Instagram is in hot water after a man allegedly killed rising social media influencer Bianca Devins and posted her photo of her body to the platform.
Brandon Andrew Clark, 21, who lives in upstate New York, allegedly murdered 17-year-old Devins and then shared an image of her bloody body to Instagram Stories around 6:40 a.m. Sunday with the caption “I’m sorry Bianca.”
The post remained active on Instagram for 12 hours before it was taken down. In the interim, a sensitive content filter had been added, but users could still view the image by tapping the screen. Users reported the image, but Instagram initially did not find it "in violation of its guidelines," according to BuzzFeed News.
Instagram confirmed in a statement Monday the image and any copies had been removed. The statement did not address questions about delays in the image's removal.
“We removed this image, and subsequently the account, for violating our policies. To stop the content from spreading, we have technology that allows us to proactively find other attempts to upload the image in question, and automatically remove these posts before anyone sees them,” the statement read. “We are also reviewing hashtags and accounts claiming to share this content and taking action in line with our policies.”
The pair had reportedly attended a concert together in Queens Sunday night before returning home to Utica. Clark called the cops after the alleged stabbing, according to reports.
He also posted a photo of himself on Snapchat after slitting his own throat and uploaded another photo of Devins’ body to Discord, the New York Post reported.
When police in Utica arrived, they found Devins’ body under a green tarp. Clark was found laying on the tarp, his neck bleeding. He was rushed to the hospital in critical condition but is expected survive, the Times reported. He has since been charged with second-degree murder.
The couple reportedly met on a dating app and had been together for two months before the slaying. They’d allegedly gotten into an argument at the concert they attended, the Post reported.
Clark’s brother, James Ward, took to Instagram Monday to apologize on behalf of his family for the killing. “I’m deeply sorry something like this came from my family and my heart goes out for the family of the victim,” Ward wrote.
Ward also said he was the victim of online bullying because of his brother's alleged actions.
“Nothing better than waking up at 4am to find out your brother killed someone and tried to kill himself, and when you’re trying to understand and comprehend how the person you looked up to, and taught you so much is responsible for such a horrible act, and people proceed to go out and blame you for what he did,” he added.
Devins’ sister, Olivia Devins, described Clark as a close family friend in an Instagram post of her own after rumors spread that Clark was just Devins' “Internet boyfriend.”
“I hate that I have to write this.I hate knowing you’re not going to ever come back home," she wrote. "You were the best sister anyone could’ve ever asked for. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for being the best sister I could ever imagine. Thank you for always protecting me and sticking up for me.
"I am going to do this for you," she added. "Every day I’m going to do my best and I’m going to get through this thing called life and do it all for you. Rest easy, I love you so much forever and always."