Yesterday, while police were frantically searching for Vestor Flanagan AKA Bryce Williams, after he gunned down a news crew from WDBJ, the suspect was posting to social media.
Williams was using social media to rant against the station that fired him and try to explain his gutless act of gunning down the news crew.
He went so far to post video that he took himself of him pulling the trigger and killing those people. The video was horrific. FTVLive saw the video seconds after Williams posted it. We knew it was not something we would post to the site.
When FTVLive first started following Williams on Twitter yesterday, he had less than 20 followers, it quickly grew to almost 2000 and then Twitter pulled the plug on the account.
You can't blame Twitter for suspending the account, but was it the correct call?
Having a suspect post to social media could be of great help to police. First, knowing that he is posting, gives police a chance to use technology to try and find the suspect.
Second, say the suspect is captured alive, his Twitter feed could be used in helping prosecute him /her.
Does Twitter confer with police before they suspend an account?
We totally get why Twitter pulled the account, but in the end it might be better to leave it up while the investigation is still active.