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Philando Castile Shooting Video Disappeared From Facebook, Social Media Company Asserts No Wrongdoing

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor
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A horrific incident of a fatal police shooting in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, was uploaded to Facebook, but was subsequently removed minutes later.

Facebook denies any wrongdoing and says they did not censor the content, but rather that a technical glitch caused the video to disappear.

The video was recorded by girlfriend Lavish Reynolds and shows Philando Castile bleeding profusely through his white shirt after having “four bullets” shot into him by a police officer. Castile died shortly after from his injuries.

A police officer stopped Castile for a broken taillight, according to Reynolds’ explanation in the video.

The video immediately went viral and comes just a day after police fatally shot Louisiana man Alton Sterling. Soon after the content was posted it became inaccessible.

“We’re very sorry that the video was temporarily inaccessible. It was down due to a technical glitch and restored as soon as we were able to investigate,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.

The video was placed back on the website roughly an hour later and included a warning to proceed with caution due to “disturbing” material.

Facebook first provided users with live video streaming capabilities around a year ago, and the Castile video recorded by Reynolds certainly proves the magnitude of such technology. Facebook’s features can now be used as tools to help report grave injustices.

Facebook has been accused of censorship in the past. The social media company was met with on an onslaught of criticism early in 2015 after they removed a picture of a famous piece of artwork by Gustave Courbet titled “The Origin of the World,” which depicts a woman’s genitalia. Facebook was also blamed for censoring conservative media only months ago, and the Senate Committee on Commerce investigated the situation.

If the tech conglomerate did in fact purposefully remove the video, then their tools’ full effects may be hampered due to the lack of freedom of information.

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