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Umpqua Community College shooter apparently announced his plans on 4chan yesterday

Police inspecting bags of students at Umpqua Community College after the shooting today
Police inspecting bags of students at Umpqua Community College after the shooting today

UPDATE: The shooter has been identified as 26-year-old Chris Harper-Mercer. Rumors spread earlier in the day that the shooter was a a regular 4channer and active Youtuber known as “the eggman.” Obviously they were wrong.

This is beyond fucked up. In this archived thread from 4chan’s /r9k/ board, the apparent shooter at Umpqua Community College told fellow channers yesterday of his plans to shoot up a school today. He didn’t specify which school, mentioning only that it was in the “northwest.” /r9k/ is a board heavily populated by so-called “incels,” and the media is reporting that the apparent shooter regularly posted bitter complaints about his lack of success with women,

UPDATE 2: There is a lot of confusing and contradictory information out there, and the IDing of the killer has actually raised more questions than it’s resolved. An apparent Myspace page for Harper-Mercer suggests that he was obsessed both with guns and with the IRA.

There have also been reports that he was targeting Christians. According to the New York Post, a “woman who claimed to have a grandmother inside a writing class in Snyder Hall, where a portion the massacre unfolded” reported that

“The shooter was lining people up and asking if they were Christian,” she wrote. “If they said yes, then they were shot in the head. If they said no, or didn’t answer, they were shot in the legs.

So was he — as an apparent supporter of the IRA — targeting Protestants? The Daiy Beast, for its part, says the shooter “hated religion.” Chuck C. Johnson of GotNews says he’s “confirmed” that the shooter was a Muslim.

Is the Myspace page really his? Is the report from the alleged granddaughter bullshit? Was the 4chan posting yesterday actually from him, or a comment from a troll that just happened to have been posted the day before a school shooting in the northwest?

I don’t know. But I still recommend that you read the rest of this post, if only to see the comments from the other 4channers.

Screenshots below:

Here’s his first comment warning fellow channers not to go to school today if they live in the northwest.

umpwarning

He then said he’d post again shortly before he started to shoot. (I don’t know if he did.)

ump10min

Because 4chan is a fucking cesspool, other channers offered him advice:

umpadvice

Another anon suggested that indiscriminate killing wasn’t the solution, seeming to imply that more targeted killing was?

umprandom

Others put forth their ideas of what sorts of people might be considered appropriate targets:

umpad2

umptarg

More encouragement. Note the reference to Elliot Rodger, the Santa Barbara “incel” killer.

umpenc

umenc2

umpenc3

umpenc4

umpenc5

umpenc6

A few others urged the OP to NOT carry out his plans.

umpdnt

umpwhite

After reports of the shooting hit the news, anons reacted with amazement:

umpafter

Amazement and enthusiasm:

umpafter2

In case you’re wondering, “kek” is the equivalent of “lol.”

More excitement:

4chanagain

4cchan2

4chaf

There’s much more of this in the thread.

Naturally, someone claims that the shooting could have been averted if only the shooter could have found a girlfriend.

vict

Yes that’s right: he thinks the shooter was himself a victim, presumably of the entire female gender.

There’s a lot more in the thread but honestly I can’t stomach it right now.

Note: This post has been updated numerous times.

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Ellesar
Ellesar
5 years ago

Forget the 26-year-old zero who murdered 10 innocents at Umpqua Community College on Thursday morning.

The one to remember is 30-year-old Chris Mintz, the student and Army vet who was shot at least five times while charging straight at the gunman in an effort to save others.

Alpine, RN
Alpine, RN
5 years ago

if it makes you feel any better, the only reason i’m still awake is the adrenaline from literally saving someone from death with sheer force of will, and the teamwork of my team (gay and straight, male, female and other)…literally. we BEAT DEATH LAST NIGHT

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
5 years ago

Here’s the article I went from, the quote about the rise of psychological explanations is in the footnote on page 452:

http://logicalliving.blog.com/files/2011/04/Suicide-Ten.pdf

I’d take the reports that the shooter specifically targeted Christians with a grain of salt: the attribution was vague and similar martyrdom language surrounded Columbine but that turned out to be a hoax. Evangelical culture has a bit of a persecution complex in that regard.

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
5 years ago

Eh, the link in my previous post should have gone with a content warning for mass murder, suicide and other nastiness.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@Alpine, RN
Nurses are my heroes.

Congratulations on your win!

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

I’m watching TV news and as of now it appears NBC and CNN are backing off the story of him targeting Christians.

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

Okay. Now MSNBC is talking about it. It seems like there are reports of that but the police haven’t officially stated the motive yet.

David
David
5 years ago

Possible trigger warnings (though 100% not intended!!!) in describing 4chan and my response to it as having been a reader and poster on that forum a number of years ago. I should note for the record, *never* have I *ever* encouraged anyone to kill him/herself or to kill another person, and I have been, throughout the entirety of my life, a pacifist believing that the pen is mightier than the sword.

Orion, you’re on the right track with 4chan but not spot-on, which is no doubt because you haven’t used it (nor should you, in my opinion, or any other person ever use it). I *have* been a reader and sometime-poster on 4chan in the past (probably most of us have done/said stupid crap they regret in their young and reckless days).

I no longer have any association with 4chan because I view the whole site (and similar sites like 8chan, somethingawful.com, etc.) as digital shelters for torture porn, misogyny, and various other extreme forms of sociopathic and misanthropic behavior. And I’m using the term “sociopathic” not as a slur but in its true meaning: these are people who have serious social pathologies, most of whom would likely benefit from mental health counseling but most of whom are narcissistic enough that they will likely never seek out said help, which is a shame because we would all be better off and likely half the MRAs out there would cease their butthurt ranting.

What 4chan has made an ‘art’ of is the use of extreme, violent snark and sarcasm as a form of joke. For example, someone might post “Hey anonymous, my girlfriend broke up with me. What should I do?” and some other anonymous posters will invariably say things like “Kill that b****” or “Make death threats to her family”, that sort of thing. Having been on 4chan myself and having known some people who used 4chan, I don’t think *most* of the people who respond that way are serious about it. I understand that DOES NOT make it right to respond that way; I would never argue that. I simply mean to point out that it isn’t so much that it’s a pack of homicidal goons as it is a lot of teenage to twenty-something kids/young adults who take nothing seriously, don’t really have much in the way of values or ethical role models, and who are parroting formulaic tropes called memes.

Those memes start out as absurdist responses to the mundane such as, “Got a bad grade. What should I do?” with the response “KILL YOURSELF.” As warped as that may seem, it is perceived as humorous to some folks because it is such a non sequitur: a bad grade is hardly worth suicide. That catches on as a “funny” meme and people start applying to to more situations and scenarios until it becomes sort of a go-to catch phrase. Again, I recognize that is pathological and I’m not saying it’s good or even neutral behavior: it is actively bad behavior. My point is simply that I don’t think most of the folks doing this are thinking, “Man, I sure hope that kid actually *does*, in fact, kill himself over a grade.” I think the idea is more like “Boo hoo, a bad grade, get over it” which takes the form of the extremely sarcastic (and mean) “Kill yourself.”

NOW, the problem arises when you have individuals who are actually unbalanced. And I’m speaking from a place here: my own little brother has some mental health issues that lead to paranoia and delusions of conspiracies all around him. So please, I’m not trying to demonize people with mental health disorders *at all*. Indeed, my wife is a social worker who specializes in mental health counseling and we both recognize the importance of and critical need for proper counseling and rehabilitation for people who have had psychotic breaks and various other mental health disorders. I am simply saying here that when someone who does have such an imbalance and who is not being treated for it comes across a website full of people about their same age who have similar interests and they see that those people are all suggesting that going on a killing spree or killing yourself (or both) are acceptable, I think that causes a distortion in their thinking.

And indeed, I believe studies on things like watching pornography and the like have confirmed repeatedly that even so-called “healthy, normal people” (I still haven’t met one, really) watching that kind of stuff experience a shift in their worldview, be it ever so subtle. So it isn’t really much of a stretch to suggest that if a person is steeped in the toxic culture of 4chan, it is going to push them along the spectrum from docility to aggressiveness in a lot of bad ways.

But those who are calling for 4chan to be shut down need to recognize something important: at least 4chan is easily accessible to law enforcement and the like. There is something far more pernicious called the “Deep Web” which is a conlgommeration of sites that are not indexed by standard web crawlers like Googe, Yahoo!, etc. and as such, you can’t “find them” on a standard browser search. You need something like The Onion Router (TOR) to get at them. There are far, *far* worse things in the Deep Web than passive agressive trolls who get their jollies from murderous rampages. It is unlikely that something like the Deep Web could ever be shut down because of the infrastructure of how the Internet works. But at least if a website *is* indexed like 4chan, agencies like the FBI and the police can (and do) monitor it pretty easily. I would rather those sites stay above ground rather than go below ground, because once below ground they get harder to keep track of. Would you rather a school shooting be reported on an indexable forum or in an underground channel where it is unlikely to be noticed in time? I’d rather the former than the latter.

But of course, what I’d *really* rather have is for people to stop trying to solve their anxieties, their social ills, their perceived slights, and even their real slights through violence and suicide. We need to work on creating a culture where it is acceptable to have civilized discourse with one another. I think that begins with tearing down walls of fear between people groups (the cis/trans wall, the black/white wall, the gay/straight wall, the Christian/atheist wall, the American/Muslim wall, male/female, etc.). To that end, as a cis, white, male, Christian American I do my utmost always to have my ear open and my shoulder available to anyone who needs to be listened to and to bring comfort and rest to anyone I can. I don’t necessarily *agree* with every point of view, but I will listen to it, I will be willing to enter into conversation with the real possibility of my worldview changing, and I will seek to be a blessing, not a bludgeoning. I think this is probably the best way forward since it seeks the good of other people over the warm fuzzy of pronouncing oneself to be always right and never wrong.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 years ago

@epitome of incomprehensibility:

I’ve been really busy with work and I haven’t posted here in a while (a small bit of good news, for what it’s worth – I did get the job I mentioned in the personal-thread post a few weeks ago) and I was wondering if anyone mentioned the Canadian murders on Sept. 23.

I emailed that to David earlier after hearing about it on Metro Morning, but I didn’t see anybody mention it on site.

Buttercup Q. Skullpants

This fills me with deep, deep sadness. We’re like the pot of petunias from Hitchhiker’s Guide. Every time this happens, we think “Oh no, not again” and go plummeting into space. Nothing ever changes. The cycle keeps repeating. Those who have the will to do something about it don’t have the power, and vice versa. I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know why politicians are OK with allowing the second amendment to trump the right of ordinary citizens to live. What has happened to the US?

I wish we were better at teaching empathy, emotional coping skills, and respect for others’ wellbeing to young children. For all that the manosphere and 4chan types sneer at emotions, empathy is what stops you from pulling the trigger on other human beings. Logic alone can’t prevent a mass shooting. In the hands of toxic masculinity, logic gets misused in ways that make this kind of thing more likely to happen.

I also wish the media would stop publishing the names and back stories of mass murderers, Mass killing sprees should not be an easy route to fame for angry disenfranchised men with guns. Shooters should be identified briefly only by age and gender. Let law enforcement comb through their social media accounts. Don’t splash their facebook pages and twitter feeds all over the nightly news. Don’t give a platform to their hatred. Don’t inspire the next malignantly narcissistic copycat.

Or, if they must delve into the “why” and “how”, then stop treating these incidents like isolated events and chalking it up to mental illness. Talk about what’s feeding the hatred. Shine a spotlight on the links between misogyny, racism, violence, guns, toxic masculinity, and American culture. Let’s have those uncomfortable conversations that everyone tiptoes around every time something like this happens. That’s our only hope of ever getting at the root cause of these shootings, if we’re not to continue materializing as a surprised bowl of petunias in the sky every few weeks.

I go on r9k a little bit when bored but sorta surprised someone actually did something like this cause most people are being ironic.

Um….I don’t see how you can “ironically” be a terrible human being. If a person is encouraging someone to shoot other human beings, even “ironically”, then that person is a terrible human being. If a person gets their lulz from hanging out with sadistic edgelords fantasizing about (and celebrating) hurting other people IRL, then that person is a terrible human being. Keeping their fingers crossed behind their back doesn’t change the fact that their words helped strengthen a murderer’s resolve and helped make these deaths a reality.

“Can’t shake the devil’s hand and say you’re only kidding.”

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 years ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullpants
This is where the party ends.
I’ll just sit here wondering how you
can stand by your racist friend.

Robjec
Robjec
5 years ago

OK responding to a few things that were said a few times.

Law enforcement is unlikely to leave them alive most likely due to the fact that they are armed and have shown they are willing to kill, which means that not stopping them immediately could led to more deaths, either the officers or more bystanders. Combine this with the fact that shooting to disarm is incredibly hard in a good situation and you are making a life and death dission and you can’t really blame them for killing the mass murderer.

As to the planed parenthood being terrorist, they are in the common since or the word, but the legal aspects of terrorism mean you get to disregard someone’s rights. So law enforcement avoids it back use of the potential to abuse the term. While news and normal people can use the term to mean someone who causes terror, from a legal point a view it would be very hard to use against anyone who is a citizen. It might mess with the innocent until proven guilty part of out law.

sn0rkmaiden
5 years ago

I agree with the above sentiments that the name that should be remembered is Chris Mintz.

I really hope he pulls through and recovers fully. It was his son’s sixth birthday that day, no one should lose their dad on their birthday.

Christopher Poole
Christopher Poole
5 years ago

So depressinf to see these people egging him on…
I wonder if getting caught was part of his plan.
My prayers go to family of the victims. If you’re reading this: For you.

sn0rkmaiden
5 years ago

@Jenora Feuer

Thank you for the They Might Be Giants reference, I haven’t thought about them in years 🙂

Zack
5 years ago

owh… lol…

John Pavlich (@johnpavlich)

I live in Texas and right now, there’s serious talk about passing open-carry laws (a few folks are betting it gets delayed because of all this). Personally, I’ve never understood the mindset of “everyone would be a lot safer if they were armed.” It just seems obviously backwards and contradictory. I have no specific issue with guns but I fear and respect them, whereas most people (in my experience), particularly those who already have them, treat guns like toys. Something they’re entitled to.

While I agree that yes, having more options with which to defend yourself is important, I find guns to be so volatile and dangerous that most people probably aren’t qualified or can’t be trusted to properly operate one. People like to bring up statistics in which places with a lack of guns result in more gun violence than not, but I’ve seen statistics that just as easily prove the opposite, in that places that have strict laws against guns tend to have little to no gun violence. Maybe I’m wrong, I don’t know.

My point is, no one seems to consider the possibility that giving everyone such a weapon has a very high potential to result in more shootings, both accidental and otherwise. I’d wager it comes from a kind of Monday morning quarterback mentality. After events such as these, people call for more guns or fight harder against “gun control” because they like to think they would be able to calmly eliminate a threat, without incident or collateral damage. History suggests that most people would panic and make the situation worse. I mean, we seem to currently be living in a state of perpetual fear because some of our Police (people who are supposed to have had extensive, proper training with firearms and high stress situations) are ever shooting people at an alarming rate, most of whom weren’t even armed. I often wonder if things would have gone a lot smoother if those particular officers didn’t have access to a gun in those moments.

And that’s all I’m really doing here. Wondering. Thinking out loud. It’s how I process the illogical. I examine things from a logical point of view. I apologize if there are potentially any gun enthusiasts reading this, who might get the wrong idea. I’m not trying to attack this from a reactionary, “BAN ALL THE GUNS” position, I just wish there were better, safer instruments we could implement to protect ourselves and others from those who choose to use those same instruments against us.

I, of course have no answers, only questions.

Ellesar
Ellesar
5 years ago

David – I appreciate your comment about 4chan, for providing some insight into that sick sad world, but I HAVE to point out that ‘kill the b*tch’ comments for a dumped boy/ man, are NOT AT ALL the same as ‘kill yourself’ aimed at someone failing academically.

Reason being that one of the most common reasons a woman is murdered IS a man who has been recently dumped by her. Leaving a violent man is the most dangerous time for a woman, and even men who have not previously been violent (abusive in non physical ways) may kill a partner when she leaves (or threatens to).

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
5 years ago

It’s sad how the discussion looks set to go down the gun control spiral again. Don’t get me wrong, I love gun control (ownership registration, gun permits, mandatory background checks, bans on several types), but as people here know there’s more wrong with American gun culture than the sheer amount of guns.

So my question is, how many people here would mind to make calls for gun control secondary to what Katz described here, making a conversation break through?

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jackson-katz/men-gender-gun-violence_b_2308522.html

Ellesar
Ellesar
5 years ago

ignorantianescia –

There is certainly a cultural issue, but are the people of the US prepared to look at that culture, and its media, in order to find out why the US, out of all Western countries, has such a terrible problem with spree and mass killings, and particularly of and by its young people?

weirwoodtreehugger
5 years ago

There’s plenty of misogyny, racism, and entitled rage in other countries. There are plenty of mentally ill people in other countries. Yet the US is the only one who routinely has mass shootings. I should think it makes sense to look at the sheer number and easy accessibility of guns as a damn big factor.

Catalpa
Catalpa
5 years ago

I never understood the “to stop a bad guy with a gun you need good guys with guns!” argument. I mean, you could maybe argue it in the case of law enforcement, but for civilians?

Okay, so you hear gunshots and turn around to see some evil gunman shooting people. Being a good, armed citizen, you pull out your own gun and put him down… And then are shot by another good, armed citizen who just watched you, a strange gunman, murder someone. In a crisis, identifying who the bad guy with the gun is 100 times more difficult if there are also so called “good guys” firing indiscriminately at potential “bad guys”. Not the mention the vastly increased chance of collateral damage even if everyone does somehow know who to shoot at.

🙁 The gun problem in the US is terrifying. My heart goes out to the victims and their families in this tragedy.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

In the UK our security and intelligence services keep an eye out for this sort of thing and stop them before they are allowed to occur.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-33718094

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago
History Nerd
5 years ago

@David I appreciate your post, but I don’t think the problem with 4chan is irony or offensive off-color jokes. Offensive humor can be a good thing, but the key is that you need really good execution and you need to be very self-conscious about what you’re doing. The problem arises when the humor comes at the expense of people in an oppressed group or reinforces incorrect notions people have about violence or discrimination against them.

So, taken as innocently as possible, “kill the bitch” is supposed to be funny because it’s a grossly disproportionate response to a break up, but it’s still problematic. The problem is that it reinforces the cultural myth that men who kill their exes are just violent criminals who exist separately from culture and there’s nothing we can do except prosecute them after the fact. The message to victims of violence or discrimination is “Well, sucks for you, but that’s just how the world works and we’re not responsible for changing anything.”

banned@4chan.org
banned@4chan.org
5 years ago

I’ve talked about the “containment” theory before, that boards like /r9k/ and /pol/ exist to prevent stupid rants about “Chads” and black people from clogging otherwise decent boards, and how containment seems to have backfired.

4chan’s new owner, Nishimura, is actually kind of infamous for refusing to make changes to 2chan in response to social pressure, and even for responding to legal pressure in the most reluctant manner possible. I worry that even if the administrators could be convinced to crack down on this shit, Nishimura himself couldn’t be bothered to try.

Goddamnit, I just wanted to be able to use a message board without having to bother with a user account or memorize yet another fucking password. I didn’t sign up to implicitly accept this shit.

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
5 years ago

There’s plenty of misogyny, racism, and entitled rage in other countries. There are plenty of mentally ill people in other countries. Yet the US is the only one who routinely has mass shootings. I should think it makes sense to look at the sheer number and easy accessibility of guns as a damn big factor.

All true, I never meant to imply that the volume of guns isn’t a relevant factor nor that strict gun control shouldn’t be pursued (however, I don’t think mental illness is a relevant factor). But the US also have a unique gun culture where many men feel they need guns to be real men and to be able to fight ‘government tyranny’. That’s very different from comparably rich regions in Europe with high gun ownership such as Switzerland (conscription and patriotism), Finland (not sure, probably hunting) and Svalbard (required outside settlements as protection against polar bears). You don’t see the same kind of male emotional dependence on guns as in NRA circles. Mass shootings are exceptionally common in the US even when you control for ownership rates. High gun ownership creates misery in Switzerland and Finland, too, by the way.

However, the immediate response that calls for more gun control provokes a backlash from mostly male people who emotionally depend on guns. It keeps American society trapped inside the gun control debate spiral. That spiral can result in gun control, but so far it hasn’t led to much result.

Another way to see it is: if gun control is in place but due to the unchanged pervasive gun culture the results are disappointing, it is guaranteed that this gives conservatives a powerful argument that it isn’t the silver bullet. Gun control needs to be combined with a culture shift.

dannychameleon2015
dannychameleon2015
5 years ago

I didn’t know about the ban on the CDC researching gun violence. That is completely f^&*ed!

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 years ago

@sn0rkmaiden:
Well, Buttercup used one line, I just added a few more.

With regards to the whole ‘naming is glorifying’ issue… I know people who to this day steadfastly refuse to use the actual name of the person who killed John Lennon, largely because said killer had stated that he didn’t care about Lennon himself, just about his own notoriety for killing someone famous.

deniseeliza
deniseeliza
5 years ago

Gun control needs to be combined with a culture shift.

The culture shift is gun control.

There’s no way America will pass gun control on a wide scale until Americans themselves are ready, on a wide scale, to give up guns. That’s just not how our country’s laws work. President Obama is limited in what he can do, and anything he can do unilaterally will have a very limited influence. We would need a critical mass in Congress, and in the states, to make a difference.

And none of that will happen without a critical mass of Americans who are ready to value our lives over our ability to kill with guns.

And that’s won’t happen until our culture changes.

So yeah, when we ask for gun control that’s pretty much the same thing as asking for a culture shift, because one requires the other.

Not to mention, it’s a damn sight easier to convince people that masculinity doesn’t require guns than masculinity is toxic and bad as a concept. After all, we’ve been mostly successful at decoupling masculinity and duels, and masculinity and smoking cigarettes. Getting Americans to give up their guns is a big ask, but getting them to give up masculinity as a concept is even bigger. Toxic masculinity without guns is a whole lot less deadly than toxic masculinity with guns.

Mike
Mike
5 years ago

Okay, so you hear gunshots and turn around to see some evil gunman shooting people. Being a good, armed citizen, you pull out your own gun and put him down… And then are shot by another good, armed citizen who just watched you, a strange gunman, murder someone. In a crisis, identifying who the bad guy with the gun is 100 times more difficult if there are also so called “good guys” firing indiscriminately at potential “bad guys”. Not the mention the vastly increased chance of collateral damage even if everyone does somehow know who to shoot at.

Absolutely. It’s basically nonsense when you break it all down – the whole ‘good guy with a gun’ thing has nothing to do with practical realities of self-defense and everything to do with gun owners’ heroic, self-aggrandizing fantasies. In addition to all the reasons you noted, there’s also the broader reason that if good-guys-with-guns were really the best way to stop mass shootings, the U.S. would have less such shootings than other countries (because so many Americans have guns), rather than more of them (the reality). Every now and then there will be a case of a good guy/gal with a gun successfully defending themselves against violence, but such cases are rare (though when they do happen, they get endlessly trumpeted by right-wing media).

The simple fact is that if someone wants to do a lot of damage with a gun, they can do so very quickly and before anyone has a chance to stop them (there have been several mass shootings on U.S. military bases – places where there are, presumably, lots of good guys with guns). The possibility of there being good-guys-with-guns around might, theoretically, be a deterrent to some potential shooters, but most of the people who do this sort of thing seem to approach it as a form of suicide – getting shot is part of the plan.

Kat
Kat
5 years ago

@banned@4chan.org
The idea that 4chan is containment is similar to the flawed notion that sex workers are a type of “containment.” In the case of sex workers, that means that a certain underclass of women takes on a societal problem–rape and other types of violence against women–so that the rest of us don’t have to suffer it. Of course, this model is highly imperfect. Sex workers don’t contain these crimes. Women who are not sex workers certainly have been raped and beaten. Then there’s the problematic idea that some women have to suffer because reasons.

Similarly, men who look to the 4chan board for support are bound to encounter vile treatment. And 4chan doesn’t contain crime; if it did, we wouldn’t be talking about these crimes.

As far as the alternative to 4chan (the Dark Net) goes, law enforcement does navigate it–but it certainly could be true that the Dark Net is more difficult for even law enforcement to navigate.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

I’m not awake enough for a proper comment, but hi mildlymagnificent!

ignorantianescia
ignorantianescia
5 years ago

Law enforcement officials confirm some things about the guy’s motives.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-oregon-shooting-20151002-story.html

@deniseeliza: I get your point that gun control is a shift in itself and requires a shift in itself, but it doesn’t really require gun nuts to change their views. It’s possible that liberals and their allies push gun control through while NRA types keep to their creed of “taxation is theft”, “guns are a birth right” and “government is tyranny” views. My point is that gun control probably doesn’t suffice to kill male gun entitlement and that more might be needed – and that the primary focus on gun control causes gun enthusiasts to lash out, derailing the national conversation about guns.

Argenti Aertheri
Argenti Aertheri
5 years ago

For anyone who needs a friendly animal today:
comment image

makroth
5 years ago

Internet anonymity is a cancer.

Drezden
Drezden
5 years ago

On the subject of
“good guys with guns”

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 years ago

Oi, one of the other stories from that Raw Story link Drezden posted:
Sheriff investigating Oregon massacre posted Sandy Hook truther video on Facebook

So, yeah, this sheriff didn’t just send mail to Joe Biden saying gun control wasn’t the answer after Sandy Hook… looks like he’s a serious ‘they’re gonna take our guns!’ conspiracy theorist.

sff9
sff9
5 years ago

@David, while the beginning of your post is interesting, this is a bit inaccurate:

But those who are calling for 4chan to be shut down need to recognize something important: at least 4chan is easily accessible to law enforcement and the like. There is something far more pernicious called the “Deep Web” which is a conlgommeration of sites that are not indexed by standard web crawlers like Googe, Yahoo!, etc. and as such, you can’t “find them” on a standard browser search. You need something like The Onion Router (TOR) to get at them.

You are referring to the dark web. Though it is true that the terms are often confused, the deep web is simply all the web pages that are not indexed by search engines. It’s not that Google can’t find them because they are in the deep web, it’s that they are in the deep web by definition because Google can’t find them. It’s a neutral term; the content of these pages can be anything. For example (most) pages that are only accessible through a login, and (most) pages that are not linked anywhere on the web, belong to the deep web.

The dark web is not accessible via Google because it is not the web per se. Arguably, it’s part of the deep web, but it’s only a very small part of it. Anyway.

I don’t really agree with the rest of your post:

There are far, *far* worse things in the Deep Web than passive agressive trolls who get their jollies from murderous rampages. It is unlikely that something like the Deep Web could ever be shut down because of the infrastructure of how the Internet works. But at least if a website *is* indexed like 4chan, agencies like the FBI and the police can (and do) monitor it pretty easily.

I’m not sure the dark web is so much harder to monitor by the FBI and the police than the clear web. The content of the dark web is indexed too. The difference is that since using Tor is mandatory to access it, identifying people is pretty much impossible, whereas on 4chan it’s at least theoretically possible, by forcing the host to reveal the IPs of the anons (won’t happen) or by forcing the ISPs to report users connecting to 4chan (which is ethically dubious) — provided they didn’t connect through Tor, obviously. In practice it does not change much.

I would rather those sites stay above ground rather than go below ground, because once below ground they get harder to keep track of. Would you rather a school shooting be reported on an indexable forum or in an underground channel where it is unlikely to be noticed in time? I’d rather the former than the latter.

I disagree. Even assuming you’re right about the dark web being harder to monitor, it’s also harder to stumble upon it. Terrible people will always find ways to talk together, but the harder it is for everyone else to find these spaces, the fewer chances there are that fragile or confused people get dragged down and lost definitively.

BeyondOcean
BeyondOcean
5 years ago

“I really wish that US law enforcement did more to ensure that the shooters in these cases didn’t end up dead. Once someone’s dead, it’s so easy to dismiss them as unstable or mentally ill or a lone gunmen, whereas if they were alive they could tell their side of story.”

Except they do tell us, and it still changes nothing. Elliot Rodgers, that little shit, left a hundreds page long manifesto that outlined in detail his worldview, and yet almost no one though twice about the ideology that drove him. He was just another crazy person.

I’ve read that manifesto, it’s the reason I found this site.

As for “naming is glorifying”, I must politely disagree. For one, it’ll never work, stories like that sell too well, someone will get the name out, some tabloid will rush to publish it. The only thing it’ll likely accomplish is making the shooters even more “underground” and edgy for the potential imitators, while mainstream media would be providing an aura of mystery with their “do not think of the white bear” routine. It’s arguably worse they what we have now.

“Or, if they must delve into the “why” and “how”, then stop treating these incidents like isolated events and chalking it up to mental illness. Talk about what’s feeding the hatred. Shine a spotlight on the links between misogyny, racism, violence, guns, toxic masculinity, and American culture. Let’s have those uncomfortable conversations that everyone tiptoes around every time something like this happens.”

But, but, having those discussion could *offend* some good people! #notallmen #notallguns

Tragedies like this are the price for some people living in a fantasy happy land where there never ever is any problem with that thing they’re so strongly emotionally invested in, and it’s always someone else’s fault. Lives of dozens of people is enough of a low price that millions of right wingers are willing to pay for their own feel-good.

When I’ve seen headlines of the shooting (and I don’t even live in the US), my first thought was “manosphere did it”. So I went to check this site.

And here we are. Again. Ever again. It’s hopeless.

(Though, I suppose, you can’t say that manosphere did it. They just were cheering on.)

Mike
Mike
5 years ago

Internet anonymity is a cancer.

Not sure if you’re just trolling with this comment, but I think it’s worth noting that anonymity isn’t really the problem in and of itself. Here’s a relevant bit from a recent talk given by Katherine Cross (the talk was about online harassment, but the idea still applies). BTW for those that don’t know, Katherine Cross is pretty great.

Anonymity is one of many things that can inflect online harassment, but much more important is what psychologist John Suler called the dissociative imagination, where we distance ourselves and our sense of moral and personal and physical responsibility for our actions every time we sit behind a keyboard. There’s a distancing effect that occurs when we use the Internet that has nothing to do with anonymity. If we get rid of anonymity from the Internet, just waved a magic wand tomorrow, the toxicity problems that we are all concerned about would remain.

http://opentranscripts.org/transcript/katherine-cross-at-the-conference-2015/

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
5 years ago

Wasn’t there some experiment where they installed software that read people’s comments back to them before they could post them, with the option to cancel. This made people less aggressive.

Not sure that people who post deliberate hate would be perturbed though.

History Nerd
5 years ago

@Buttercup Q. Skullypants I totally agree that it’s irresponsible to always name the shooter, give his likeness airtime, or discuss his motivations. If something about the shooter or his motivation is newsworthy (e.g., misogyny or racism) then journalists can discretionarily report on it. People can look at police records if they truly need more details. Otherwise, coverage should focus on victims who choose to talk to the press.

Jenora Feuer
Jenora Feuer
5 years ago

@Alan Robertshaw:
Well, I think that started with the obligatory XKCD, and then Google actually added that feature to Youtube… I hadn’t heard of much actual study of the effects, though.

Jarnsaxa
Jarnsaxa
5 years ago

Not a big fan of “Don’t name the killer!” schtick.

Has ignoring a bully ever actually done anything? This is just bullying writ large and in blood.

Orion
5 years ago

I tend to think that we need the media reporting on the killers so that we can learn. The media may not come out and say that mass killing is mostly an angry white guy problem, but they make each shooter into a memorable character, and those characters are mostly angry white guys. It’s things like this that helped me realize just how deep and scary our culture’s misogyny is. I don’t think blandly reporting that “the shooter was a 30 year old white man” would have nearly the same impact as highlighting the scary parts of hteir manifestos does.

scribbles
scribbles
5 years ago

The media isn’t going to do fuckall to help. It doesn’t exist to help. It isn’t designed to help. It’s there to make a profit. We don’t need a bunch of conservative yokels and white liberals to mull over the facts of the spree because it won’t lead to shit.

We already know what can be done to stop this shit. The academy is full of ideas for moving away from social systems that are predicated on violence. The answers are already there, but things are so fucked up that there’s no way those answers are going to be put into practice. People are too stupid and the power structure is too heavily entrenched. Letting the media make money off of it won’t do shit.

If you want change, you basically need to do shit yourself. Change your own life in radical ways. Reactionary morons won’t do shit and liberals are usually too happy to give them platforms to spread their stupidity anyway. We are fucked.