Man Is Charged With Killing His Father After Posting Grisly YouTube Video - The World News

Man Is Charged With Killing His Father After Posting Grisly YouTube Video

A man who posted a graphic video on YouTube in which he claimed to be holding his father’s severed head was charged with murder and abuse of a corpse early Wednesday after his father’s body was found in a Pennsylvania home, the police said.

Lt. Stephen Forman, a detective with the Middletown Township Police Department, said the man, Justin Mohn, was arrested Tuesday night. The police also confirmed that it was Mr. Mohn in the YouTube video, in which he promoted conspiratorial and anti-government views and briefly showed what he claimed was his father’s head wrapped in plastic.

The video, which has since been removed, appeared to have been filmed during the daytime and was online for about five hours, Lieutenant Forman said. He added that it had received just over 5,000 views. During the time the video was available Mr. Mohn’s subscriber count increased to eight from four, the detective said.

“From the way he was talking, you’d think he had a whole militia with thousands or hundreds of thousands of people,” Lieutenant Forman said, referring to Mr. Mohn’s small following on YouTube.

Mr. Mohn was arrested in Fort Indiantown Gap, more than 110 miles from the scene of the crime, said Chief Joseph Bartorilla of the Middletown Township Police Department. He was being held without bail, according to Lieutenant Forman.

The police said that Mr. Mohn’s mother, had called them around 7 p.m. on Tuesday and reported finding her husband dead. The police said the man was found in the bathroom of the home, in Levittown, about 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia.

On Wednesday morning, YouTube confirmed it had taken down the video because it violated the company’s graphic violence policy. It also terminated Mr. Mohn’s channel for violating its violent extremism policies.

YouTube said it was monitoring for any re-uploads of the video to prevent it from resurfacing.

YouTube videos are reviewed by a combination of humans and machines, according to the company. It’s unclear, however, how such a graphic video could stay online for five hours before being taken down, and a YouTube spokeswoman did not answer questions about why it took that long for the video to be removed.

Between July and September of last year, YouTube took down more than 10.5 million channels and more than 8.1 million videos, according to the company. More than 95 percent of the removed videos were first flagged by automated systems, according to YouTube.

YouTube’s policies prohibit graphic violence, including content that encourages people to commit violent acts or is intended to shock or disgust viewers.

It is hardly the first time that a tech company has grappled with disturbing violence or calls for violence on its platform. Over the last decade or so, tech giants have struggled to eliminate such content, along with racist and discriminatory posts.

In 2019, after an Australian man live streamed an attack on Facebook in which he killed 51 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, Facebook said it would place more restrictions on the use of its live video service.

Seven years ago, several companies — including major ones like AT&T and Johnson & Johnson — said they would stop their ads from running on YouTube over concerns that Google, which owns YouTube, wasn’t doing enough to prevent brands from appearing next to hate speech and other offensive material.

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