After a shooter killed 17 people at a Florida high school, many have expressed frustration at the political hand-wringing over gun control and calls for prayer. As a parent, I understand the desire for practical responses to school shootings. I also absolutely believe the government should do more to prevent such incidents. But the gun control debate has proven so divisive and ineffective that I am weary of waiting for politicians to act. I study the kind of aggressive childhood behavior that often predates school shootings. That research suggests what communities and families can start doing today to better protect children. Here are 10 actions we can all take while the federal government drags its heels. What schools can do Because educators observe students’ emotional and behavioral development daily, they are best positioned to detect troubled behaviors and intervene. In Los Angeles, for example, schools have successfully used outreach and training to identify potentially … [Read more...] about 10 Ways Parents and Schools Can Prevent School Shootings Now (Op-Ed)
Tragedy struck in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, and Russian bots weren't far behind. As people took to Twitter in search of any scrap of information to emerge out of the school shooting that left 17 dead, they were likely confronted with what has become a troubling online reality: trolls and bots swarming a conversation for reasons unknown. SEE ALSO: Why social media companies won’t kill off bots And according to Alliance for Securing Democracy, a group that claims to track "Russia-linked influence networks on Twitter," a chunk of said trolls and bots attempting to shape the narrative surrounding the attack had ties to Russia. A graph on the organization's website Thursday afternoon demonstrated what it claimed was the increased frequency of Russian-linked accounts tweeting about "parklandshooting," "guncontrol," "floridaschoolshooting," and other hashtags related to the shooting. Why are Russia-linked accounts — which have been credibly accused of … [Read more...] about Russian trolls and bots take to Twitter following Florida school shooting
In the wake of a shooting that left at least 17 dead on Wednesday in a high school outside Boca Raton, Florida, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin (R) focused on violent video games as part of a "culture of death that is being celebrated" and leading to these kinds of incidents. "There are video games that, yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play them and everybody knows it, and there's nothing to prevent the child from playing them," Bevin said in an interview on WHAS' Leland Conway show Thursday morning. "They celebrate the slaughtering of people. There are games that literally replicate and give people the ability to score points for doing the very same thing that these students are doing inside of schools, where you get extra points for finishing someone off who's lying there begging for their life." a 2011 Supreme Court decision that prevents content-based restrictions on games. "It's garbage. It's the same as pornography. They have desensitized people to the value of human … [Read more...] about Video games, not guns, to blame for school shooting, says Kentucky gov.
Twitter tested a new livestreaming service which allows users to watch local news coverage of events live — by broadcasting during a terrifying school shooting. During the crisis in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student shot and killed 17 people, Twitter showed users a livestream of news coverage from Miami’s local WSVN 7. When users searched for information about the shooting, the livestream appeared on the same page as tweets According to Buzzfeed News, the use of the streaming was part of a test of Twitter’s new partnerships with local news stations. Judging by the fact that over 50,000 viewers watched the stream, it was a successful test. Kayvon Beykpour, Twitter’s general manager of video, told Buzzfeed, “We’re continuing to work on new ways we can surface credible and relevant information to help people stay informed.” Twitter livestreams offer users access to the most accurate and current local … [Read more...] about Twitter tested its local news stream during the Florida school shooting
The US Army and the Department of Homeland Security are designing a simulation of school shooting situations for teachers. Multiple players take the role of a teacher trying to keep students safe during a shooting; a law enforcement officer trying to apprehend the shooter; and the shooter, whose avatar may be that of an adult or a child. It’s a grim project, but one that the creators hope will help teachers stay calm in a real emergency. The project is based on a multipurpose Homeland Security simulator called the Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment, or EDGE. A mass-shooting scenario for first responders launched in mid-2017, and this is supposed to launch in the spring. As Gizmodo writes, teachers in the school-specific version get prompts to do things like lock the doors and windows, and they can give students instructions like “follow me” or “find a place to hide.” Virtual children might cry or panic, and teachers listen for the direction of … [Read more...] about The Army is using a video game to prepare teachers for school shootings
I am Facebook friends with Ryan Lanza" written by Matt Bors on Salon reveals the frantic mob mentality of our ever more connected digital globe (Ryan is the brother of the man accused of last weeks Connecticut school shootings): "Social media purports to connect us but it often does the exact opposite. The barrier, the anonymity, the lack of accountability; all encourage the worst in people". Writes Matt, who uses Facebook to promote his cartoon business but found himself sucked up into a crazy media maelstrom due to discovery of his Lanza connection, and with random Facebook users ' saying angry and bizarre things to me or about Ryan'. The piece is well worth reading. 'There's nowt as queer as folk' is an old northern English Yorkshire term meaning there's nothing stranger or more surprising than the way people behave (queer meaning peculiar; nowt is a contraction of 'nothing'). Although we're seeing the ways digitized networks interact starting to settle into consistent, … [Read more...] about US school shootings digital witch hunt
Facebook today released its transparency report for the first half of 2017, in a regular disclosure from the company that provides data on when Facebook complies with legal requests. At a glance, there are some small shifts. The company notes that requests for data on accounts was up 21 percent. Thanks to recent legislation, the company is also now able to disclose the existence of five national security letters, a notorious tool used by US law enforcement to quietly obtain information on individuals. For the first time, the company says, it’s also releasing information on requests related to intellectual property. But one eye-popping statistic from the report stands out. According to Facebook, the company restricted video of a school shooting in Mexico 20,506 times after receiving a request from Mexican law enforcement. In context, that number is massive: the company only restricted content for violating local law a total of about 28,000 times, meaning the video accounted … [Read more...] about Facebook law enforcement takedowns quadrupled in six months because of a school shooting video
A 21-year-old Virginia Tech senior named Kiung Moon found himself on the wrong side of the law, as he was arrested by police following an anonymous threat posted on Yik Yak, reports the Collegiate Times, Virginia Tech’s student-run newspaper.Last Wednesday, the Virginia Tech Police Department was alerted to a message posted on the anonymous social network, which stated, “Another 4.16 moment is going to happen tomorrow. Just a warning (sic).” The message referred to the Virginia Tech shooting on April 16, 2007 that claimed the lives of 33 people, including the perpetrator, Seung-Hui Cho.An investigation was then launched in conjunction with the Blacksburg Police Department. Even though several active leads were pursued, Moon eventually turned himself in later that day. He is being charged with Harassment by Computer, a class one misdemeanor that could carry either a maximum of 12 months in jail, up to a $2,500 fine, or both.Yik Yak allows college students to … [Read more...] about Virginia Tech student faces up to a $2,500 fine for fake school shooting threat on Yik Yak
After a lengthy hiatus following his suspension from NBC Nightly News back in February, Brian Williams was tasked with holding down the MSNBC anchor chair to cover the mass school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, OR. While the longtime anchor did in fact grace our TV screens to cover the Pope’s visit to America last month, this marks Williams’ first hard-hitting news story since the suspension.Reminiscent of the Columbine High School mass shooting in 1999, Virginia Tech in 2007, and sadly so many more, a reported 10 people were killed and at least seven others wounded during the shooting, which broke out yesterday. The gunman, who has been confirmed dead, has been identified by authorities as 26-year-old Chris Harper Mercer.As the live camera panned to the school’s parking lot during MSNBC’s live coverage of the aftermath, Williams solemnly noted that the vehicles were owned by students and staff – possibly even the gunman … [Read more...] about Brian Williams takes on first big story in tragic Oregon school shooting
On Friday afternoon, students at Marysville-Pilchuck High School fled as a lone student opened fire in the crowded school. According to Marysville police, the gunman injured several people, then killed himself. Get In Stock Alerts on Twitter for SNES Classic, Switch and More Marysville, Wash., is located north of Seattle, approximately an hour away.Cox Media Group's local CBS affiliate, KIRO 7, was at the scene, reporting in livestream coverage across the internet as events unfolded. Police indicated the shooting happened around 10:39 a.m., Pacific Time, and requested parents not attempt to pick up their students at the school. And in fact, the station's chopper showed students evacuating from buildings, hands up, as they met with police, fire, and medic units before being bussed away, or moved to an area away from the school.As the shooting began, some students close to shooting ran to homes in the area.Tom Hopper emailed KIRO 7, stating, "Our son just called to let us know that … [Read more...] about What Happened In The Marysville-Pilchuck High School Shooting?