YouTube scrambled to remove graphic videos of a police officer bleeding to death, and it shows it's still not in control of its own platform

North County Police CooperativeMichael Langsdorf.
  • YouTube has removed two videos showing the shocking aftermath of a police shooting in St. Louis in which an officer named Michael Langsdorf was killed.
  • The incident was livestreamed on Facebook, and copies of the footage were uploaded to YouTube. One appeared among the top search results for “Michael Langsdorf.”
  • Several hours after Business Insider flagged the videos to YouTube, the platform took down the footage for violating its policies on graphic content.
  • It serves as another reminder of the challenge that companies like Facebook and YouTube face in dealing with graphic content being livestreamed and shared across their platforms.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

YouTube has removed at least two videos showing the shocking aftermath of a police shooting in the US city of St. Louis on Sunday.

The incident, in which an officer named Michael Langsdorf lay bleeding to death after being shot in the back of the neck, was livestreamed on Facebook. Copies of the footage were then uploaded to YouTube.

Business Insider identified at least two versions of the video, one of which appeared among the top search results for “Michael Langsdorf.”

It showed a chaotic scene, at the center of which was Langsdorf laying face down with blood pooling around his chest.

Both versions of the video carried the warning “This video may be inappropriate for some users,” followed by a message that says “I understand and wish to proceed.” Together, the videos were viewed about 15,000 times.

Michael LangsdorfYouTubeA now-deleted version of the Langsdorf video.

Several hours after Business Insider flagged the videos to YouTube, the platform took them down for violating its policies on graphic content. A spokeswoman did not comment further.

The original Facebook livestream was posted by Kashina Harper, a clerk in the store where the shooting took place. It was removed at the request of the North County Police Cooperative, which polices areas around St Louis.

Read more: Facebook and YouTube are dealing with another horror video after a US police officer was livestreamed bleeding to death

“When people pass away, we work to minimise painful and jarring experiences for their friends and family,” a Facebook spokeswoman told Business Insider.

“We have community standards and remove anything that violates them, including violence and graphic content. In addition to these policies, family of the deceased can use the violent-death contact form available in our help center to request video or photos showing the death of a loved one be removed.”

The incident serves as another reminder that Facebook and YouTube are struggling to deal with graphic content being livestreamed and shared across their platforms following the Christchurch, New Zealand, mosque massacre in March.

On Monday, the North County Police Cooperative said it had charged Bonette Kymbrelle Meeks, 26, with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, unlawful possession of a firearm, and felony resisting in connection with Langsdorf’s death.

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.