Ronnie McNutt’s friends have blasted Facebook and say it is “directly responsible” for the video in which the man shot himself whilst live-streaming at his Mississippi home.
On August 31, Ronnie McNutt killed himself whilst at his Mississippi home sat at his front desk.
Devastatingly, the footage quickly became viral on both Facebook and TikTok as users continued to share it online.
Reports about the video have emerged in which it has apparently appeared on TikTok’s ‘For You’ trending homepage, making it much more difficult to avoid the disturbing footage.
A Facebook spokesperson has stated that the video was taken down a day after being aired, yet it was already too late as it had already reached TikTok users.
Ronnie’s friend Josh Steen has slammed Facebook, saying it is “directly responsible” for the video being shared online.
He told Heavy.com: “Facebook could’ve stopped this and didn’t.
“Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social platforms could ban accounts, IPs, and stop the spread of this video. YouTube can flag you for using two seconds of a copyrighted song, but can’t seem to filter out my friend ending his life. It does not make sense.”
According to Josh, Ronnie suffered from PTSD after serving in the Iraq war with the US army. He added that his friend “didn’t seem to be the same guy that left for Iraq once he exited the service.”
Josh is adamant that Ronnie never began the live-streaming with the mission of broadcasting his suicide. Instead, he believes his friend was “incredibly drunk” at the time, as he would often start Facebook live videos in which he would begin to “ramble”.
Recently, Ronnie had been struggling with some relationship issues and according to Josh, the video had already been reported to Facebook whilst his friend was still alive. He said he didn’t get a response until 11:51 pm, which was 90 minutes after Ronnie died.
Josh said that the video was removed from Facebook at 1.30 am.
Yet Ronnie’s friend also alleges that police officers were outside his friend’s home whilst the live-stream was taking place.
A Facebook company spokesperson said: “We removed the original video from Facebook last month on the day it was streamed and have used automation technology to remove copies and uploads since that time.
“Our thoughts remain with Ronnie’s family and friends during this difficult time.”
Meanwhile, countless social media users have insisted that the found the clip unintentionally and warned others that if they see the thumbnail, they shouldn’t click on it. The thumbnail shows a bearded man with glasses and he’s speaking to someone on the phone.
A Twitter user commented: “If you see this guy on your FYP [For You page] please scroll up immediately, it’s very gruesome and I highly suggest you stay away from TikTok for a while.”
Another wrote: “I was scrolling TikTok and suddenly there’s a video of a guy that killed themselves with a shotgun and I am seriously warning you DO NOT watch it DO NOT SEARCH FOR IT because it’s very terrifying and gory so pls BE CAREFUL god damn I’m shaking.”
A TikTok spokesperson said: “On Sunday night, clips of a suicide that had been live-streamed on Facebook circulated on other platforms, including TikTok.
“Our systems have been automatically detecting and flagging these clips for violating our policies against content that displays, praises, glorifies, or promotes suicide.
“We are banning accounts that repeatedly try to upload clips, and we appreciate our community members who’ve reported content and warned others against watching, engaging, or sharing such videos on any platform out of respect for the person and their family.
“If anyone in our community is struggling with thoughts of suicide or concerned about someone who is, we encourage them to seek support, and we provide access to hotlines directly from our app and in our Safety Centre.”
Ronnie McNutt had been working at the Toyota plant in Blue Springs, New Albany, before his death. He was also a former army veteran who had served in Iraq.
He was a member of the Celebration Church Tupelo; his death was confirmed on its Facebook page on September 1.
It said: “In the midst of a sudden tragedy that occurred last night, we grieve with the McNutt Family during this time because passing of our brother in Christ, Ronnie McNutt.
“Ronnie will be missed by all who loved and knew him. He was very caring, committed, loyal, dependable, and eccentric. He served his church faithfully and was loved by many.
“Although events surrounding his death were tragic, we take comfort in our Creator, believing that because of Ronnie’s confession and conversion as a believer in Christ Jesus, he is currently before our loving Father.”
In order to raise money for McNutt’s family, the church has launched an online fundraiser.
If you are in need of emotional support, you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email [email protected], visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.