Instagram is under fire for allowing a disturbing photo of a slain 17-year-old social media star to stay up for nearly a day after it was posted by a man she was seeing, 21, who is accused of slitting her throat after she had traveled hours to see him.
The image of Bianca Devins’ body was shared by Brandon Andrew Clark, 21, of Cicero in upstate New York, with the caption ‘I’m sorry Bianca’ at around 6.40am on Sunday. He uploaded it to his Instagram story and also posted it on Discord, a server where computer game enthusiasts chat.
Bianca and Brandon had been seeing each other for around two months after meeting online and she had gone to meet see him on Saturday. Her family have called him a ‘family friend’ who they trusted.
According to a friend of the pair’s, they had been at a concert and had gone home where he got angry and stabbed her because he was jealous she had flirted with another man.
After allegedly killing her in their SUV, Brandon called 911 and threatened to harm himself. When police arrived at his home, he started stabbing himself in the neck in a suicide attempt.
He was taken to the hospital, Bianca’s body was discovered and has now been charged with her murder.
But more than 12 hours after police found her body, Clark’s Instagram story remained active.
There was a filter on it which warned viewers that it was sensitive content but it was easily bypassed by a simple touch of the screen.
Only after other users complained was it removed and it had been screen-shotted and shared by scores of users by then. It took even longer for Instagram to disable Clarks’ account.
Brandon Andrew Clark, 21, of Cicero, is accused of killing 17-year-old Bianca Devins, pictured, before inflicting severe injuries to himself in upstate New York
Police said Clark – thought to be a frequent user of the dark web site 4chan – was being held on a second-degree murder charge and is currently hospitalized
Now, the company is under fire for not acting quickly enough.
It has not addressed the delay but told DailyMail.com on Tuesday: ‘ A spokesman for Instagram told DailyMail.com: ‘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.
‘We are also reviewing hashtags and accounts claiming to share this content and taking action in line with our policies.’
Bianca’s family have slammed it as ‘disgusting’ that people took photos of her body.
Before he called 911 himself, Clark posted this image of a road from inside an SUV on his Instagram story. He and Bianca had been at a concert in Queens and were driving back to Utica on Saturday night. He slit her throat then tried to kill himself hours afterwards
They are begging people to stop sharing them online and have asked instead that they remember her in a positive way.
Clark had met Bianca online and the pair were seeing each other for two months before her death. After stabbing her in the neck, he called 911 and told police where they were. When officers arrived, he started stabbing himself in the neck, started filming it on Instagram stories and also posed for a selfie with her corpse which, by then, he had moved beneath a green tarp, according to police. He remains in the hospital
‘It is absolutely disgusting that people are sharing, screenshoting the pictures of Bianca’s tragic death!
‘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,’ her mother, Kaleigh Nicole, said on Facebook on Monday night.
The family arranged candlelit vigils for her on Sunday.
They are also working to stamp out a fake GoFundMe account which is circulating online, asking for donations, which they said they had nothing to do with.
Instagram declined to say what time the image of Devins’ body was removed.
Devins amassed thousands of followers on Instagram on two different accounts.
Since her death, chat rooms and internet forums where people claim to have known her have been abuzz with rumor and discussion about her and Clark and how they met.
They say he ‘stalked’ her and was obsessed with her profiles. According to Rolling Stone, after killing her, Clark posted on Discord: ‘Sorry f*****s, you’re gonna have to find someone else to orbit.’
Orbit is an internet slang term for stalking a woman’s social media profile in the hope that she will have sex with you.
On Saturday, they had gone to a Nicole Dollenganger concert then driven back to Utica at around 10pm. Clark was the driver.
Many people were able to share the graphic picture before it was put behind a filter and then deleted
There was another man with them at the concert but he did not return with them. Instead, the three smoked marijuana at the concert, according to a woman who called herself Chels.
That is when, she said, Clark accused Devins of flirting with the other man and attacked her.
He then took to Discord and posted a photo of a road on his Instagram story with the caption: ‘Here comes hell. It’s redemption, right?’
After photos of her body emerged online, numerous people called 911 to report it. Police were already trying to find the pair when he called himself.
After news broke on social media of Devins’ killing, users flooded both Clark and Devins’ profiles with horrific comments about her death.
They used the hashtag ‘#RIPBianca’ and re-posted the gruesome image.
Internet star Bianca struck up a relationship with Clark when the pair met on the internet, over two months ago.
She also frequented gaming website Discord and image board 4chan.
The pair initially communicated over Instagram before meeting in person and developing a more intimate relationship and becoming acquainted with each others families.
Brandon Andrew Clark known as @yesjuliet on Instagram had his page disabled
Bianca is shown with her sister, Liv, and her mother, Kim, in an image posted by the family after her deth
Police arrived at the scene on Sunday morning to find Clark lying on the ground beside a black SUV.
When the officer approached, he began to stab himself in the neck with a knife.
The officer requested emergency medical care as Clark then laid himself across a green tarp that was on the ground.
Bianca’s family said she was a recent graduate who had overcome mental health issues
When asked about where the female was located, Clark told the officer that she was beneath the tarp.
Clark then pulled out a cell phone and took photos of himself laying across the deceased female.
Utica police told BuzzFeed News Clark kept posting to Instagram story while he was being held at gunpoint by officers.
In a statement released on Monday, Devins’ family described her as a talented artist and wonderful young girl who was excited about starting college.
‘She is now looking down on us, as she joins her cat, Belle, in heaven,’ the statement reads.
‘Bianca’s smile brightened our lives. She will always be remembered as our Princess.
‘Your prayers help to strengthen us through this difficult time.’
The blogger’s sister Liv paid tribute to her sister, writing: ‘I hate that I have to write this. I hate knowing you’re not going to ever come back home.
‘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. 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.’