Are Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, and other social platforms to blame for the rise in mass shootings?


The coverage of the Parkland shooting occurred during the media’s most-developed era and attracted attention from political leaders, celebrities, and especially students all over the nation. It is important to recognize that by 2018 it is not uncommon for individuals to solely rely on social media and online news sources for updates on current events. Since Virginia Tech in 2007, popular visual sharing platforms such as Instagram (2010) and Snapchat (2011) had dramatically changed the way in which these incidents are covered.

Parkland media coverage differed in one important way. Instead of honing in on the shooter and his or her motives, the bulk of coverage focused on the students and their plan to end gun violence. One observer recognized, “It has a lot to do with the fact that those kids from that school are super pissed. They’ve taken a much different activist role than we’ve seen in previous shootings” (Francis, 2018). The students and survivors of the Parkland shooting quickly realized that social media and online platforms were their best bet in having their voice heard.