On Saturday night, 17-year-old “e-girl” Bianca Devins attended a concert in New York City. The next morning, she was found on the ground in her hometown of Utica with her throat slit. The alleged killer was her concert date, 21-year-old Brandon Clark, who allegedly uploaded photos of her dead body online before stabbing himself in front of police.
Clark posted the grisly images of Devins’s corpse, captioned “I’m sorry Bianca,” on Discord, a chat platform she frequented, and Instagram—where they quickly went viral. But even as her followers flagged the graphic pictures to the tech giant, new posts seemed to pop up right away.
The viral images stirred widespread outrage about the inability of large social media companies to police the proliferation of violent, graphic images.
A spokeswoman for Instagram said this in a statement to The New York Times: “Our thoughts go out to those affected by this tragic event. We are taking every measure to remove this content from our platforms.”
Clark’s Instagram page has since been taken down, but as of Tuesday night—several days after Devins’s body was found—photos of her corpse could still be found in the tagged photos section of her Instagram page.
“I thought if I reported it it would just be taken down, hence why I was so shocked that it was still up in the morning,” Lauren MacMillan, 19, told Rolling Stone. MacMillan reportedly received a DM from Instagram saying the photos of Devins’s dead body that she flagged on the social media app did not, in fact, violate its community guidelines. She also told the magazine that it worried her how easy it was to track down the images online.
Apparently some Instagrammers are even trying to capitalize on the brutal murder, promising to send interested parties photos of Devins via DM, in exchange for a follow. Her stepmother is reportedly pleading people to stop doing so: “I will FOREVER have those images in my mind when I think of her. When I close my eyes, those images haunt me,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “How about we have some fucking consideration for her Mother, Sister, Step sisters and brother, Step Mother and Step Father, her Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Nieces and Nephews and her friends. How about we have some fucking consideration FOR HER!!!”
Devins’s loyal Instagram followers are tagging her in pictures of pink clouds and cakes with #RIPBianca to drown out any of the lingering graphic images.
In a statement to The New York Times, her family described her as “a talented artist” who had plans to attend college in the fall.
“Bianca’s smile brightened our lives,” the statement said. “She will always be remembered as our Princess.”