Ross: Highland Park shooter’s published, violent fantasies were a needle in the internet’s haystack

Jul 5, 2022, 7:19 AM
Photo by Mark Borenstein...
Photo by Mark Borenstein

So much for not naming mass murderers…

The Highland Park shooter is now world-famous because his rap videos seemed to mirror what he was about to do. – Didn’t say when or where, of course, but the usual violent memes were there, and in hindsight, it would have been nice if somebody at the FBI had seen his videos and confiscated his weapons.

I suppose it would help if we could all scour the internet for violent rap lyrics posted by young men and report them.

But if you search the phrase “violent rap lyrics” you’ll get 303 million results. I wonder if the corporations who buy ads on YouTube realize their ads are appearing in videos where young men dance with guns and diss their dead enemies.

will give YouTube credit – it does remove a lot of stuff – despite the hit to revenues they must be taking. During the fourth quarter of 2021, it removed approximately 3,750,000 videos.

And let me give you some of the reasons:

Promoting violence or extremism – 71,250 removed.

Being hateful or abusive – 90,000 removed.

Cyberbullying – 322,500 removed.

Too violent or graphic – 746,250 removed.

Total: 1,230,000 suspect videos removed in just the last three months of 2021.

I don’t know if they all made it to the FBI, but the FBI can only process about 1300 tips a day.

Which means if the FBI wanted to anticipate crimes based on suspect YouTube postings, by my calculations, they’d need six times as many agents just to do that.

And that doesn’t include TikTok.

So, unless we decide to disarm all young males, it appears this is the world we live in.

By the way – the videos that remain even after all that purging include shocking celebrations of guns and death. And it’s not just in the U.S. – there’s even a meme going around Britain involving a killer Teddy Bear!

And yes– I can see why so many people feel a constant undertow of dread in their lives.

Is it because we’ve somehow spawned more disturbed people? Maybe. But more likely it’s because we’ve decided to create an unregulated platform where the most deranged among us can self-publish their nightmares.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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Ross: Highland Park shooter’s published, violent fantasies were a needle in the internet’s haystack