UPDATE: She shooter is reported to be Ryan’s brother Adam (20-years-old).
After yet another horrific mass shooting today in which 27 people were massacred, 18 of them grade school children, the debate will rage over gun control, mental health intervention, better school security, amending the 2nd Amendment, etc. Another question, one endemic to our era of “social media,” has popped up:
What about Facebook?
Within hours of the shooting, approximately 10 Facebook “fan” pages were set up for the suspected killer, Ryan Lanza. Some are likely different “Ryan Lanzas,” but that there is even a “fan page” set up for a man who strapped on a bullet proof vest, grabbed four lethal weapons, one of them a .223 caliber rifle made for combat, and walked into grade school to mow down as many children as he could manage, is beyond sick. It’s unconscionable.
While there is a feeling of helplessness that arises out of situations like these, there are sometimes small, seemingly insignificant, steps one can take to push back against hate, violence, and even the ignorance needed to put up a Facebook fan page for a psychotic killer of children. When you find one of those pages, do this: take a moment to send a note to Facebook to report the page and request a “take down.” Don’t pass it around, don’t leave a note; dear God, don’t “like it. Get it taken down.
Aggrandizing a killer for a laugh, for the shock value of it, is intolerable on any day. Today … don’t tolerate it.
UPDATE: While the Facebook fan page pictured has the name “Ryan Lanza,” and this article identified that name as the “suspected killer,” it was later learned that early media reports had the name wrong; Ryan Lanza is the brother of the suspected killer. The suspected killer’s name is Adam Lanza.