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


Once again, it is crucial to remember that social media did not exist during this era, and that the closest site resembling a social media platform at this time was Six Degrees, a site used for blogging and instant messaging (Hale, 2015). The analysis revealed that Columbine’s media coverage consisted mainly of newspaper articles, radio broadcasts, and television reports. Due to this lack of immediacy, the public did not receive information as quickly about the shooting, ultimately causing both rumors to spread and individuals to remain unaware of the incident (Shepard, n.d.). Interestingly, media coverage on Columbine hit its peak on the second day after the shooting took place (Schildkraut & Muschert, 2013). This would not be the case today, due to the neverending news cycle and rise of popular social media platforms.

Columbine’s coverage also revealed one large difference from today’s mass shooting coverage, being that the news reports did not include any type of video from the actual shooting besides the school’s security footage. Today, it is common to see videos posted on Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat from the viewpoint of victims involved in the actual shooting.