X struggles to stop spread of video showing US Air Force member setting himself on fire

The video recording of a US Air Force member who set himself on fire outside of the Israeli embassy in Washington over the weekend has continued to spread on social media platforms despite the removal of the original recording on Amazon Inc.’s Twitch website.

The video of Aaron Bushnell, who has since died from his injuries, was live-streamed on Twitch where a recording remained accessible for hours.

While the video itself was viewed by six people live, according to StreamsCharts, copies of the video posted across social media platforms have racked up hundreds of thousands of views.

A Twitch spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment.

More than 80 copies of the video under Bushnell’s name were posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, as of Monday.

While some versions of the video were censored, others were not.

The uncensored videos on X have accumulated nearly 200,000 views, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

A screenshot from the video.

X, which has struggled to moderate content that goes against its own guidelines, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

The continual posting of the video — despite social media companies’ policies prohibiting the airing of violent acts — highlights the challenges that platforms are facing in controlling the content shared on their sites.

Twitch’s content moderation has specifically drawn scrutiny from regulators.

This isn’t the first time that the live-streaming platform has been used to broadcast violent acts: In 2019, it was used by the perpetrator of an attack outside a synagogue in Halle, Germany, that left two dead.

In 2022, it was used by the gunman behind an attack in Buffalo, New York, that left 10 dead and three injured.

This weekend’s incident took place a day before US Supreme Court arguments on whether content on social media platforms needs to be moderated.

Bushnell had walked up to the Israeli embassy shortly before 1 p.m. on Sunday and began livestreaming on Twitch, the Associated Press reported, citing an unnamed person familiar with the matter.

Law enforcement officials believe the man started a livestream, set his phone down and then doused himself in accelerant and ignited the flames, the AP reported, at one point saying he “will no longer be complicit in genocide.”

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X struggles to stop spread of video showing US Air Force member setting himself on fire