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Four months after the Christchurch attack, another murder has been broadcast online.

Warning: This post may cause distress for some readers.

On Saturday night, Bianca Devins, 17, and her friend, Brandon Clark, 21, attended a concert in New York.

It was meant to be a fun night out.

A chance for the friends, who had met for the first time two months ago after chatting online, to see musician Nicole Dollanganger in Queens.

But Bianca Devins would never return home.

In the early hours of Sunday morning, horrifying images began to emerge on a server Clark frequented on Discord.

“Sorry f*ckers, you’re going to have to find somebody else to orbit,” Clark allegedly wrote alongside the photo on Discord. (Orbiting is often used to describe men who frequently engage with a woman’s social media accounts in the hopes of sleeping with them.)

He also shared the photo to his since-deleted Instagram account, writing, “I’m sorry Bianca”.

 

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According to police reports, the photos showed Devins’ body covered in blood with wounds to her neck and throat.

When Devins’ online friend of three years, Chels, came across the photo on Sunday morning, she initially thought it was fake.

“I didn’t believe it [at first]. I thought it was a fake or a lookalike,” the 20-year-old told Rolling Stone.

“Then I started comparing her distinct facial features… after I realised, ‘Holy shit, this might be her.'”

After receiving multiple phone calls from concerned Discord users as well as a call from Clark himself, police attended the scene.

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When they arrived at the scene, Devins was found by a car. She was dead.

As officers for the Utica Police Department held Clark at gunpoint, he continued to post to his Instagram Stories, allegedly sharing photos of himself laying across Bianca’s body.

After attempting to harm himself with a knife, leaving himself seriously injured, Clark was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Since her death was confirmed, Devins’ family have released a statement.

“Bianca was a talented artist, a loving sister, daughter, and cousin, and a wonderful young girl, taken from all too soon,” the statement read.

“Bianca’s smile brightened our lives. She will always be remembered as our Princess.”

Devins’ sister also wrote: “I hate knowing you’re not going to ever come back home. You were the best sister anyone could’ve ever asked for.”

At this point, it is unclear what the nature of Clark and Devins’ relationship was. Although some reports claim the pair were in a relationship, Devins’ friend Chels described their relationship as “strictly platonic”.

In private messages between Devins and a friend on Discord shared with Rolling Stone, Devins explained that Clark was “so mad” because she had held hands with and kissed another man they reportedly met up with at the concert.

 

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The last message she sent was at 5.47am – less than two hours before police discovered her body.

On social media, many people have painted Clark as a lonely, obsessed fan of Devins, who worked as a model and an ‘e-girl’.

According to Buzzfeed, e-girls are young women who post about anime, video games and fashion online.

Although these reports haven’t yet been confirmed by police, some social media users have claimed that Clark may have killed Devins after she sexually rejected him, with some 4chan users likening Clark’s behaviour to that of University of California Santa Barbara shooter and ‘incel’ Elliot Rodger.

Days on from her death, the horrific photo of Devins’ body has been posted, taken down and reposted once again by hundreds of users on Instagram, 4chan and Discord. Even three days on from her death, the platforms are still struggling to keep up with removing the photo.

After she was killed, Devins’ Instagram account gained more than 89,000 followers – up from about 6000.

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On Facebook, Devins’ stepmother Kaleigh has expressed her outrage at the sharing of the graphic images.

“It is absolutely disgusting that people are sharing, screenshotting the pictures of Bianca’s death,” she wrote on Monday.

“I have seen the pictures. I will FOREVER have those images in my mind when I think of her. When I close my eyes, those images haunt me.”

 

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Just four months ago, video footage of the Christchurch massacre was shared widely on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The platforms were heavily criticised for failing to swiftly remove the posts.

This week, the murder of an innocent person has gone viral once again.

On Sunday night, hours after police had arrested Clark, the photos of Bianca Devins were still available for the world to see on his Instagram page.

Once the images were eventually removed from Clark’s Instagram page, they continued to recirculate as platforms struggled to keep up.

On Instagram in particular, some users even began to capitalise on Devins’ death, promising to post non-existent video footage of her murder in exchange for “likes and follows”.

A young girl has been murdered and social media users have shared horrific images of her body, largely unpoliced, in pursuit of engagement.

When the murder of an innocent woman becomes internet fodder, we have a serious problem.

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