Twitter on Friday appeared to remove gruesome video and images of a man being fatally injured by a light rail car Thursday morning in Baltimore, after an inquiry from The Baltimore Sun.
Twitter and Instagram users complained on social media after seeing the video, which showed the man's body along the tracks while spectators looked on. On Twitter, visuals were shared on at least two accounts — one of which had more than 2,000 retweets. While several users stated on Twitter that they had reported the video, many people tweeted that they continued to see the video as of Friday morning.
A Twitter spokesperson stated in an email to The Sun Friday that the videos circulating of the body violated the company's terms of service, and that officials were taking appropriate action. The spokesperson would not comment on whether the company received reports about the video prior to The Sun's email and directed a reporter to Twitter's website when asked about the process of reporting and taking down a video. Less than three hours after the email was sent, both reported links were inactive.
Instagram did not immediately respond to The Sun's requests for comment.
Many users saw the resharing and posting of the video as disrespectful.
"Baltimore twitter, stop retweeting that video of that man who got killed by the light rail. It's distasteful & disturbin," tweeted one user.
Baltimore Police spokesman T. J. Smith also asked people to "consider not sharing the video."
"There are some things you can't 'unsee'. Video of a man killed by a train is not something that should be for public consumption," Smith tweeted Thursday. "It's a traumatic incident, especially for his family, but also for those who witnessed it."
A Maryland Transit Administration spokeswoman said an investigation was under way.
Over the past five years, there have been 42 incidents in which a pedestrian was struck by a light rail train — six of which were fatal, the MTA said.
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Baltimore Sun reporter Jessica Anderson contributed to this article.
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