In September of this year, Facebook reached 1 billion users. Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza, however, was not a part of that user count. Lanza, the small-town shooter who declared war on a suburban elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut on Friday morning, did not have an account on Facebook or Twitter.
Adam Lanza Facebook Pages Began After the Shooting
Over the past 5 years, Facebook has become one of the first places law enforcement and media look to gain more insight about possible motives, mental condition, and personality of the suspect in high-profile crimes. Lanza's mother, aunt, and brother had Facebook accounts and may be probed during the investigation. Additionally, tweets and posts from Adam Lanza's former classmates, friends and neighbors of Nancy and Ryan Lanza have been used in media and social media discussions over the weekend. Ryan Lanza used Facebook to deny that he had anything to do with Friday's shooting after was falsely accused when police found his ID on his brother's corpse.
For general Facebook users, the social networking site is a place to sort out details about the victims and developments in the story and to post, comment, and share on the situation. Since Friday's incident, 76 Adam Lanza Facebook pages have cropped up. Some of the pages have become places for people to grieve and share condolences for everyone affected. Other pages have political or gun reform agendas. Many of the Adam Lanza Facebook pages are outlets for people to vent, sometimes in graphic detail, about how they feel about the shooter or speculations about what may have caused his mind to malfunction on Friday.
In order to create new pages, Facebookers have had to become creative about different ways to make pages to speak out. Profile administrators have played around with the uppercase or lowercase variations of his name, added a period or a question mark to the end of his name, added words, or choosing what type of page. When users wish to create a page they are able to decide whether the page is a part of the following categories:
- Local Business or Place
- Artist, Band, or Public Figure
- Brand or Product
- Cause or Community
- Company, Organization, or Institution
In an example of one of the pages shown below, the administrator most likely chose "entertainer" as the category because all the other categories had been assumed.