People began searching for the On/Off switch for Facebook and Twitter's video autoplay feature after the slaying of two Virginia reporters streamed in news feeds automatically.
Photographer Adam Ward and Reporter Alison Parker, of central Virginia CBS affiliate WDBJ7, were slain Wednesday by a gunman believed to be a former employee of the news station.
Vester Lee Flanagan, the suspect and a former broadcast journalist, shot himself later that day. But that wasn't until after Flanagan, who went by Bryce Williams for TV, claimed responsibility for the double homicide and posted video of what he said he'd done.
Users looking for a little celebrity gossip and viral content on Wednesday were greeted with the unsettling footage, and they didn't even click "Play."
Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube moved quickly to remove the video and Flanagan's accounts, each site disavowing the content through their PR teams.
"Our hearts go out to the families affected by this terrible crime. YouTube has clear policies against videos of gratuitous violence and we remove them when they're flagged," stated a YouTube spokesperson.
Turning Autoplay Off
Facebook - Click on the arrow on Facebook's blue ribbon and then select the "Settings" option from the drop-down menu that appears. From there, click on the "Videos" heading on the left side of the Setting menu to find the "Auto-Play Videos" option.
On Android, choose the "App Settings" option from the hamburger button and then navigate down to its video autoplay option. For iOS, select the "Account Settings" option and tap on its "Videos and Photos" entry to access its "Smart Autoplay" option.
Twitter - Select the "Settings" option from the user account icon in Twitter's header. The "Video Autoplay" option is located under the Setting menu's "Content" heading.
On mobile, select the Settings menu's "General" heading to access the video autoplay option.
Don't share the video of the shooting Share this link: 12 minutes of the WDBJ crew remembering who these people were http://t.co/m4eWGija1x
— Mike Leslie (@MikeLeslieWFAA) August 26, 2015