Ronnie McNutt: A Life Beyond Virality

The Man Behind the Viral Video

Ronnie McNutt, 33, was more than just the face of a tragically viral video. An Iraq War veteran, he dedicated a significant portion of his life to serving his nation with the United States Army Reserve. After his tenure, he settled in New Albany, Mississippi, and was employed at a local Toyota plant. But the war didn’t leave him untouched. It left a trail of depression and PTSD, a silent battle Ronnie fought daily.

The Tragic Turn of Events

On the fateful day of August 31, 2020, the world witnessed a heart-wrenching moment. Ronnie took his own life during a Facebook livestream. This distressing act was viewed by over 200 individuals, including his closest friend, Joshua Steen. In a desperate attempt to save his friend, Steen reached out to the police, hoping they might intervene in time.

The Social Media Quagmire

The digital age has its pitfalls. Facebook’s delayed action in removing the video became a glaring testament to this. Hours turned to days, and the video spread like wildfire across platforms – from TikTok and Instagram to YouTube. The worst part? Many unsuspectingly stumbled upon it, unprepared for the traumatic content. And as if this was not enough, some users took it upon themselves to spread false stories and even memes about Ronnie, intensifying the virality.

Raising Awareness: A Dual Challenge

Seeing the unimaginable loss of his best friend, Joshua Steen took a stand. He challenged giants like Facebook for their tardy response. More importantly, he highlighted the harassment comments dotting Ronnie’s page. Steen’s call to action was simple yet powerful – stop sharing the video and honor Ronnie’s memory.

The aftermath of this event underscored two pressing issues – the undeniable importance of suicide prevention and the moral responsibility resting on the shoulders of social media platforms. When graphic content surfaces, swift action must be taken to protect the user’s and victims’ reputations online.

Remembering Ronnie: The Man Beyond the Video

While the internet might remember Ronnie for his last act, those who truly knew him remember a different person. A devout Christian, Ronnie was a pillar in his community, often seen at church gatherings. Friends and family fondly recall his kindness, infectious humor, and unwavering generosity. He was an individual who stood by others in their hour of need.

Ronnie’s interests were vast – from music and movies to video games. And though he may not be among us today, his legacy lives on through his parents, siblings, nieces, and nephews.


The story of Ronnie McNutt serves as a poignant reminder of the silent battles many veterans face. It’s a call for compassion, understanding, and action. It’s also a lesson for the digital world, emphasizing the need for robust protocols on graphic content. As we remember Ronnie, let’s not forget the broader issues and work collectively towards a better, empathetic world.


1. Who was Ronnie McNutt?

Ronnie McNutt was a 33-year-old Iraq War veteran and an employee at a New Albany, Mississippi, Toyota plant. He was known for his dedication to his country, kindness, and passion for music, movies, and video games.

2. What happened to Ronnie McNutt on August 31, 2020?

That day, Ronnie tragically took his life during a Facebook livestream. His decision to end his life was witnessed by more than 200 people in real-time, including his close friend Joshua Steen.

3. How did social media platforms respond to the video?

Facebook took several hours to remove the video, during which it was shared and re-uploaded on various other platforms, including TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube. This raised concerns about the responsibility of social media giants when handling sensitive content.

4. What issues did this event highlight?

The incident underscored the significance of suicide prevention and the responsibility social media platforms have in monitoring and promptly addressing graphic content to safeguard users and uphold the dignity of the victims.

5. Who was Joshua Steen about Ronnie?

Joshua Steen was Ronnie McNutt’s best friend. He tried to intervene when he realized what was happening during the livestream and subsequently took a stand against Facebook for their slow response in removing the video.

6. How did people remember Ronnie McNutt?

His loved ones remember Ronnie as a kind-hearted individual with a sense of humor and generosity. He was deeply involved in his community, regularly attending church and engaging in various activities.

7. What can we learn from this incident?

The event highlights the importance of mental health awareness, especially for veterans who have PTSD. It also emphasizes the need for stricter measures on social media platforms to ensure that graphic content is promptly addressed.

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