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The Buffalo massacre puts the focus on a web full of hate messages

2022-05-16T21:50:18.586Z

4chan, fueled by hateful messages and where everyone posts anonymously, appears to be at the center of the Buffalo massacre.



"He shot her in the door": Buffalo victim's friend recounts tragedy 2:27

New York (CNN Business) --

On Saturday afternoon, an anonymous user wrote on the online forum 4chan: "Just 20 minutes ago I just witnessed a mass shooting at a tops supermarket live on twitch with like 20 other viewers." .

Hate-fueled 4chan, where all users post anonymously, appears to be at the center of the internet-tailored massacre that took place at a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday.

And this ranges from the discussion on the platform that apparently helped inspire the alleged attacker to the spread of the horrific video of the shooting.

  • ANALYSIS |

    Investigators and reporters study alleged racist writing after Buffalo shooting

A 180-page document attributed to the man suspected of the shooting, which killed 10 people, references how he was influenced by what he saw on 4chan, including how he was inspired by watching a video of a 2019 Christchurch mass shooting. , New Zealand, which were also broadcast live.

Ben Decker, the CEO of threat analysis company Memetica, told CNN that "this is an attack that mimics the Christchurch attack step by step, both in the real-world attack -- in the planning and targeting -- and online — the coordination of the

livestream

and the dissemination of a hate statement through fringe message boards."

Governor of New York speaks about the publications of the suspect of 4:53

The history of 4chan

4chan, created in 2003, claims it receives 22 million unique visitors a month, half of whom it says are in the United States.

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Although the site hosts forums on a variety of topics—such as video games, memes, and anime—and claims to have anti-racism standards, its lax approach to content moderation means that hate speech not allowed by more conventional platforms is spread more freely on 4chan.

4chan is part of the Wild West of the Internet.

While big tech platforms like Facebook and Twitter at least try to police their sites, almost anything goes on 4Chan.

Parts of their forums are devoted almost exclusively to sharing racist and anti-Semitic memes and tropes.

A similar site, 8kun — originally called 8chan, and spun off from 4chan when that forum banned the movement known as Gamergate — has been linked to other atrocities.

In the immediate aftermath of the Buffalo shooting, some 4chan users didn't talk about the horrific loss of human life, but instead shared methods of re-uploading the video of the shooting so it could be seen by more people.

Twitch, the Amazon-owned service where the shooter livestreamed part of the attack, said it removed the video for violating its policies two minutes after the violence in the recording began.

Based on the screenshots that have circulated, the live stream was only seen by a small number of people, perhaps as many as 20.

The dissemination of the video on other platforms

The 4channers who apparently recorded the live broadcast from their screens discussed tactics for re-uploading the video to other sites, and services that could be used to hide their identity while doing so.

Copies of the video were circulating online by Sunday.

And some of those copies were viewed millions of times.

  • Buffalo Massacre: She had just gotten to the store for ice cream with her daughters when people started screaming and running away

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter banned the video from being shared on their sites, but on Sunday these companies were making obvious efforts to contain its spread.

We still don't have statistics on the Buffalo video, but in the 24 hours after the Christchurch shooting, Facebook said it had removed 1.5 million copies of the shooter's video.

Supermarket shooting suspect didn't belong in Buffalo 0:23

The storage and sharing of these videos by far-right communities on 4chan and other fringe message boards may help inspire more bloodshed, according to Decker, as evidenced by what the Buffalo suspect wrote in his alleged document.

CNN has contacted 4chan for comment.

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Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-05-16

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