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4channers embrace YouTube shooter Nasim Aghdam as “goddess of retribution,” dream girlfriend

Nasim Aghdam: 4chan’s “girl” (Meme from 4chan)

By David Futrelle

When rumors began to spread yesterday afternoon that the YouTube shooter was “a woman wearing a head scarf,” many on the right assumed that their gut instinct was right: the attack on YouTube, although it took no lives other than the shooter herself, was an act of Islamist terrorism. When the name of the shooter was released, and it turned out to be Nasim Aghdam, this was all the confirmation the Islamophobic right needed.

The truth, it quickly emerged, was far stranger than these fantasies. Aghdam wasn’t a Muslim terrorist, or even a Muslim, but Baha’i. She was also a vegan, an animal rights activist, and a prolific, if highly eccentric, YouTube creator who had posted an assortment of dance and exercise videos alongside political rants, in a strange retro style that either indicated deep graphical incompetence or a love of retro seapunk aesthetics.

But it wasn’t, apparently, her animal right activism that inspired her would-be murder spree at YouTube headquarters: it was her anger at the ways, she said, YouTube had “filtered” and “discriminated [against]” her videos, depriving her of the views (and ad revenues) she felt she deserved. YouTube, she charged, was actively working to “censor and oppress people” — like her — “who speak the truth.”

This was a message that turned out to be strangely popular amongst many of those not normally sympathetic to people from the Middle East and nearby environs. These days, many on the right are equally furious at YouTube “censorship,” complaining endlessly that videos from Alt-Rightists and other reactionary shitlords are being demonetized or deleted.

Many of these people — ranging from Trump-loving deplorables to outright Nazis — have taken up the hashtag #CensorshipKills on Twitter and other social media platforms, blaming YouTube for the carnage Aghdam inflicted upon it. Some are basically endorsing her “message” without quite endorsing her actions.

The Iranian shooter was a DE-MONETIZED VLOGGER. A SILENCED VOICE IS A DANGEROUS THING. I was just locked out of Twitter for 12 hours and I felt violent. If your livelihood was taken w/ ZERO recourse, how would you react? What if you were emotionally disordered? #CensorshipKills — Ambellina (@Ambellina77) April 4, 2018

But it doesn’t take long browsing the #CensorshipKills to notice that there are more than a few of her apologists who don’t see the wannabe mass-murderer as a (possibly misguided) “victim” of the evil YouTube. Some see her as a free speech “martyr” if not an outright heroine.

The enthusiasm for was clear even if some wrapped their fandom in layers of faux-irony.

But nowhere was the celebration of this newly christened “Patron Saint of Online Speech” more fervid than on 4chan’s /pol/ board, where countless anons have embraced “our girl” Nasim as free speech martyr, “goddess of retribution,” pinup girl, dream waifu, and worthy successor to mass murderer and incel hero Elliot Rodger. 

“Saint Nasim’s” apotheosis began in earnest more or less as soon as /pol/ discovered that she wasn’t Muslim, that she hated YouTube “censorship” as much as /pol/ regulars do, and that she was, as one put it, both “odd looking [and] oddly attractive.”

The threads devoted to her were (and as of this writing, are) suffused with a mixture of male anger, anti-Semitic hate, hunger for violence, incel sadness and sexual yearning. Denuniciations of “JewTube” alternate with pics and videos of /pol/’s new it-girl designed to highlight her “true aryan beauty” and/or her “Iranian crazy vegan super tities!!!”

For a considerable number of anons, she was the whole package, as these screenshots from just one page of comments on /pol/ will make abundantly clear.

Anonymous (ID: AgwuJOSN) 04/04/18(Wed)03:50:54 No.166687490 48 KB 48 KB JPG >proved not just white men go on shooting sprees >vegan militant >shot up jewtube >an hero'd The hero we deserved and needed

For a few, it was less about Nasim than it was about the alleged evil that is YouTube.

Did I say YouTube? I meant JEWTUBE.

But most were utterly smitten with their new, late queen:

For many anons, the horniness was tinged with sadness:

Lamenting her death, a few spun fantasies of what might have been!

 

But this horny anon managed to take her death in stride.

Most agreed that she would live on in memory:

For some, she was basically the second coming of Elliot Rodger.

Naturally, there were memes. Perhaps the most memorable was a reworking of a currently popular meme contrasting a poor incels with his nemesis Chad (click on the image for a larger version).

There were a few detractors, of course, including one who found it incomprehensible that /pol/ was falling in love with “a woman? And a brown woman, at that?” And there were those who insisted — damn the media reports to the contrary! —  that she really was Muslim, a charge that inspired some energetic rebuttals. ...Anonymous (ID: GWPtGoJ9) 04/04/18(Wed)04:31:07 No.166690110 >>166686889 No. She was not Muslim, she was Bahai, and she did more with her life than you ever will. We don't hate her, we hate Jews. She died fighting Jewish censorship. Fuck Google and fuck you.

Anonymous (ID: 2QNGWGrK) 04/04/18(Wed)03:59:21 No.166687979 >>166687881 She was a Iranian Bahai. Maybe check out the Bahai faith center. Iranians are aryan uncle addy would approve

Some didn’t approve of her veganism, seeing it as a sign of SJWishness. But others didn’t mind.

Others saw her veganism as a sign of her Aryan purity.

Anonymous (ID: SDjIew8Q) 04/04/18(Wed)03:21:53 No.166685693 378 KB 378 KB JPG >>166685376 That wasn't a flaw. You can respect virtuous people who care enough about animals to tell the world, without yourself having to be as perfect as them. Hitler was a vegetarian mostly and Germany was a leader in animal rights because of him.

And there was an ongoing debate whether she was “all woman” or a “100% transgender trap,” to use 4chan’s favorite transphobic slur, though many of her fans didn’t care either way.

4chan being what it is, it wasn’t long before a few anons dug up some enigmatic but apocalyptic comments posted before the rampage yesterday that seemed to predict it; most seemed to believe that their new queen had indeed paid them at least one brief visit before, er, martyring herself. Since all comments are anonymous, there’s no way to know if this is true — and indeed, similar claims are made after almost every shooting.

Regardless of whether or not Nasim Aghdam was literally a channer herself, her new fans on /pol/ are certainly convinced they’ve found their girl.

H/T to Rational Disconnect, whose tweets first alerted me to 4chan’s excitement over Aghdam

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Laugher at Bigots
2 years ago

Such personal responsibility. Hearing that Stormfront is shutting down makes me very happy.

Starfury
Starfury
2 years ago

Thank you for the clarification, Moggie, and sorry for the confusion

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

@MrsObedMarsh

So that’s the fantasy of the waifu – or the male equivalent, the hasubando (“husband”): that no matter how off-putting or weird or anti-social you are, you’ll have a dream lover who thinks the world of you. No wonder this kind of fantasy is so appealing to manospherians.

I knew the term, but never knew its origin. Learn something new every day.

I’m sure the manospherians look up to Krieger from Archer as well….

comment image

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

Hi

Does anyone here have the skills and the time to set up a throwaway untraceable Twitter account? If so perhaps you could PM me via David.

MrsObedMarsh
MrsObedMarsh
2 years ago

If men flirted like birds/if birds flirted like men:

https://imgur.com/TmdD34g

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
2 years ago

@Shadowplay

Interesting article. So it would seem she was somewhat conservative, given her comments about the degeneration of morals and values in society. I see why 4chan would claim her as one of their own, whilst her veganism and Iranian ancestry allows the bigots to pitch her as a straw feminist and a Muslim terrorist, respectively.

Steph Tohill
Steph Tohill
2 years ago

The sense of entitlement these people have over a private platform is mind blowing. You Tube can filter and censor how they wish. Have an issue with it? Create your own media platform where you can make your own rules.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

Diego

It made a lot of sense. Which normally gets me a tad suspicious, since life ain’t normally terribly sensible 😛

But yeah – she’s an almost perfect blank canvas for anyone to hang a conspiracy on. If the clock had ticked instead of tocked, the Nazi-lite could have painted her as a “psycho Leftie white genociding lesbian” just as easily.

Just one of those things as happens sometimes, I guess.

(sorry for the p word)

MrsObedMarsh
MrsObedMarsh
2 years ago

@Shadowplay:

Last night, I was wondering aloud to my husband whether the alt-right would read Nasim Aghdam as a Good Aryan Standing Up to Western Degeneracy and Censorship or an Evil Crazy Vegan Muslim Communist. I figured it was a coin flip.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

Think the good Aryan had a slight edge – she was attractive and that counts with these nimbos – but yeah. It were a close decision.

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

@epitome of incomprehensibility

I quite like Kristeva, although Irigaray was always my favourite out of that ‘group’.

Part of me likes it, part of me is frustrated by the difficulty of the writing, and part of me wonders how she can be seen as a feminist when she bases so much of her theory on Freud.

She does, but then plenty of feminist theorists have used Freud, albeit to varying degrees. Joan Scott and Judith Butler (be still, my beating heart!) in the US; obviously Kristeva, Irigaray, Cixous in France; and Liz Grosz and Moira Gatens here in Oz. Although Lacan probably got used more.
Of course old Sigismund has his problems, but some of his writing is absolutely worth reading. The essay on melancholy, for example.

(I’m very late to this thread and no doubt you’ve moved on – sorry!)

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
2 years ago

Dear Nazi terrorists,
We disabled and mentally ill people don’t want Nasim she’s not with us you can have her. Hissss

Ps its autism month just reminding everyone not to give to AutismSpeaks and provide facts of people like Mozart who had autism. I think Marie curie had autism too.

Zenobia Augusta
Is it just me, or does it seem like 4 channers always want to label people “autistic”? It’s weird, right?

It’s not just 4channers but pretty much everywhere you go on the internet people use ‘autistic’ as an insult and make screeching noises and even make horrifying posts and memes about us.

There were people who were upset over the new puppet Julia in sesame street who has autism saying it’s wrong to normalize autism, upset she’s a girl not a boy, etc. I love Julia she is so cute I want to hug her. And as someone who is on the autism spectrum Sesame Street did a very good job of explaining autism to people.

It’s absolutely stuns me of how many people know nothing about autism or disablilties and mental illnesses in general.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

@ fruitloopsie

I found out the other week that Paddy Considine has autism. He’s always been one of my favourite actors so I find myself reviewing his performances with that in mind and seeing if that seems to factor in.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
2 years ago

Alan
Everybody with autism is different. We all have our personalities, likes and dislikes. We are just people.

I really don’t like the terms high functioning and low functioning because those sound like excuses to me.

‘High functioning’ people are often told they don’t have autism and/or they don’t count and need to be quiet about their experiences and don’t have it as “bad” as ‘low functioning’ people. And so often don’t get the help they need so they fall into depression and even suicide.

But ‘low functioning’ people are shamed too. They’re often told they can’t do anything and will need to be taken care of by other people for the rest of their lives.

That’s why I prefer “on the spectrum” because it’s a more broaden term.

Women/girls are less diagnosed than guys because of well sexism. Girls are brought up to be silent, etc. so we are invisible to the public.

I hope all of this makes sense and got through to everybody. Thanks for reading. ☺️

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
2 years ago

I haven’t been paying attention to actors and actresses I just haven’t been interested in that kind of stuff I guess. But I have heard about different actors, actresses, etc like Daryl Hannah, Courtney Love and Jerry Seinfield (and famous people throughout history) who have autism and other disabilities and mental illnesses. I hope those people seek help and support.

Dvärghundspossen
Dvärghundspossen
2 years ago

Yeah it’s important to normalize. I have a schizofrenia-related mental illness (don’t quite tick all the boxes for schizofrenia, but I have a number of the typical symptoms). I’ve sometimes mentioned this in class when it’s been relevant (I’m a university professor) and I’ve had students thank me in private for normalizing mental illness.

Shadowplay
2 years ago

@Fruitloopsie

I hope all of this makes sense and got through to everybody. Thanks for reading. ☺️

Thank you for writing it. It is important. 🙂

Brony, Social Justice Cenobite

@MrsObedMarsh
Thank you for the history of waifu. That synchs with my experience. At Ponychan the euphemism was “phantasmal significant other”. I used the phenomena to endure childhood isolation and it’s a bad sign of a culture with problems.

epitome of incomprehensibility

@Mish, Jo, Shadowplay – thanks for the recommendations!

Ah, Lacan: I think part of my difficulty is that I don’t remember reading any Lacan and J.K. uses him a lot. But I like challenges… at least ones that don’t have stress attached.

As for Freud, he described some valid psychological things (defense mechanisms, etc.) despite the nonsense theoretical basis. I shouldn’t say nonsense. Non-science (but internally consistent, I guess).

@Fruitloopsie – thank you so much for this! It should be obvious but people like to hang on to stereotypes.

Everybody with autism is different. We all have our personalities, likes and dislikes. We are just people.

(a different brand of non-neurotypical here, but yes) (also tired) (also likes parentheses too much)

Jules
Jules
2 years ago

@epitome: (I love parentheses!)

The abuse and misuse of autism just gets on my every last nerve.
——
Why do people feel violently entitled? I don’t get it. And as someone of both Iranian and (long ago) Baha’i backgrounds, this…hurts. I take it more personally.

Iranians get flack for being brown and Muslim on the one hand and sort of welcomed to join in on furthering white supremacy and antisemitism as “Aryans” or mostly-white on the other. (Needless to say, “Aryan” is one of many things the Nazis stole, reimagined, and ruined).

Then, well, Baha’is are like everyone else after all, but in the U.S. people either 1. know less than Jon Snow (ie. nothing) about them, or 2. think it’s a cult and/or NWO conspiracy. So any major bad news in this climate, especially when it can dovetail with racism, may wipe out a lot of neutral or positive assumptions from people.

The 4chan quotes make me sick.

l will say the “Surely she hates Jews!” stuff makes me laugh though because Baha’is don’t really have a tradition of antisemitism I’m aware of and are rather often accused of being “Zionist spies” since their holiest shrine is in Haifa. The faith lends itself toward a mix of conservative and liberal (sometimes contradictory) views, and along with her not-quite-white-not-solidly-brown ethnicity, I’m not surprised by the confusion in the alt-right of what box to put her in.

Looks like violence and good looks carry a lot of weight. Because priorities, apparently.

Sir Chainsaw
Sir Chainsaw
2 years ago

As someone who’s been following the explosion of Nasim’s sudden cult following, its quite a fascinating phenomenon (including the late Nasim herself).

I’ve done my fair share of shitposting on /pol/ and IMO, it’s a great breath of fresh air in contrast to some of the truly disgusting shit i’ve seen posted on that board.

That said, its such a shame the shooting had to happen and it sucks the authorities didn’t take her parents’ warnings seriously enough, but on the flipside, her truly fascinating world of YouTube uploads and her own web hosted manifestos wouldn’t have been given this great of an exposure.

Truly one of the most interesting situations in recent memories.

MsVanillaRose
2 years ago

One thing that baffles me is the people who think that her having been vegan somehow makes her “left wing”. Alas, no, half-baked right-wing* ideas are turning up everywhere these days, including vegan circles.

* I’m not saying all right-wing ideas are half-baked.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

I’ve done my fair share of shitposting on /pol/ and IMO, it’s a great breath of fresh air in contrast to some of the truly disgusting shit i’ve seen posted on that board.

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kupo
kupo
2 years ago

That said, its such a shame the shooting had to happen and it sucks the authorities didn’t take her parents’ warnings seriously enough, but on the flipside, her truly fascinating world of YouTube uploads and her own web hosted manifestos wouldn’t have been given this great of an exposure.

I’m sorry, are you saying it’s a positive thing that her work got exposure?

Cinimon Danger
Cinimon Danger
2 years ago

l will say the “Surely she hates Jews!” stuff makes me laugh though because Baha’is don’t really have a tradition of antisemitism I’m aware of and are rather often accused of being “Zionist spies” since their holiest shrine is in Haifa. The faith lends itself toward a mix of conservative and liberal (sometimes contradictory) views, and along with her not-quite-white-not-solidly-brown ethnicity, I’m not surprised by the confusion in the alt-right of what box to put her in.

It’s espesially distressing to me because anti-semitism is the furthest thing from the Baha’i teachings. The religion has three core values
-The unity of mankind
-The equality of men and women
-The unity of all religions

To expand on the last one: every religion with a prophet is part of god’s plan for the world. Each one has been cultivated for the society in which it originated. So Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, these are all equally from god and the Baha’i faith is only the latest edition.

And I can pull 5 quotes from memory, and over a dozen with a google search, from Baha’u’llah and Abdul’baha on the equality of men and women and the importance of respecting women’s rights.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
2 years ago

Thanks for the responses everyone. I’ll be more than happy to do my best to answer anyone’s questions about autism, etc. And wish you all love, hugs, kisses and kittens.

Jules
Thanks for sharing. Sorry wish I knew what to say but yeah Colorism is certainly a problem across the world. There are problems within every race, etc we all just have to be the best we can be and better ourselves and each other.

I find it funny Nazis and other white supremacists talk about how superior they are when most of the stuff they use are from non-white people even the swatiska was once a religious symbol in India and China. They can’t use it anymore. I guess you can call this cultural appropriation.

Sir Chainsaw
Sir Chainsaw
2 years ago

@kupo
I’m purely speaking on a pseudo psychological analysist/true crime enthusiast level.

I have a passing interest on such subject matter and Nasim is clearly the most fascinating of this batch of recent gun violence committeers.

Her story is ripe for actual experts on the field.

(A)utonomist Escapist
(A)utonomist Escapist
2 years ago

@Fruitloopsie: Hate to “well, actually”, but to most Hindus and Buddhists in Asian countries, that whole “Nazis stole the Swastika” is highly inconsequential. There are still swastikas absolutely everywhere in India and Thailand, can’t speak for other Buddhist-majority countries, but I imagine it to be much the same, precisely because it’s part of a millennia-old culture, and that some wacky europeans decided to use that symbol doesn’t really register as significant in that context.

@MsVanillaRose: I’d like to introduce them to the sXe-vegan Nazi Environmentalists of Mongolia

EJ (The Other One)
2 years ago

Westerners had been using the swastika for a long time prior to its adoption by the far-Right. As ever, Nazis can’t original when it comes to heraldry.

There was a famous (and very good) Canadian ice hockey team prior to the First World War called the Windor Swastikas. Seen with modern eyes they just look odd; like, did they not know what that symbol would come to mean twenty years later?

Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
Surplus to Requirements, Observer of the Vast Blight-Wing Enstupidation
2 years ago

If you zoom into many far-east locations in Google Maps you’ll find swastikas all over the place. Most of them are Buddhist temple locations.

Fruitloopsie
Fruitloopsie
2 years ago

Ah I didn’t know that thanks for the info

Shadowplay
2 years ago

Ah I didn’t know that thanks for the info

Aye, some stupidity from a bunch of people on the other side of the planet jacking a symbol isn’t going to make them change their culture. And why should it? 😛

Hypatia's Daughter
Hypatia's Daughter
2 years ago

Victorious Parasol
After you read the article about Stormfront falling apart, scroll down to read about how 4 of the largest unions in the US have joined together to ask companies what happened to all the money from Trump’s corporate tax break which was supposed to put between $4, 000 to $9, 000 into worker’s pockets – but hasn’t yet happened.
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mbxpvx/unions-want-to-know-where-the-hell-all-that-trump-tax-cut-money-went

I must have missed Trump saying that salaries would go up at the time, but this is not how economics works.
Theoretically, tax cuts are so businesses can upgrade & expand, which creates more jobs (trickle down economics), but do not directly raise wages. Let’s be honest, why would a company hand a windfall over to people who are already willing to work for less money? It isn’t even rational!
Wages only increase if the expansion of the economy causes a labor shortage – then businesses compete for the scarce workers by offering higher wages than their competitors.

The unions are going public with this – which I think maybe a very good thing. We have seen that you can’t get through to a Trumpite – they dismiss any fact you present as fake news – but if it dawns on them that they aren’t seeing the payoff that Trump promised, it may wake them up before the next Presidential election. And if some of these tariffs kick in, people are going to face a lot of hurt at the grocery store & shopping mall.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
2 years ago

We have seen that you can’t get through to a Trumpite – they dismiss any fact you present as fake news

Orwell is really getting a second wind these days…

“… the nationalist is often somewhat uninterested in what happens in the real world. What he wants is to feel that his own unit is getting the better of some other unit, and he can more easily do this by scoring off an adversary than by examining the facts to see whether they support him…..A known fact may be so unbearable that it is pushed aside and not allowed to enter into logical processes, or on the other hand it may enter into every calculation and yet never be admitted as a fact, even in one’s own mind.”

Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
Mish of the Catlady Ascendancy
2 years ago

Re the swastika – it does have a very long and very multi-faceted history.
We should keep in mind, though, that it’s not simply a case of an innocent symbol being stolen and corrupted by Nazis. Hindu nationalists have long used it to signify racial/ethnic superiority (during Hitler’s rule, they were very happy for him to use it, because his ideas were so close to their own).
Right now, Hindu nationalism is one of the most dangerous and increasingly influential forces in Indian politics.
(I’m writing “Hindu nationalism” very deliberately, as it’s not the same as Hinduism – I don’t want to tar all Hindus with this particularly nasty brush).

Rahu
Rahu
2 years ago

Just to add a bit more about the “Hitler stole the swastika” bit – my best friend is from Guyana, of Indian descent (to be clear, India Indian). He never even heard of Hitler before moving to America. I’ve also heard others from India who were completely oblivious to anyone named Hitler until they came to a Western country.

Camperdude
Camperdude
2 years ago

HAHAHA! I love it when Liberals are confused!