When a 20-year-old man was captured by police yesterday after attempting to scale Trump Tower using suction cups for over two hours, it became, unsurprisingly, a national phenomenon. And while it’s still unclear why the man undertook such a disturbing feat, coverage of the event on video platforms including Facebook, YouTube, and Periscope yesterday garnered massive attention.
CNN, for instance, which livestreamed the saga for nearly two hours on its Facebook page, has now amassed more than 7.3 million views on the video. The company tweeted yesterday that this marks a record high for Facebook Live video viewership. And traditional news networks weren’t the only ones to stream the troubling goings-on. Periscope user Gerald Iorio, who was presumably positioned close to the proceedings, fired up his own stream for over an hour, reports The Verge, which culled a total of more than 645,000 viewers.
Live video wasn’t the only medium in which the phenomenon proliferated. After the man — who has only thus far been identified as Steve from Virginia — was detained, a YouTube video he filmed prior to the climb was unearthed. The one-minute clip shows Steve staring creepily off-camera, addressing Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump directly: “I’m an independent researcher seeking an independent audience with to discuss an important matter,” he said, before urging viewers to “Please help make this video go viral so that it gets to Mr. Trump.”
The video, titled Message To Mr. Trump (Why I Climbed Your Tower), has garnered over 1 million views to date.
After police knocked out a window pane on the 21st floor of Trump Tower, Steve was safely captured yesterday evening, according to ABC News, and removed from the building in a stretcher.