The modern age has brought with it the power of social media. It has created a new means of getting news, entertainment, and created a new breed of celebrity. But, the mass shooting in New Zealand, which left 49 people dead, has exposed a darker side to that interconnectivity social media brings with it.

In a report from The Verge, the shootings that occurred were planned and executed in such a way as to get attention quickly. This was done by the unnamed shooters leveraging social media platforms to expose their acts to the larger world.

There was a manifesto posted on message board 8chan and the shooting itself was live-streamed on Facebook as it was happening. It has since spread like wildfire, being reposted on YouTube and Reddit pages. The shooter even tells people watching to “subscribe to PewDiePie,” who is trying to get more YouTube subscribers to stay ahead of growing channel T-Series. PewDiePie did respond, condemning the actions of the shooters.

History has proven that news of mass shootings and terrorist attacks travels quickly, even before social media exploded. But with the advent of social media, it opened a door of exposure that, up to this point, hadn’t been leveraged in this manner.

Granted, waters had been tested in the past, like what happened in Moneta, Virginia, when a shooter killed his victims on live TV and uploaded videos of his acts online. But since then, any acts of violence like this hadn’t leveraged social platforms in a way as the New Zealand perpetrator did.

And considering the problems and debates that had already been surrounding social media and sharing platforms, like Facebook or YouTube, this further complicates the debate even more.

New zealand shooting The New Zealand shooting highlights the power of social media. A floral tribute is seen on Linwood Avenue near the Linwood Masjid on March 15, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images