YouTube will not remove a three-hour livestream of the Colorado grocery store shooting

King Sooper Boulder shootings
Police respond at a King Soopers grocery store where a gunman opened fire on March 22, 2021 in Boulder, Colorado. Ten people were killed in the attack.

  • On March 22, 10 people were killed by a shooter at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, CO.
  • As the shooting unfolded, a YouTuber at the store began livestreaming what happened.
  • The three-hour video, which is now archived on YouTube, won’t be removed, YouTube says.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

On March 22, 10 people were killed in a shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado.

As the shooting unfolded, a man named Dean Schiller began livestreaming what he saw on YouTube. The video captures the bodies of victims on the ground and ongoing police activity. At one point in the video, Schiller argues with police who ask him to stop filming.

“I’m a journalist. There’s a lot of people who want to watch this right now,” Schiller says in the video. “I’m willing to risk my life for this.”

Despite depictions of graphic violence, YouTube isn’t removing the video.

“Following the tragic shooting in Boulder, bystander videos of the incident were detected by our teams. Violent content intended to shock or disgust viewers and hate speech are not allowed on YouTube, and as a result we have removed a number of videos for violating our policies,” YouTube spokesperson Elena Hernandez told Insider. “We do allow certain violent or graphic content with sufficient news or documentary context, and so we’ve applied an age restriction to this particular content. We will continue to monitor this rapidly changing situation.”

Schiller’s video, which is published on his ZFG Videography channel, features a prominent warning before it can be viewed:

YouTube content warning
The content warning YouTube puts in front of potentially disturbing videos.

YouTube has been repeatedly criticized for moderation – or lack thereof – in the past.

The company has even been sued by former content moderators, one of which claimed her job at the company led to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Schiller’s video, which the company characterizes as “news or documentary,” had just shy of 750,000 views as of Wednesday morning.

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