Monday, September 26

How Buffalo’s white supremacist terrorist used the networks to amplify his killing spree

It was all planned. Last Saturday, May 14, payton gendron dressed in a military suit, grabbed his automatic weapon and got in his car to go to the Tops Friendly Market, a supermarket located in a predominantly black neighborhood of buffalo, in United States. Earlier, she had activated the camera attached to his helmet to broadcast how he cold-bloodedly shot and killed 10 people. At its peak audience, the live broadcast by Twitter gathered only 22 spectators. Six days later, the video of the massacre has spread through the darkest corners of Internetaccumulates millions of views.

East terrorist attack highlights again as the white supremacy use the social media to amplify their propaganda and thus attract new followers to their cause. In addition to broadcasting it live as if it were a video game, the alleged perpetrator of the massacre – only 18 years old – posted a racist manifesto of up to 180 pages with his intentions on online forums such as Discord, 4chan either 8kunthese last two known for hosting all kinds of content, from child pornography to lurid murders, and for being the cradle of the Trumpist conspiracy movement QAnon. “IT’S HAPPENING: THIS IS NOT A DRILL,” she wrote.

Twitch owned by amazon, explained to the ‘Washington Post’ that he deleted the video two minutes after the attack began. Even so, at least one user downloaded it and spread it on other platforms, from large spaces like Facebook either Twitter to supremacist and neo-Nazi channels on networks like Telegram. Facebook even took 10 hours to remove videos that bypassed its controls.

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“The fact that an individual could publish detailed plans to commit such an act of hate without consequence, and then broadcast it for the world to see is chilling and unfathomable,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James, who will investigate on Wednesday. the role of social networks in the attack.

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From white supremacy to jihadism, social networks have become an indispensable element of terrorist propaganda. Beyond their conspiracy proclamations, the videos have managed to be an impact product both to frighten their victims and to seduce their followers, who consume barbarism as a product of ideological reaffirmation.

In his manifesto, the Buffalo terrorist explains that, bored during the pandemic, he found the video of the massacre on 4chan. Christchurch, in New Zealand. In 2019, the fascist Brenton Tarrant attacked two mosques and methodically murdered 51 people, broadcasting it all live for 17 minutes on Facebook Live. Before, he had discussed sharing with forum users like Reddit and 4chan the theory of the ‘Great Replacement’, a supremacist conspiracy – amplified and normalized throughout the world by figures such as Trump, abascal, Bolsonaro either Orban— who believes that feminism, immigration and progressivism seek to cause “white genocide.”

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Access to that document, still easily found on the internet, inspired the Buffalo attack. Gendron methodically followed in the footsteps of other terrorists. As the anti-Semite who murdered two people in Halle, Germany, did in 2019, the ultra-American went from using Facebook – whose users are older – to Twitch to ensure a greater impact. “Broadcasting this attack live gives me some motivation in the sense that I know some people are going to cheer me on,” he wrote before executing 10 innocent people.

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In the sewers of the internet, the Buffalo terrorist has learned to leave propagandistic traces of his work for those who come later. Theatrical and dramatic methods such as video, but also other more rudimentary ones. As early as 2011, the Norwegian neo-Nazi Anders Brevik He published in a manifesto the ideas that led him to assassinate 77 people. Those same racist conspiracies are the ones that bathed a Buffalo supermarket in blood this Saturday.

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