In Wake of Sandy Hook Shooting, NRA's Twitter and Facebook Go Dark

Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012 10:13 AM

By Dale Eisinger

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Following last week's shooting in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and seven adults dead, the social media outlets of the National Rifle Association have gone silent.

As a flood of gun-control debate broke following the at Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy, the NRA made its main Facebook page inaccessible, in addition to staying quiet from its Twitter pages.

Friday morning was the last time the NRA issued some form of digital communication. "10 Days of NRA Giveaways — Enter today for a chance to win an auto emergency tool!” the tweet said.

On Thursday, the day before the shooting, the organization posted to its twitter account: "Did you hear? Our #facebook page reached 1.7 million 'likes' today! Thanks for being a friend!"

That’s a huge number by any measure. But that Facebook page wasn’t accessible to those millions — or anyone else, for that matter — as of Monday. The organization apparently made the page inaccessible to outside users.

The main NRA website has a news page of its own, but it has yet to post any news of the shooting at Sandy Hook. There was a video news update posted to the site on Friday, but there is no mention of the incident throughout the video. Some of the headlines on the page include, "Ohio: Senate approves bill to ease Right-to-Carry rules in Statehouse parking lot" and "Ohio: Pro-Gun Reform Legislation Clears Judiciary Committee and Goes to Senate Floor."

As BuzzFeed points out, the NRA usually handles shootings in this way. After this summer’s theater shooting in Aurora, Colo., the NRA did not make a tweet for 10 days. After a Sikh temple shooting in Wisconsin and a mall shooting in Oregon, both with multiple victims, the account went silent for only one day each — it seems depending on the death toll, the routine's timeframe can be modified.

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