding citizens need guns to protect themselves from idiots like those guys in the video. What a great demonstration of what NOT to do with guns and how stupid a few thugs can act with their guns.

    1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

      Nevertheless, did you notice how the two main characters in the video demonstrated exemplary trigger-finger discipline? Of course their muzzle discipline left a little to be desired.

  15. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    The two main characters in the video demonstrated exemplary trigger-finger discipline … although their muzzle discipline left a little to be desired.

  16. avatar Shire-man says:

    You know just how out of touch the “authorities” are when referring to anyone with a Twitter account as “sophisticated.”
    Same for the .mil and their marveling at jihadis with an old version of Publisher and the skill to email.

  17. avatar Ralph says:

    Social media are not responsible for crimes. Loss of brain cells, yes, but not crimes.

  18. avatar Excedrine says:

    The phony, failed “War on (Some) Drugs” is responsible for this. Not social media.

  19. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    I think that importance of social media is overblown. Social media campaigns like MDA and TTAG are seen by like minded members. We wouldn’t know about the Moms latest campaign if Robert didn’t view it for us.

    That said social can be used to coordinate activities among like minded individuals. The best current example us how #blacklivesmatter is used by the gang supporters to undermine the authority of law enforcement and public order.

    So the answer is ultimately yes since it like minded individuals the courage of community.

  20. avatar Grindstone says:

    I’m totally sure universal background checks would’ve TOTALLY prevented them from getting those drugs! Oops, I mean guns.

  21. avatar Dustin says:

    No. But it does show us why Jerry Springer went out of business…

  22. avatar Former Water Walker says:

    BREAKING NEWS(not really)…cop shot to death in Fox Lake,Illinois after chasing 3 men BY HIMSELF. Not at all sure if this was anything but catching 3 guys robbing-reportedly 2 white guys and 1 black guy-News everywhere. Meanwhile I just saw a video of cops executing a big “white hispanic” guy with his hands up…

  23. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Does Social Media Increase the Likelihood of Shootings?


    In exactly the same way that digital camera’s increase the likelihood child pronography.

    Wasn’t there some sort of phrase about Correlation and Causation?

  24. avatar Nelson says:

    dunno, does mere ownership of firearms automatically correlate to rise in likelihood of that owner being spellbound by an inanimate object into randomly murdering someone, just ’cause?

    Farargo, that premise of the question itself is idiotic.

    Murderers always look for external causes to justify their internal delusions.

    Sociopaths never take responsibility for themselves consciously choosing to commit malum in se. so what else is new?? xD

  25. avatar John Smith says:

    Please, please, please, do not embed video that auto-plays.

  26. avatar PeterK says:

    Well I think it’s obvious the potential is there. If gang recruiting works for example. I know that a book in Germany triggered a spate of copy cat suicides many years ago. So denying even the possibility seems an exercise of ideology more than reason.

    Still I don’t think I would say whether it does or does not. It would be impossible to know. How would you even quantify that? Or qualify it at all?

  27. avatar Paul53 says:

    If social media couldn’t change people’s behavior, companies wouldn’t spend millions on advertising.

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