YouTube, Instagram, Discord appear to pull pages belonging to Illinois shooting person of interest
YouTube, Instagram, Discord, and Twitter moved quickly to pull social media pages that appeared to belong to Robert Crimo III, a person of interest in the Chicago suburb shooting that left six dead and dozens injured this afternoon. Under a pair of aliases, Crimo seems to have posted more than a dozen videos to YouTube and hosted a Discord channel named “SS,” which was open to the public through an invite link.
Crimo’s apparent YouTube account hadn’t posted in around eight months, based on The Verge’s viewing before the account was pulled. The most recent video included concerning language and imagery that appeared to involve classrooms and stick-art depictions of people being shot. Another clip seemed to be a music video for a rap song, which ended in Crimo wearing protective gear and handling bullets in what appeared to be a classroom. YouTube spokesperson Farshad Shadloo confirmed that “violative content” had been removed following the shooting.
Under a rap alias, which The Verge is declining to name, Crimo appeared to have posted multiple albums to Spotify and several EPs and singles to Apple Music, both of which remained online into the evening on July 4th. The tracks were later pulled from both platforms. A Spotify spokesperson, who asked not to be named discussing a sensitive situation, said the company made the decision to remove the content in partnership with its distributor.
The Verge reached out to all of the platforms mentioned above for comment. Instagram, Discord, Twitter, and Apple did not respond to requests for comment. Social media posts suggest a TikTok account linked to Crimo may have been removed as well. TikTok also did not respond to a request for comment.
After the mass shooting in Buffalo, New York in May, it was quickly found that the suspect in that shooting had discussed plans for his attack on a private Discord server. He also used Twitch to live stream his attack. Less than two weeks ago, the US Supreme Court ruled that it should be harder for states to place restrictions on guns.
Update July 5th, 12:10AM ET: The album’s under Crimo’s rap alias have now been removed from Spotify and Apple Music; this story has been updated with a comment from Spotify.
Update July 5th, 12:27PM ET: YouTube confirmed that it removed content following the shooting.