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Ways to Help When Social Media Friends Post Disturbing Images

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As investigators seek a motive for last week’s failed bank robbery in Saanich that left two young men from Duncan dead, attention has been drawn to social media posts by one of the brothers.

 

Mathew and Isaac Auchterlonie died during an exchange of gunfire with police outside the bank on June 28th.

 

A video made by a person who scrolled through the now-deleted Instagram account of Isaac Auchterlonie and then posted it to YouTube has been viewed more than 16 thousand times.

 

It shows photographs of the two young men in bulletproof vests, goggles, and helmets, pictures and videos of themselves firing firearms, poses with guns, photographs of firearms, and video clips from documentaries about wars.

 

Hazel Woodrow of the Canadian Anti-Hate Network says followers of that account likely had various reasons for not speaking up beforehand.

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She says people viewing the posts may have undercut their own gut feelings and concerns by thinking they were “minding my own business,” or didn’t “want to overreact.”

 

Woodrow also says they may have worried about avoiding a fight or viewed the person making the posts as “a cool person,” and “it’s probably nothing.”

 

However, she also notes there are few reporting options for people who may grow concerned about what they’re seeing online.

 

She suggests if a person does find themselves concerned about people who seem like they may be “getting into some scarier stuff” and believes it’s safe to do so, to try to maintain relationships and engage with them to prevent them from becoming even more isolated.

 

Woodrow says the Canadian Anti-hate Network encourages people with questions to reach out to them for assistance.

 

The organization now offers a toolkit that provides information on how to counter hate propaganda and grooming aimed at youth.

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That toolkit can be accessed at www.antihate.school.

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